April 18, 2018
What's it like to be a Support & Systems Engineer at Squared Up?
We're known for our top-notch customer, and our Support engineers are at the heart of this. We pride ourselves on offering friendly, punctual and informed support to all of our customers and are lucky to have a committed team of Support engineers who do this consistently.
To give you an insight into what life is like in the Support, Systems and Test Team at Squared Up, we're pleased to share an interview with Ashley Thompson, Support & Systems Engineer at Squared Up. Ashley is well known amongst our customers for his friendly demeanour and in-depth SCOM knowledge. Check out what he has to say about working at Squared Up, his eclectic career before he joined us, and why working for a small company is so great.
How long have you worked at Squared Up?
I’ve been with Squared Up for nearly two years now.
Tell me a bit about your role
My role is Support and Systems Engineer – I build and maintain the servers and infrastructure here at Squared Up, as well as support our customers. This includes the physical hosts and network, as well as our virtual estate in Microsoft Azure. On top of this, I’ve also deployed and own the continued management of our five SCOM management groups on a daily basis. I’m also responsible for office equipment, prepping kit for events and training new colleagues with SCOM. It’s a pretty varied role, which is how I like it!
What did you do before you worked here?
I started out as an apprentice at a System Center consultancy about 4 years ago, developing my IT skills and learning about the wonderful world of System Center. I already had some IT skills (I’m a PC gamer on Windows – and stuff breaks!), as well as having a father who worked in IT, who I picked things up from over the years. Prior to that I had a host of jobs, ranging from cleaning, call centre work, I’m a partially qualified electrician, I worked in a law firm, and did two years in a supermarket on the checkouts and customer service desk. My career so far has been pretty eclectic!
Why did you decide to pursue a career in IT?
I never really knew what I wanted to do in life; I wasn’t keen on school (I do terribly in exams, hate studying, and have only a handful of C grade GCSE’s), and didn’t go to University. I worked a lot of pretty rubbish jobs, for both good and bad employers, but found I was most happy when I was being challenged and pushed out of my comfort zone. IT is full of opportunities to be challenged, so it seemed like the perfect fit, and suited my skillset well.
Once you decided to pursue IT as a career, how did you go about it?
I took the last I could and jumped on an apprenticeship opportunity (you need to be under a certain age for apprenticeships in the UK). I was offered two positions for my training, but took one that was based further from home and for less money, because the company seemed like it would offer far better career development and learning opportunities. I wasn’t wrong and it was a great choice – I was offered a full time job about 6 months in, so waved goodbye to my apprenticeship and hello to a permanent job.
What attracted you to Squared Up?
In my previous role, I was using SCOM and Squared Up daily, and we were invited up to one of their events in Marlow. I got to meet the team, see what they were up to, and what kind of working environment it was. It looked pretty great and I wanted in!
What are your highlights from the past year at Squared Up?
I’ve attended two Microsoft Ignites (in Atlanta and Orlando) and travelled to Berlin for Experts Live twice. These events were great opportunities to speaking with customers and prospects face to face – I even dealt with a couple of support questions there and then! The days were pretty exhausting but a lot of fun.
What’s on the wish list for you for the next couple of years at Squared Up?
I’m currently learning T-SQL, getting to grips with PowerShell, and I’m also getting to know Service Now. The challenge (and the fun!) is always learning something new – getting hands on with new tools and expanding my knowledge wherever I can.
What is it that you like about working for a small company?
My previous roles spanned companies as small as 3 people, up to global corporations, but I’ve always far preferred working for a small, close-knit company, where there are lots of opportunities to grow and learn a variety of skills.
How would you describe the culture at Squared Up?
It really is like a second family. We socialise outside of work and all get on very well – I actually live with two of the guys who work here. There’s always something going on, whether it’s an organised board games night or just grabbing a couple of beers together on a Friday.
How would you describe the team at Squared Up?
Everyone here is very knowledgeable and friendly, and the atmosphere is great. They’re a great bunch to learn from as they come from a real mix of backgrounds and have loads of knowledge and insight to share.
Want to get in on the action and join our awesome Support, Systems and Test Team? Great, you're in luck - we're looking for talented team members right now! Check out the vacancies here.