Information Technology jobs require social interaction...

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JayCat
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16 Aug 2011, 4:53 am

Does anyone else have the belief that IT is not exactly aspergers friendly.

Mostly IT positions begin with Level 1 tech support. This requires a lot of client contact, as well as the need to confront office politics and potentially hearing others around you.

The other problem is that tech support is a implicit requirement that most recruiters will search for...

Is it really possible to get a junior developer position or is it just nonsense when everyone else has tech support experience?



BTDT
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16 Aug 2011, 8:27 am

I don't know about Australia, but in the USA starting at the bottom and working your way up is the exception, not the rule these days.

What you are seeing is that there is a high demand for tech support workers--there aren't many folks who can do that well--language and social issues, lack of technical competence, and so forth.

But, there is a lot of competition for developer type positions that don't require any social interaction, because those jobs pay more and most tech types would rather have those jobs. But, Aspies have an advantage because we can do this sort of work to a much higher quality standard than NTs.

So, I'd forget about tech support and concentrate on developing a portfolio that shows you can do developer type work. Sort of like the difference between wedding photography and product photography--an employer may be willing to overlook your social issues if you can take pictures of things like jewelry and glass.



kahlua
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18 Aug 2011, 6:22 am

I work in IT in Aus..... Started out as a programmer in a cubicle but I didn't like fixing other people's code all the time. However there was very little social interaction as a programmer, but if you're working at a client site, you still need the small talk and pleasantries crap.........



peterd
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19 Aug 2011, 5:59 am

It's a relationship sort of thing. Can you work through your local autism support organisation to find a sympathetic organisation that might need a trainee programmer? That's the way in.

I started as a programmer back in the sixties, and haven't managed to break out of it yet. Still, it was well into the noughties before I knew I was autistic.



LostInEmulation
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19 Aug 2011, 9:33 am

I was invited to interviews for programming jobs despite no tech support experience. Though that was in Germany. Still ended up in technical support (and despite my initial fears actually like it (Level 1 more than Level 2) enough that I could imagine doing it several years long). Technical support is actually quite well for aspies because the interaction is very scripted (and stimming is not a problem).


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gc1ceo
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19 Aug 2011, 4:26 pm

Tech support worked ok for me if the client was intelligent enough and non-threatening but I'd have real trouble when that situation changed or if they would argue with me over what level of tech support I should give. For example one elderly client thought I should be willing to leave my workplace and find a way to her house to help her with odds and ends because she had purchased purchase a basic tech support plan for her computer. She got very hostile with me and I basically had to have my manager deal with her, which wasn't my manager's job per say. I don't think my manager at the time was very pleased with having to handle it.



IkeSiCwan
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20 Aug 2011, 6:51 pm

I am an IT Nerd. I was selfemployed doing my own little company (one man show as a IT technician and salesman), I did 1. level as a freelancer as well. I was the one for 5 to 240V IT and automatic vending machines technician for 2 years. Now I did some further business IT training gaining some MCTS certs, hope to get my MCITP soon and just got a new job as a full time IT Supporter at Robert Half, will do that job at Iron Mountain Germany site. So that will basicly be 1. to 3. Level, most 1. und 2. just for 2 month, will see what will come next afterward, what I will get next.

Yes, I hate doing 1. Level, telling employees how to operate Outlook, reset their ADS password, help with printer problems or whatever. Most problems are avoidable with better company IT tools training for the employees... but ok, I will do it, I did it already and it gets me some money paying my bills and stuff. I am more for Server Administration, but will not get such a job so easiely because I do not have so much work experience with server. But I am a skilled certified nerd and how can I possibly get experience without companies giving me such jobs?

Yes, this social interaction on the phone is not my strongest skill, because I hate to give a incident or call off to other departments. I wanna solve every problem, even when it would take me too long or would need me to leave my desk for it. That's because I had to exactly do this as I was doing my own company. Customers called me and I had to do everything alone. Same goes with my last job where I had to improvise soving issues because every customer was different and most of the problems as well. Working with the customers employees on the phone solving the problems was first to overcome their lack of knowedge about the internals and the IT stuff and and and so on. Getting others to cooperate remotely is not easy. There is a problem and I have to fix it. They thought that's what I had to do and not telling them how to do it theirselfs. Well being some hundred miles away in my office, I had to tell them what to do. So I was even the one who had to give them some training after installing the vending machines about how to manage upcoming problems or how to check what is going on when something does not work as it should. Often the workers of the company jamed the machines and the tool crib employees had to solve that with my help on the phone.

So, I hated to do this, because the social interacting part of this job was very stressfull to me. I like very much more working with servers, administrating and building GPOs and configure and so on. When a network and the servers are configured right, their is not so much room for human errors anymore. That's what I love about IT! The better is was planed and projected and configured, the better it works without the employees being able to screw it up. Only changes withing the infrastructure and hardware failures wil need special attention. In order to find the problem and the source of it, you have to know the whole system and structure, finding your way through it, finding the weak points and the errors, fixing them and at the same time improving the system.

So, there is the client PCs and the client users and there is the network and servers and stuff. Two worlds. The one is 1. and 2. Level Support with much social interaction and the other is 3. and 4. Level IT administration, programming and management. I have had my time in the human side of it, my goal is to get a job in the other more specialised part. More special knowledge and skills, but much less human interaction!


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- Aspie score: 161 of 200
- Neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 57 of 200
I am an IT and Aviation Nerd!
- Asperger diagnosis / Autism spectrum diagnosis official 04/2016
- self diagnosis 2008


Eternal_Enigma
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19 Oct 2019, 7:18 pm

Totally agree! I went back to school with the hopes of not having a lot of interaction with people. Now all I do is talk to clients and fix their issues. What ever happened to the typical nerdy computer science people who were expected to be bad at communicating. Now it seems IT in general is the cool new thing that everyone wants to do because they know Word.



Canary
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29 Oct 2019, 4:41 pm

I think it's semi-friendly but not ideal in most cases. I find that social interaction is okay when it's goal-based (person needs x) and I have a lot of control over how to meet that goal. What throws me off is office politics, being uncertain what's expected of me, being given the wrong infornation by co-workers who I depend on to do my job. I currently work a position with a nonprofit where I'm around people all day unless I can find someplace quiet to sneak off to. All social interaction isn't equal and some is very easy to have a mental script or canned responses for.



Eternal_Enigma
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03 Nov 2019, 12:25 pm

Canary wrote:
I think it's semi-friendly but not ideal in most cases. I find that social interaction is okay when it's goal-based (person needs x) and I have a lot of control over how to meet that goal. What throws me off is office politics, being uncertain what's expected of me, being given the wrong infornation by co-workers who I depend on to do my job. I currently work a position with a nonprofit where I'm around people all day unless I can find someplace quiet to sneak off to. All social interaction isn't equal and some is very easy to have a mental script or canned responses for.


It's good you found somewhere to sneak off to. :D Social interaction..... :roll: