IT work


  • This topic is empty.
Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #1356
    makiki
    Member

    Hi folks!
    I came across these forums while looking for information about jobs in Antarctica… You have quite a treasure trove of information here!
    My current job is in the IT field, so I’ve been looking at the IT jobs posted, but the descriptions on the GHG site are a little sparse… Do any of you have thoughts on what the responsibilities/merits would be to the Help Desk jobs vs the Computer Tech jobs? My specific field of expertise is electronic medical records, but lately it’s been a lot of help desk type work, so that’s what I’m leaning towards applying for. Any one know if the medical staff is using electronic charting, out of curiosity?
    Thanks!

    #11499
    thepooles98
    Keymaster

    Makiki
    You may have read that the prime contractor of the program is changing this year. Lockheed Martin won the contract and is subcontracting out most of the day to day operations.In the IT world, some will be Lockheed and some will be contracted out. This is playing out across the board with all the depts . It is such a different approach from anything we’ve had before that I don’t think anyone is really going to have an understanding of how all the subcontractors “play” with each other until we get to the ice this year.

    If it stays structured like in the past, the help desk is manned my one to two persons. One is likely coming back. There are several tech positions and just by the numbers there are more chances of openings. I would say make sure you apply for anything you might be qualified for.

    Medical is being taken over by a university hospital and one of the things they are hoping to do is go to electronic records. That is a much as I know.

    My group that I work for falls under the PAE subcontractor and as of last week they had not started the hiring process.

    Rumor, and rumor only is that it can’t start until the end of this month when they actually take over the contract. I’m not sure if that is exactly true, but in any case the transition has not got to the point that it is easy.

    If you are young and healthy (and maybe less experienced) the PQ goes fast, but for many of us that have to go through extra tests, the process can drag on for months. My guess is this year, because of the delay in hiring, the PQ process will get pushed back for everyone. It may mean that by the time of deployment in either August or October, there may still be people that have not completed the process and they will have to go to alternates more than normal. If you get an alternate contract get the pq done fast.

    Normally by now, I have a contract and have started the process. I usually get all the doctor appointments and followups done by the end of june or into July. It works ok for October deployments, but starts to cut it a little close for August Winfly deployments. I’ve heard nothing about getting hired, so I’m in the same boat as you.

    good luck
    Mike

    #11500
    makiki
    Member

    Hi Mike!
    Thanks for the reply! Nothing like major corporate transitions to make life “interesting”… It sounds like there’s going to be a lot of last-minute scrambling to get everything staffed this year. Going with a sort of shotgun approach and just applying to everything I’m qualified for sounds like a plan. I might even throw an application in for janitor or DA just to broaden the base a bit… Hm, how does an IT person optimize their resume when applying for a janitor position?? 🙂

    Speaking of resumes, what are folks thoughts on adding “Additional Info” – extracurriculars that aren’t really work related? For example, I’m active in my local swing dancing scene – teaching, on the non-profit executive committee, etc. I probably wouldn’t add that to a resume normally, but since they’re really hiring for a community, would that make it more relevant?

    Best of luck to you too Mike – I hope they get that paper work through fast!

    #11501
    thepooles98
    Keymaster

    I think I would agree with Glenn. Again, everything might be different this year. I’m already hearing of management people electing not to return, so there may be totally different people doing the hiring this year.

    Antarctica attracts a lot of people who would do anything to get to the ice including fluffing a resume. If you have the mindset to go to the end of the world, undoubtably you have a number of interesting traits that a community would like. What is hard for a hiring person is to figure out who wants to go down to play and who wants to go down to work. Don’t make your resume look like somebody coming down to play.

    You will likely be miserable as a DA. They tend to be young fun filled people at the beginning of their careers. I love them, but they also drive me nuts. A little like being a grad student in a freshman dorm. I’m beyond that at this point in my life. It sounds like you might be. You are also stuck in the main building your whole time there.

    Jano’s are a bit better. Many elect to come back. It’s hard work, but most find it satisfying as long as you come from a jano background. If you’ve been a jano at a hotel, you know what it’s like to clean up when somebody has become ill and thrown up all over the room. Because of the bad stuff, they tend to look for people that have done the job before. Lot’s have as jobs in college, so if you have the skills try it. But, what Glenn said is also true. If you are already a professional, working as a jano, 6 days a week 10 hours a day is going to be a drag after a month or two.

