Stepping up skills through Continual Improvement – The Bobcares way
“Boss, I’m done. I can solve all support issues that come to my queue. I know cPanel, Apache, and Qmail. I feel that there is no more challenge in work”. That was me, speaking to my boss after working as a support engineer in Bobcares for one year. His response was,
“Do you challenge yourself ? If you solved an Apache issue in 30 minutes yesterday, try to solve it in 15 minutes today and in 5 minutes tomorrow. If you gave the same solution to two tickets that came to your queue today, your success lies in making sure that such a support ticket does not come in again. If you solved 50 issues in 8 hours yesterday, you should be able to solve 55 today. Technical support is an interesting job, provided, you challenge yourself on a daily basis.”
That was an eye opener for me. Ever since that day, I started viewing my job from a different perspective. The next 7 years in this field taught me that, what I actually knew was only a small portion of this vast industry. And to add to it, there are always regular updates to the existing technologies. All these throw in a lot of challenges to the job of a technical support engineer. It is a necessity for every tech to constantly and continually innovate and improve himself, so that he is kept abreast with the latest technologies in this ever growing industry.
When Bobcares got certified by AQA for ISO 9001:2000 compliance, the phrase “Continual Improvement” became a part and parcel of our daily vocabulary. We have a lot of initiatives taken within the company to make our systems better and more scalable on a regular basis. We have also brought in a lot of measures that are committed towards the continual improvement of each and every employee.
We do have a very comprehensive training system in the company. Our inhouse initiative, “BigBang”, is a continual corporate training program which helps us in enhancing the skill levels of all our techs. Bigbang makes sure that all the techs are well versed in the latest technologies and developments in the industry.
The training is provided through seminars and workshops with some of the workshops lasting for few days. Each training session is taken by experts in the particular technology. The effectiveness of the training session is verified at the end of each session, by conducting exams, debugging sessions, interviews and assignments.
I remember one of our customers asking why his tech should be sent for a training in virutalisation, when he did not even provide virtualisation plans. It took us some time to convince him about the benefits. His initial hesitance changed to delight when his tech returned to the team with new skills. The end result is that his company is now also providing virtualisation packages to the customers.
Performance Evaluation(PE) was primarily implemented for evaluation purpose. We also use the PE to set challenges for the employees. The expectations when set in a SMART way, helps the support engineers to reach for higher levels. A person good in communication explores international opportunities in demonstrating his skills. Another person good in the security aspects of our industry is urged to come out with a comprehensive solution to help webhosts. Over the years, we have seen that the performance of each of our techs have gone up on a regular basis.
When challenges are set, it also helps in expanding the perspective of a tech. For a typical hosting related technical issue, they learn multiple solutions to help the customer. This helps them to deliver service that always delights our customers. They also become capable of providing consultancy to webhosts on topics ranging from performance tweaking of Apache to virtualisation and cloud computing.
We believe that the growth of Bobcares is directly linked to the growth of each individual who makes up the organization. That’s why we implement systems at Bobcares that helps the techs to improve themselves and not just to become better techs but also to become a better individual. The small steps initiated has already shown dramatic results which guides us to challenge ourself more.
I would not be surprised if one day our techs bring a Nobel Prize to office. May be it’ll take time, but its definitely a good challenge worth pursuing.
About the Author:
Sojish Krishnan, Sr. Engineer at Bobcares.com is an Executive Team Member. Sojish has worked in Bobcares for over five years and is a passionate advocate of superior Customer support. He graduated Bachelors in Computer Science in 2001. He is also a speaker in conferences related to the Web Hosting industry. Sojish loves to play table tennis, and also possess a never-ending desire towards biking.