Becoming a Problem Solving Tech

Tactful Tech is the project that helps you learn IT skills. You really should learn about the stuff you use everyday. Save time, make yourself feel awesome, and learn something new by becoming tech savvy. This is especially important if you offer tech support!

Some of What You Need to Know

Laptop and Desktop Repair

Sometimes good tech goes bad. You need to know how to diagnose issues and work with manufacturers and their RMA process.

Malware Removal

This category includes viruses, spyware, adware, and more. Sometimes users accidentally install this garbage. Most of the time it's on purpose because they choose shady applications. 

Data Recovery and Backup Plan

You can't always recover deleted data but you can try. Most of the time stuff goes out and data isn't recoverable. Make sure to stress the importance of backups.

Network Support

You'll most likely be supporting wireless connectivity but it also helps to understand how to terminate ends if you have to run cable. Cable management a plus.

Mobile Device Support

Email and wireless will be huge here. There will be general application support but the big issue now is EMM (MDM) usage and support.

Cybersecurity

This category encompasses so many things. You'll run into this with basic support to accounts, antivirus, filters, system availability, VPNs, and more!

There's so Much to be Excited About

You don't have to be a tech for the rest of your life. IT and even cybersecurity are such broad fields.

 

There are many pivot points and so much stuff to manage!

 

If you don't have a clear path or even have a tech job yet, volunteer or freelance! I did this as side husles and even in gaps in employement.

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Tactful Tech Articles

Linux Common Log File Locations

Linux Common Log File Locations

This post contains the Linux common log file locations and what they log. Linux Common Log File Locations Authentication info - auth.log Boot info - boot.log Scheduled cron tasks - crond Daemon specific alerts like, dhcpd, gnome-session, ntfs-3g - daemon.log Kernal...

Windows Cannot Access The Specified Device, Path, Or File

Windows Cannot Access The Specified Device, Path, Or File

Full error message is "Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file.  You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item." I've seen this error mostly on Windows 2003 Server and Windows Home Server. Right click on executable Go to Properties...

Windows Change Password From Command Line

Windows Change Password From Command Line

If you are already logged into your account and you need to change a user's password, you can change password from command line. Open the command prompt Type net user ACCOUNTNAME PASSWORD and hit 'enter' Additional Information You'll need administrator privileges and...

Troubleshooting Bizarre Windows Laptop Errors

Troubleshooting Bizarre Windows Laptop Errors

Sometimes things get dislodged and cause bizarre Windows laptop errors. If you have a laptop that is not letting you log in or is exhibiting other weird errors, such as display errors, try the following: Restart the laptop and try again. Turn off the laptop. Remove...

Windows 7 Install Process – Step by Step

Windows 7 Install Process – Step by Step

The Windows 7 install process isn't that bad. It's a lot more compatible with hardware than Vista was. It still may run you for a loop if you live and die by XP though. Here is a quick, checklist style guide on how I installed WIndows 7: Go into BIOS – 'Del' on my...

Waiting For sidebar.exe – Can't Shut Down

Waiting For sidebar.exe – Can't Shut Down

Windows Vista and 7 have a safety feature to safely shutdown running programs, so if your sidebar is running you may see - Waiting for sidebar.exe. The rest of the annoying prompt is - This program is preventing Windows from shutting down. The best method to get your...

Discover Your Favorite Tasks

Even though techs are deemed generalists, you can still find stuff to specialize in. You'll naturally gravitate to things anyway.

My favorite aspect was working with hardware – desktops, laptops, servers, and network devices. I love tech and could tinker with the hardware all day.

You Still Have Other Obligations

Unfortunately you can't spend all your time doing what you love. You still have to meet the needs of the department and overall business.

Learn to become a people person if you aren't becoming one already. This is the biggest lesson in being a Tactful Tech. Learn to talk to anyone and learn to love people! Don't get too swept up by tech or coding.

Invest in Yourself

Education doesn't stop after college and experience isn't the only thing that matters out there.

Keep up with learning by using learning platforms such as Udemy, Skillshare, LinkedIn Learning, and CBT Nuggets.

You're not done when you get that course certificate though. Prove you're ready to use your new knowledge and put yourself out there.

What Employers Are Looking For

No matter how great you are at your technical skill set, if you can’t play nicely, then you won’t last long. Boost your collaboration credibility by seeking out opportunities to work in a group environment, especially cross-functional teams.
Donavan McDonald

President, Belcan TechServices

Strengthening a soft skill is one of the best investments you can make in your career, as they never go out of style. Plus, the rise of AI is only making soft skills increasingly important, as they are precisely the type of skills robots can’t automate.
Paul Petrone

Editor, LinkedIn Learning

We actually value skills over experience in the grand scheme of things. Apply if you have the relevant skills even if you don’t have the right experience, because we’re looking underneath the surface for what’s really going to matter here and that’s what skills you can bring to the table.
Janelle Gale

VP of HR, Facebook

Critical thinking, intellectual curiosity, and problem solving are a must as companies continue to blur the lines between business and IT.
Michelle Wingard

Co-founder, Dynamo

Potential Tactful Tech Topic Sources

It's quite a challenge coming up with everything you'll see in IT. Listed below are some of the things I could think of that I've gone through as a tech. At some point I'll most likely write about these topics.

Dealing with enterprise customer service from places like IBM

Are you productive or just busy?

The joys of email spam filtering

Browser and operating systems usage stats

Limitations with local network and internet connection speeds

Administration of and blocking against P2P and other unauthorized file sharing programs

Dealing with firewall and VPN issues

Having spares

Are floppies still obsolete?

Keeping a virtual toolbox

Stay hydrated and move, desk jockey

What to do when you don't know the answer

Dealing with staff who are just plain wrong

Finding jobs and dealing with relocation and other steps

Becoming aware of server functions and potential issues

Getting industry certifications and whether they actually help

Terminating an RJ-45 cable manually and with tools

The importance of backing up data

What to do when you make a big mistake

People should be grateful, but most are not

Best ways to use your ondemand tech skills in a side hustle

Keeping stations and machines clean

Dealing with users who've forgotten their passwords

Managing ID badging systems

List of commonly failed hard drives

Take charge of file locations

Rapidly deploying new tech

Starting education versus experience

Working with less skilled co-workers

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