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[ale] Let's draft a support personnel competency test! [was: Avent and whine - ignore with dignity]



Hell I'd be happy if they could just answer yes to the question:
"Do you have access to the manual for this crappy piece of equipment you
sent me?"  
Of course then I'd have to follow up by asking if they knew how to
read...

-----Original Message-----
From: ale-bounces at ale.org [mailto:ale-bounces at ale.org] On Behalf Of
Byron Jeff
Sent: Monday, June 21, 2010 2:59 PM
To: Atlanta Linux Enthusiasts - Yes! We run Linux!
Subject: Re: [ale] Let's draft a support personnel competency test!
[was: Avent and whine - ignore with dignity]

Ah. I'll play just for funsies.

BTW while you not bother with the first tier of support, or possibly
even
the second, you also have to be prepared to answer everything in their
script. For example with Comcast I start with already rebooting the box,
releasing DHCP, and the like.

On Mon, Jun 21, 2010 at 01:46:34PM -0400, Michael B. Trausch wrote:
> On Mon, 2010-06-21 at 13:30 -0400, Richard Bronosky wrote:
> > I would like to draft a list of ~5-10 questions that could be used
to
> > pre-screen (like you would to a job applicant) your support
> > technician. If they fail, you say "I'm sorry but you do not appear
to
> > be qualified to handle my support requirements, please transfer me
to
> > the next tier of support." I don't know how well it would work, but
it
> > would be a fun exercise. We just may end up creating a new meme in
the
> > process.
> > 
> > Here is my v0.1 draft:
> > 1. An IPv4 address is composed of how many octets?

4.

> > 2. The OSI model is composed of how many layers? Name them.

7

Application
Presentation: Designed to handle protocol translations if necessary.
Session
Transport
Network
Data Link
Physical

> 
> I would expect most people to fail this one.  I expect people to know
> that there are 7 layers, not what every single one of them does...
most
> people are too far removed from that model to reliably be able to
recall
> it anyway.
> 
> > 3. What purpose does an ARP table serve?

Directory that maps IP (or other network) addresses to physical
addresses.
Only functions on the local network inside the route. Non routable.
Broadcast call/response with caching and timeout.

> > 4. How many runlevels are there in conventional "system five"? What
> > does zero do? What does six do?

6 AFAICR. Zero halts. 6 Reboots. I'm an everyday Linux user and I
haven't
looked at an init table in a long long time. Ctrl-Alt-Del abstracts the
process.

> 
> Doesn't say yay or nay on terms of network support.  Keep the
questions
> platform-neutral and OS-neutral.
> 
> > 5. How do you identify and bounce a network interface in a
POSIX-like
> > OS without rebooting? 
> 
> Same as for #4.  I would expect 100% of tier-1 and tier-2 technicians
to
> fail this test unless they include UNIX or POSIX (or UNIX-like or
> POSIX-like) system support in their realm.

Agreed. And ifconfig does have a bit of difference between different
systems.

> 
> Perhaps:
> 
> 1.  What is an IPv4 address, and how many octets does it have?
> 2.  What is 10.0.0.0/8, 192.168.0.0/16, and 172.16.0.0/20?

Private IP address. Non routable.

> 3.  What do the ping and traceroute tools do?

Nothing in today's network. Sigh. Virtually everyone fails to respond to
ICMP packets anymore because of security concerns.

> 4.  What is the purpose of a routing table, and what happens when it's
>     broken or missing entries?

Facilitates the movement of packets from one network to another. Can't
do
that with (or send to the wrong network) with broken/missing entries.

> 5.  In addition to the Web, what sorts of services does the Internet
>     house?  [Because most stupid people think the Web *IS* the 
>     Internet, maybe this should be #1.]

You mean it's not? ;-)

This was fun. The real question is what are the techs supposed to
support?

It's likely at this point I would fail a Windows test in this same
ballpark. Every time I mess with a broken Windows box (which is just
about
the only time that I do) I have to refigure out how to access
everything.

BAJ
-- 
Byron A. Jeff
Program Coordinator: IT/CS/CNET
College of Information and Mathematical Sciences
Clayton State University
http://cims.clayton.edu/bjeff
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