What's the Secret To Being a Good Network Administrator?

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Edwin Gonzalez, Network and Computer systems administrator
Edwin Gonzalez loves how he can make an impact with technology. (Credit: Courtesy Edwin Gonzalez)

Edwin Gonzalez loves working with new technology, but he says the real secret to doing well in his line of work has more to do with people than computers.

The 27-year-old has worked at TAIT in Lititz, Pennsylvania, for two years as a network administrator and IT project manager.

Why did you get into network and computer systems? Did you always want to do this?

I have always been passionate and interested about technology but never really knew anything about computers until I enrolled at Berks Technical Institute (BTI) in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. BTI was an instrumental stepping stone in my career. It provided me with exactly what I needed – an accelerated path to the world of IT (information technology) and access to hands-on learning.

What does a typical day look like?

As an IT project manager at TAIT, I support computer systems all over the world in different time zones. I always check my phone as soon as I wake up to make sure things are running smoothly. After I get settled in, I participate in a daily stand-up meeting to check in with my team, provide status updates, and next steps on projects I am working on. After the meeting, the fun begins. I could be helping someone with a problem they have, writing a report in SQL or training a group of people on how to leverage technology to make their lives easier.

What do you like most about your job? 

Playing around with new technology is always fun – I like shiny toys! However, using technology to make an impact is the most rewarding part of my job.

And least?

Printers are the bane of my existence. Save the trees! I am a very eco-conscious person, and so that piece of the business really frustrates me. Printing is a monumental waste of time and energy. As a citizen of the world, it’s so frustrating that I have to deal with printer paper jams.

What’s the most common misconception about being a network administrator?

If an IT pro administers a software solution, they’re also an expert in how to use it.

What do you wish you knew about the job before you got into it?

The importance of building strong relationships — and finding a mentor. The fastest way to learn and grow is through the experience of others who are willing to share. Mentors don’t have to be bosses or managers, but I always picked people who I consider great leaders as my mentors.

How did you train to become a network administrator?

Education and certifications are the first step of training, however, you have to be a student of the game forever. I don’t have all the answers, however, I have the technical aptitude and can-do attitude to solve any challenge that is presented – this is key to your success as a professional.

What personality traits or qualities would make someone a good fit for this job?

The ability to adapt, communicate effectively and having an interest in learning are all important qualities for success in IT.

Where do you see yourself in five to 10 years?

I see myself continuing to make an impact within my industry. The overall goal is to deliver value with innovative ideas and creative solutions. I believe the key to success lies in agility and the ability to proactively respond to market changes. 

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