Meet the Team: Allan Buchan

Name: Allan Buchan

Department: Support

Job title: (our first!) Junior System Administrator

Random fact about you: I enjoy growing super-hot chilies (and foolishly eating them!)

Also, I’m naturally better at a South African accent than Dutch – even after living in Holland for a year!

In a nutshell, describe your role at Bytemark?

So, in a nutshell, I work in the Support team as a Junior System Administrator resolving daily tickets through our ticketing system.

I’m responsible for helping the rest of the support team with call quality. I gained valuable skills from previous employment which influenced my ‘framework for continual improvement in phone techniques’. I have trained my fellow team on this framework and continuously monitor and share feedback to improve the way we handle our customer’s calls.

I also stretch myself on a more technical element, helping customers with administration of their Linux servers, whether that’s Apache, MySQL or PHP.

I’m always looking to learn new things, so I sometimes lean on the experiences of my fellow colleagues for this.

How did you end up in this career path?

I used to work in Project Management for a bank.

It was feast or famine – either very short days or extremely long – in some cases I was doing 18-hour days.

This made me realised I wanted a career in an area that I loved and was passionate about.

From then I spent hours and hours home learning; researching Linux and gaining a Networking certification with CompTIA.

Following my certification, I secured my first support role with Sky, where I stayed for 2 years and expanded my support experience.

I feel very lucky with my role at Bytemark, all my previous roles have been down to my extensive experience – never something that I loved. I never dreamt that I could do what I enjoyed doing in my spare time as a job.

What does a typical day look like for you?

A typical day for me is dealing with the various tickets we get here at Bytemark and also helping our customers on the phone.

The whole support team, from York and Manchester partake in a daily morning stand-up through Zoom. We spend this time collaborating as a team discussing what we are working on, any issues/barriers we are experiencing and advise (if we can) on how to eliminate them.

What do you find most challenging/interesting about your work?

I believe every day is another opportunity to learn something new. Which is why it’s so great to have the opportunity for occasional study days. I tend to use mine to learn new/keep up-to-date with Linux – it’s so fascinating!

On the other hand, the most challenging part about Linux is that there is so much to learn.  You can easily forget something if you don’t regularly put it into practice.

What is the one skill you would like to learn in the next year?

I’d like to become an effective member of the team. My aim is to become a full-blown System Administrator. This may mean learning a programming language, for example Python, as I’ve been told it’s a good place to start. Something like Bash would also be useful for my job.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I am a ‘regular’ gym goer. I also like to eat extremely spicy foods and see if I can survive at the end of it.

What is your current favourite website?

Really boring, but I seriously couldn’t live without YouTube for all the gym videos. But if I had to pick a techy one, I would probably say bleepingcomputer.com