My Awesome IT Job: IT Service Manager, University of Illinois

Summary:Hey, we all complain about work from time to time; we've all had lousy jobs. But before you call it a day and head off to the support group that meets at the bar, here are a few words from an IT pro that loves their work.

Hey, we all complain about work from time to time; we've all had lousy jobs. But before you call it a day and head off to the support group that meets at the bar, here are a few words from an IT pro that loves their work.

Name: Gale Stafford

Location: Chicago, IL

Profession and specialization I.T. service manager--messaging/email systems. I manage the campus email service for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Hobby: Studying psychology

Last book read: "The Power of Positive Thinking" by Norman Vincent Peale

Latest accomplishment: Improved the way we manage knowledge on IT services -- this cuts costs on knowledge transfer and training of backup service managers

Toughest technology lesson learned: Last summer, my email servers were crashing frequently. It was frustrating, and I was getting paged at all hours of the day and night. I had to bring together internal engineers and outside vendors to figure out the problem. The vendor for our storage device kept reassuring us their device was working fine and said the problem lied elsewhere in our system. Similarly, the vendor for our messaging server kept reassuring us their systems were operating normally and just responding to a problem in the storage device. In the end, we found our storage vendor had a bug in their firmware. From this experience, I learned about forming alliances and partnerships to invite the best efforts from everyone involved when working on a tough problems in complex systems.

Advice to an up-and-comer: Be always on the lookout for new ways of doing things that can cut costs or improve services to better suit the customer; when you come up with a good idea, bounce it around with your peers or form it into a proposal for your manager or senior leaders to consider. Your idea or proposal could get accepted; or it could easily get shot down. Don't take anything personally in business. Celebrate your failures and use the lessons learned from each failure to propel you to greater levels of personal effectiveness.

[Know someone who thinks their IT job is awesome? Introduce them to me at debperelman [at] gmail [dot] com.]

Topics: Storage, Collaboration, CXO, Hardware

About

Deb Perelman is a journalist in New York City with a focus on tech and the daily grind. Previously she was a reporter for eWEEK, leading the magazine and Web site's coverage of the issue and trends that affect IT workers.

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