Today is my second last day as a Support Engineer for Notes/Domino.
Out of my nineteen years or so in IBM, eight of them were spent in Level 2 support. When I first entered into the role, I had the mistaken belief that many others do (in and out of IBM!). In that it would be a call center reading a script. I couldn’t have been more further than the truth.
Apart from the massive amounts of training in several product areas, you also got trained on how to deal with people. Something you don’t realise you need until you do it. ;)
At the time of joining as well, it was quite common for support engineers to move into new roles after three years. So some of the training focused on making sure when you do move, you set a standard and expectation that is expected by customers.
In the day-to-day stuff, you are dealing with stressed customers, complex technical issues, keeping everything progressing and focusing on the product knowledge for the customer. This meant writing tech notes, wiki articles, videos, open Mics, etc. You are also reviewing issues for development to investigate in future releases. As well as new features coming down the line (training & supporting).
The job I found is extremely fun and technically challenging. Which is why I have stayed for so long.
However I have followed the Watson technology for a number of years, and it’s great that a role opened up that I actually get paid to use the technology. :) So come Monday I will move into my new role in Watson.
While I have met many people from Level 1 to Level 3 across the world, AVL’s and customers. I believe the ones I miss the most is the customers. The Appdev customer community is very well established and I would often work with names you see showing up on Planet Lotus, OpenNTF, StackOverflow. While I have never had a serious issue with any customer, there are some customers that stand out.
Dealing with them is a “breath of fresh air”. They knew what to expect. So you would often get a well designed test case/sample which not only reproduces the issue but would often explain all the alternate workarounds tried, etc. In some cases some of these customers have shaped some of the features you see today in Notes/Domino.
I’m not allowed mention names in PMRs publicly, but I am sure they know who they are. :)
Anyway I wanted to say it’s been awesome, and I hope it stays awesome for everyone!