Roy - The New Team
Hello, Roy here. Frederica, Colson, and I are the newest members to the Jones IT family, but we bring a lot to the table. Each of us comes from vastly different industries, which gives us each our own unique approach to solving problems.
Frederica has worn a couple hats over the years. She’s been a marketer in finance, researched for a non-profit organization, and even coached basketball. She has the drive to see each task through to the very end, and her determination to get IT done is nothing short of amazing. Frederica has already become the primary technician for a number of clients, and there’s a good reason for that - she works hard! Despite all that’s on her plate, she manages to find time to study for her CompTIA A+ exam AND spearhead our blogging initiative. Needless to say, we are all confident that the exam is just another challenge she’ll knock out of the park.
Secret weapon: Frederica can sing! You never know if you’ll get an impromptu concert complete with Drake-level dance moves while she’s working with you.
Colson is one smart cookie. Of the three of us, he is the first to have earned his CompTIA A+ certification, and he’s studying hard for more certifications as I write. Colson’s brain is a well-oiled machine. He is extremely analytical and is always thinking about the next step. Having come from a customer service background, he brings a personal touch to everything he does. Whether Colson is troubleshooting scanner problems or getting a laptop back to normal after a virus infection, he ensures the user is completely satisfied with the results. Colson isn’t one to just get the job done. He completely owns IT.
Secret weapon: Colson is pretty big into fantasy football. Unless you’re in the same league, you may get lucky and receive some nice starting lineup advice.
I came to Jones IT with a few years of IT under my belt. I supported 300+ users during my time with a construction company and 80,000+ users when I was part of the help desk for an international pharmaceutical company. I’ve earned my CompTIA A+ certification, and am also a Microsoft Certified IT Professional and Apple Certified Support Professional. Despite my experience in the field, I would still say that my biggest asset here is flexibility. If you have a problem, but can’t afford to be without a computer until a certain time, we can work something out. Something needs urgent attention? No worries, I got you! I also like to make IT easy, or at least easy to understand. I enjoy talking about technical issues in everyday language. There is no need to make things even more complicated with technical jargon.
Secret weapon: Electronic music recommendations! I’m a huge fan of the genre and I bet you my Technics vinyl player I can find something new for you.
What I have learned in my first few months here is that although we have different strengths, what we all have in common is a passion for providing exceptional customer service while taking care of your IT needs. We pride ourselves in being atypical IT technicians. We enjoy interacting with our clients, and we’ll always give you service with a smile!
Colson - A Day in the Life
My day at Jones IT begins like a typical office job. I brew coffee, grab some yogurt, and get comfortable at my desk before beginning work. Yet that’s where the similarities end. My day tends to pass by in a flash because of the sheer variety of things I do in a day. The first order of business is to go through our ticketing software where each of the customer requests I have to tackle for the day is laid out before me. Every problem is a bit different. The main challenge is to solve them and do so in an efficient manner. I then run through a mental checklist – When was the last time I updated this customer on the status of the ticket? Can I close a ticket out by solving the issue remotely? Will this issue require an onsite visit?
Doing this at the beginning of the day can help me set expectations not only with myself, but also with the client. In between assisting customers with technical problems I find the time to study for my next certification exam. Luckily I have a lot of flexibility in my schedule and Jones IT gives me a lot of freedom (and encouragement!) to learn beyond the scope of my work.
I know it sounds like Jones IT is all about business, and we are. We love to make our customers happy. However, we’re also all about having a good time and knowing when to wind down with a cold beer. We have a ping pong table that gets used daily, though there is no question who holds the title of best player. Hint: It’s Sarang, our network engineer. He even plays on a competitive team in San Jose. The gang here is pretty funny and it’s easy to get a good conversation going with any of my team members. At any time of day there can be an epic ping pong battle going down to the slick verses of Tupac songs flowing through the speakers of our Sonos system. The ground floor can sometimes get a bit crazy, but I can always escape upstairs to the lounge to study or watch the game on our enormous couch if I need quiet.
