Hello. My name is Shan Noyes. I'm a Technical Analyst with
Advance Interactive Solutions which is a part of SaskTel. Our
group was formed a year and a half ago and our main focus is
working with the Internet.
I've always been interested in computers and
I was working in ITM at SaskTel and in 1995
when SaskTel started to offer Internet access
- I worked with the group on the help desk.
When Advance Interactive Solutions was formed
and all the Internet access stuff was moved
down there, I really wanted to move with them
so I bid on a job and came down here a year
[Education & Training:]
To be a Technical Analyst here at SaskTel
they are looking for a degree; whether it be
a Computer Science degree, a degree in a related
field or a number of years of experience (up
to five years of experience) without an educational
background working with computers and stuff
[Decision To Enter This Particular Occupation:]
I got into the computer field because I was
interested in it. It's a challenge and I find
it very rewarding to work with solving problems.
We work a lot with customers here at Advance
Interactive Solutions. It's very rewarding
to work with people, solve their problems and
get them going.
[Leadership & Teamwork Skills:]
As a Technical Analyst, probably one of the
most important things is leadership ability.
You've got to be able to get out there and
have initiative to keep up with what's going
on in the industry of technology. You're looking
at new trends and stuff like that so you have
to be able to work on your own, especially
down here in AIS. We have Technical Assistants
- who are a lower classification - working
with us and so we have to work with them, help
them out, put stuff together and solve problems
for them. We also have a twenty-four hour,
seven-day a week help desk for customers using
the Internet. So if they have troubles they
phone in to the help desk to get help and if
our help desk can't answer the issues that
are raised, or things like that, then they
come to us and we will solve the problems.
So teamwork is very important because we're
very busy - all of us. We have to be able to
help each other out.
[Hours Of Work:]
You don't walk in and say, "Okay. These
are the tasks I'm going to do today. I’ll
walk in at 8:00 am and at 5:00 pm I'm done
for the day". In our jobs there may be
some things you have planned to do but if something
happens on the Internet, something breaks or
a customer phones with a difficulty then our
priority is to work with that customer and
solve their problems because customers are
our business and without them we wouldn't have
[Skills & Ongoing Training:]
Trying to keep current is an on-going struggle.
It's up to you to read the rag magazines out
there or do searches and stuff on the Internet.
I primarily do all my stuff on-line (being
visually impaired). So that's one way to keep
current. Some of it falls on our shoulders
- keep reading stuff on the Internet, keeping
up with trends that way. We also attend courses
sometimes if it will help us out. As a matter
of fact, I just finished three courses.
[My typical day started with:]
I walked into the office at 7:00 o'clock in
the morning (came to get a few things cleaned
up before the onslaught started) and the phone
started ringing. Well, I got through everything,
and the other things I had planned for the
day I never did get to because a bunch of customers
had a few issues that came up. So I was working
on solving their problems, consulting with
them and advising them how to fix the things
that weren't working for them.
A typical day is customer focused and beyond
that the other thing that's consistent is change.
You've got to be willing to adapt to change
all the time.
[The most challenging and the most rewarding
working with the customer and say they're
having a bad day (and they're just very negative).
And then when you work with them and solve
their problem you see them come around and
say, "Hey! Thanks. That's great." I
think that's the most rewarding and it's also
the most challenging.
I think the most challenging thing is being
able to be flexible in our jobs. So you're
doing something one moment, and working with
the team or helping each other out the next.
I guess that's the most challenging part and
the most rewarding.
[Advice For Someone Entering This Field Of
Get your university or post-secondary education.
The other thing is to realize that the computer
industry is not for everybody. You've got to
look at yourself and say, "Okay, do I
want to? Do I like change (especially in my
area)? Do I like the challenge of constantly
learning something". If you like that
kind of stuff then I would say focus your goals
on getting to that point. You'll do fine in
the technical work that I do.