    #11502
    Mradyfist
    Member

    PC Tech vs. Help Desk –

    This really depends on the station. At South Pole, there isn’t a huge amount of difference since both positions are going to fill in for each other constantly anyway. If you’re help desk at Pole, probably the only responsibility that we pay much attention to is that you’re the guy that picks up the phone first if you’re in the office, but otherwise you’re going to have mostly the same powers and responsibilities as the PC techs. We usually expect the PC techs to have a better grounding in desktop hardware to be sure, but there are plenty of days when the PC techs are taking phone calls or the Help Desk is doing a repair. Generally everybody in the upstairs office at Pole gets administrative access to most systems, so sysadmin/pc tech/help desk all have pretty much the same privileges as each other, and you’re expected to be professional and not mess around with other people’s stuff unless it’s necessary. We all work in the same tiny office, so it’s not like your environment changes much depending on the job.

    That being said, the PC tech positions at Pole are probably locked down – I’m planning on returning, and the woman who took the other slot is likely to as well. If you want to make it to Pole Help Desk is a better shot, as at the moment I haven’t heard any of the returnees express strong interest in it. That could always change, though. Keep in mind that both these positions at Pole tend to involve a lot of off-hours questions, so you have to be fairly friendly and personable no matter what – I’ve gotten IT questions during all three meals, in the bathroom, on the sidelines during soccer. It’s just part of the job, don’t expect that you can avoid it by being a PC tech unless you plan on spending all your off hours hiding in your room.

    At MCM the Help Desk people and the PC Techs work in separate areas, and have very different responsibilities. It’s more like your average corporate IT department, Help Desk takes calls from users and does some front-line troubleshooting, and if it’s the kind of problem that will require a workstation visit then they make a work order for the techs and move on. Conversely, the PC techs there are housed in an office by themselves, and most of the time they’re working on long-term projects like reimaging new workstations while they wait for a work order to show up in the queue. Much less interpersonal stuff. They also split up privileges between the departments, so help desk people have administrative capabilities for managing user objects in AD, and PC techs manage computer objects.

    I don’t know for sure, but my guess is that there will be openings for both sides at MCM this summer. I know they had so many troubles hiring a second help desk person last season that they just gave up halfway through, and while I was working with the PC techs on my way down to Pole some of them said they were looking for different jobs instead of coming back.

    I believe the PC tech positions are better paid at both stations, but that probably also depends on whether you’re a standard or senior of either job, and might be completely different under the new contractor.

    #11503
    makiki
    Member

    Thanks for the thoughtful and thorough replies, everyone!
    This has been really helpful in terms of shaping my resume and giving me a better idea of what to expect in general. Resume is done except for a final proofread (so that’d be proofread #147 approximately at this point…) and formatting tweak, so all I have to do is FYI my references and post the application!
    I’ll be posting for the Help Desk spots first, then tweaking my resume a bit and submitting for the PC tech jobs. Thanks for pointing out that Help Desk is a little higher on the inter-personal scale (at least at MCM), Mradyfist. That helped solidify my order of application, at least… I like people! Talking to people from really different backgrounds is one of the things I really like about working for a medical organization, I imagine this job has similar benefits!
    The Help Desk jobs that I saw on the GHG website both say MCM, so that’s what I’m aiming for! Not that I’d mind visiting South Pole one of these days, mind you… 😉 (a girl can dream, right?)
    Wish me luck…
    And best of luck to those of you who are in the application process!

    #11504
    Iceman
    Member

    @Sciencetech wrote:

    Get that resume ready! As Mike mentioned, our impression is that most of the positions currently listed by LMCO, PAE and GHG are targeted at incumbents. The real seasonal hiring will probably start soon after the official contract switch-over at the beginning of April. (Hey, that’s about a week from now. Hang on to your hat.)

    Is the turnover still going to happen on Sunday, April 1st?

    I thought I read somewhere that the CH2MHill protest pushed it back to mid-April, after the Judge makes his ruling. (I assume the contract will stand)

    #11505
    makiki
    Member

    What, the transition on April 1st has come and gone and no new flood of job postings? Shocking! (joking, joking)
    Thanks to those who posted the info about the Lockheed Martin page where they post the updates. My guess/understanding is that they are currently getting their project plan reviewed (and hopefully approved) by the NSF, which will determine what projects they undertake, which will in turn determine their staffing needs and lead (hopefully again) to a bunch more job postings…
    Sound about right?
    So, holding on to my hat for now. I did apply to a few jobs of what is currently posted. I haven’t heard anything other than the stock “we have received your application” email reply, but then it’s only been a week and a half or so, so that’s probably normal?
    Hm. I guess this post boils down to a bit of musing and a couple semi-rhetorical questions.
    So anyways, hi guys, and I hope the hiring process is moving along for you folks!

    #11506
    FoCoTechie
    Member

    @Mradyfist wrote:

    PC Tech vs. Help Desk –

    I don’t know for sure, but my guess is that there will be openings for both sides at MCM this summer. I know they had so many troubles hiring a second help desk person last season that they just gave up halfway through, and while I was working with the PC techs on my way down to Pole some of them said they were looking for different jobs instead of coming back.

    I believe the PC tech positions are better paid at both stations, but that probably also depends on whether you’re a standard or senior of either job, and might be completely different under the new contractor.

    Yeah, last year was fun with sometimes 50% of my week working at the helpdesk. (mostly during the beginning of mainbody on flight days) Anyway, I did end up taking another job so I’m not returning next season, I was called as a reference for another tech and the interviewer said he was going to hire him and the third tech (out of four) wintered over so there might be as much as three open townie PC tech jobs IF we don’t take any losses. (last email I got was IT getting a 35% cut)

    just FYI, GHG is handling almost all of the on Ice contracts for IT and I still haven’t gotten an email from them about my application that I submitted back in January.

    Mradyfist, Good luck next season, I’ll be checking in here to see how it is under the new contract and thanks again for helping out last season, you’re awesome!

    #11507
    TheORKINMan
    Participant

    I can certainly do help desk/pc repair. I was a help desk supervisor for a large telco at the start of my IT career. I have “graduated” from that to being a telecommunications specialist for a large state government that makes me wear a LOT of hats ranging from monitoring the state firewall and alerting agencies of infections/suspicious activity, to troubleshooting state network speed connectivity issues to different VOIP systems(because every department has to deploy something different ofc :P), to working on PRIs, PBXs and PSTN phone issues. Reason I mention that is I have seen jobs posted recently for network engineers/security professionals/telecomm positions particularly at McMurdo. Is that just code for help desk or are those positions different?

    #11508
    thepooles98
    Keymaster

    Bottom line here is that at the moment nobody knows what the new structure will be like as the Lockheed conglomerate takes over. In the past under Raytheon, Telecom while under the IT umbrella, was a separate entity. Help desk was an entity, PC tech and repair was an entity and the network engineers were separate. They blended together a little as they all have to work as a group, but the jobs are significantly different. You can also add in comms as well. If I remember right, to get internet to a field camp, they put up an antenna and beam it to a repeater someplace that downloads to McMurdo. It then is microwave linked to Black island and is uploaded to a satelite over the equator that downloads the signal to a receiving station in Australia where it enters the international comms network. Telephones route directly to Denver, where they enter the telephone network. Network engineers manage the infrastructure once it gets to the network operations center. Telecom manages the phone and data lines from the user to the NOC. Comms manages from the field camps to Mcmurdo. There are network Sat engineers who manage the black island Sat facility. All so complicated.

    #11509
    TheORKINMan
    Participant

    @Sciencetech wrote:

    @TheORKINMan wrote:

    … I have “graduated” from that to being a telecommunications specialist for a large state government that makes me wear a LOT of hats ….

    Not to discourage you, but are you SURE you want to give up a good state job for, well, essentially the same thing, that probably pays less, and is only temporary? Just sayin’.

    It would probably depend. Money is tight at the state government level and it doesn’t pay what it used to. I make ~40k which is less then what someone who does what I do would make in the private sector. I’m working on a 2nd bachelors in computer science part time right now so I’m not planning on staying at this job forever. Taking a year or two to cross something off of my bucket list (as long as the pay is not outrageously different) would be fine with me 🙂

    #11510
    Iceman
    Member

    @TheORKINMan wrote:

    I make ~40k which is less then what someone who does what I do would make in the private sector.

    I don’t know what GHG is going to be paying the PC techs, Sys Admins or Network Admins with the new ASC. But if they pay what Lockheed did, you will be making more per week than your current job, not necessarily more per hour since you work 54 hours/week down there. So I say go for it, if you were making like $55k to $60k in your current job, I would say stay there.

    #11511
    TheORKINMan
    Participant

    @Iceman wrote:

    @TheORKINMan wrote:

    I make ~40k which is less then what someone who does what I do would make in the private sector.

    I don’t know what GHG is going to be paying the PC techs, Sys Admins or Network Admins with the new ASC. But if they pay what Lockheed did, you will be making more per week than your current job, not necessarily more per hour since you work 54 hours/week down there. So I say go for it, if you were making like $55k to $60k in your current job, I would say stay there.

    Yeah this job used to pay a lot more. 5+ years of not even a cost of living raise + thousands of jobs laid off + 5% reduction in pay for all employees due to budget cuts/crises in this economy is why it’s that much lower then the private sector. The GHG site is very sparse on what they are looking for as far as certifications etc… Do you guys know what they use for their network down there?(Cisco/Juniper etc…)

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.