By Joshua Lucero
In today’s ever-changing world of technology, Information Technology specialists are constantly dealing with the hardware and software that process, store, and transmit information for companies, schools, and governments all over the world.
Curry County IT director Aaron Jones and technology specialist Cedrick Rael answered a few questions about the job they handle everyday.
• The IT department maintains systems vital to county functions. IT is responsible for maintaining financial systems, communication systems, websites, phone systems, and camera systems. “If it has buttons and plugs in we eventually get called on it.” said Jones.
• Even the IT guys get stumped sometimes. Jones said the county’s IT department has good relationships with other IT specialists in the area and will request help if there is an issue they are having trouble with. If they can’t fix the problem that way, a Google search combined with their knowledge of the systems they are working on will provide a solution to resolve any problem they may face on the job. Jones joked, “Google knows everything.”
• The department has around 110 computers on the network and roughly 100 other connected devices. “By the time you add in cameras, switches, printers, the whole nine, we’re probably at around 200 connected devices.” Jones said.
• When breaking down a computer, what’s inside can occasionally be a surprise. Before Rael worked for the county he had a strange experience when he opened up an overheating computer during a house call. Rael elaborated, “..bugs had actually gotten into the processor and clogged it up by getting chopped up, it’s kind of gross. Cleaning that was not fun, it was probably one of the worst things I’ve had to do.”
• The IT world is a diverse environment. Budgets and the expertise of technology specialists determine the way an IT department functions and the frequency of hardware updates. Some technology departments with large budgets have a large staff capable of keeping a cutting edge system running, while others have smaller budgets and must accomplish their goals with older equipment and fewer specialists. The county has a two man IT department that uses the Windows operating system for all of its connected devices. Jones said most of the devices are between two and three years old. “You don’t want to be cutting edge, you get out there on a limb and you get ahead of what you’re capable of supporting, it creates headaches for yourself.” said Jones.