Needless to say, we like to work hard at Jones IT. But we also like to have fun, and there is an extremely important balance that must be found. Luckily, that balance is not only understood by the company, but they ensure that each one of us employees understands that as well. I am lucky enough to have the fantastic opportunity to grow and expand my technical knowledge while working alongside great people.
Frederica - Journey to Jones IT
After college I stayed in the Bay Area, which meant that a lot of my friends had jobs in the tech industry. I wanted to work in tech at various times in my life, but the more I talked to my friends about their jobs, the more I felt like it wasn’t for me.
First there were the friends that seemed to absolutely love their jobs. These folks are also the type that thrive on 4 hours of sleep each night and pick up difficult hobbies such as learning Mandarin in their, “spare time.” While certainly inspiring, these friends represent an unattainable lifestyle for me at this time.
On the other end of the spectrum were a surprisingly large group of friends that hated their experiences in tech companies and were not afraid to vent about it. They were low-level programmers thrown to the wolves and forced to become full-stack well before they were ready. They were people who had been in the industry far too long. They were people that simply realized the tech industry wasn’t fulfilling for them and they couldn’t bear stay the course for the rest of their lives. I felt burnt out just talking to them.
The opinions that scared me most were from friends who sounded optimistic about their positions while giving me a sneaking suspicion that their frantic evangelizing hid some contractual obligation to sound enthusiastic. I worried about some of the souls I met in tech.
After all of my field research, I decided that marketing was a better fit. I used my background in photography and research to land a position at a nice financial investment advisory firm in downtown Oakland. I felt like I had found something I was good at and was truly helping a company that needed guidance. I got to the point where I knew what I was doing and saw a solid future in marketing. I was at that company for just a year, however, when I learned something incredibly valuable: be prepared in life and never get too comfortable! I unexpectedly lost my job and I was back at square one.
I reconsidered the tech industry.
I talked to more friends in tech, and even spoke with their friends. I realized that all of these people had some key traits in common: they worked at bigshot tech companies featured in Wired and had majored in computer science or engineering. Furthermore, they all happened to be men. As a gal holding a philosophy degree from Cal with a variety of skills, I had a hard time figuring out what to focus on in order to stand out to employers. I learned that not having a specific skillset focus is frowned upon in the tech world.
Yet, I wondered what my adult self was afraid of when I recalled that my very first job was in tech. My middle school history teacher used to lead a team of students, including myself, in crusades to fix computers around the school. At the time this could mean a solution as simple as removing a colorful magnet from the principal’s monitor to fix a blurry screen. I spent countless hours taking apart old computer towers just to see all the fascinating components working together in a dusty metal shell.
Memories of my much more nerdy past self prompted me to respond to a Facebook post calling for new recruits at Jones IT. I hesitated for a moment when I thought of the neckbeards with whom I presumed I’d be working with. I imagined them proudly sporting their hairy rolls and spouting profanity-laden sexisms fresh off 4chan. I was afraid that as much as I had worked on my boundaries in life, nothing could prepare me for that sort of scene.
My assumptions were broken as I read the ad for Jones IT and laughed aloud at this one glimmer of hope in a sea of depressingly generic ads. I applied right away and hoped that I could get my foot in the door to prove myself in the elusive tech industry.
In the first few days on the job I was struck by the variety of companies we serve at Jones IT. There were the obvious calls from people that didn’t know where the power button is located, but also a surprising number of engineers that probably dream in code but might not necessarily have the time or specific knowledge required to fix a router.
As I have settled down into my work here I’ve noticed one of the most important keys to our success as a team is our boss, Evan. The CEO sets the tone for the company and this is especially true for Jones IT. Evan is a master of the craft with a teaching style that rivals Berkeley professors. He leads the crew with a pervasive Zen-like calm that rubs off on all of us and results in a supportive culture in which I’m happy to come to work.
Thanks to this job, my perception of the tech industry is changing, in large part because I am a component of the movement. Jones IT is changing the image of the IT person and I am stoked to be part of it.
As a part of the San Francisco business ecosystem, we believe it’s important for our customers to know who they are working with. We hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about the Jones IT crew and we would love to hear from you. As always, we are here to listen and lend a hand.