Daytona Bradley started at Rackspace in late 2010 as a contractor. When she got the job, they told her that in three months, the tasks that we were hiring her for would be automated so there would be no need for the position after that. Three months turned into six, then six became longer. Lucky for Rackspace some leaders saw what an opportunity we had in someone like Daytona and brought her on full time as a Cloud Support Administrator (CSA).
A CSA will spend most of their day handling chats from customers on basic issues like how to spin up servers, install simple applications or control panel navigation. Daytona describes her job as “frontline support” for Cloud Servers, Managed Cloud and Emerging customers. She’ll also tell you that her job is as much about being a teacher as a technician, helping Rackspace customers understand how to use our Cloud products effectively. “We give customers what they need to be successful,” she says.”People today are looking for the easiest way to talk to someone – not phone calls or emails, but chats.”
This quick-response mentality allows CSAs to deal with lots of basic request, which keeps customers happy, but it’s also a chance for the CSA to develop their career.
Daytona transitioned to CSA from Verifications because since her first day at Rackspace she knew she wanted to be an Account Manager, talking to customers directly and helping to grow their businesses. She knew she would need the expertise of a technician to be truly helpful so, in her free time on both Verifications and CSA, she spent as much time as possible learning Linux Server Administration, Networking and Security. ”Learning just the facts about the business wasn’t helpful. I wanted real world tech experience before I went to the AMs.”
This isn’t unusual for CSAs. These aren’t the most technically proficient Rackers; they tend to be people with an intense interest in technology, and the drive to provide Fanatical Support, but less experienced in advance concepts. That’s no problem, says Daytona. ”I don’t see CSA as a career. I see it as a stepping stone to a career. You learn Managed or Core Linux so that you can decide if you want to go more into the infrastructure or application level.” Windows Administration is a career path, too, but it goes beyond just technical jobs. “CSA is a portal into the company,” Daytona says. “You get to see it all: Managed Cloud, Cloud Servers, Business Development Consulting, Billing, Sales. You get to see the different people in the company.” From there, she says, you can figure out where you want to go.
From day one, Daytona made it clear to her boss that Managed AM was where she wanted to be. It may be strange at other companies but her team lead, Chris Caillouet, was excited to hear she didn’t want to stay in the job she was being hired for. Chris helped to coordinate with the AMs to make sure Daytona had time to shadow and learn their work. He also made her aware of training and classes offered at Rackspace. We’ll hear more from Chris later this week, but Daytona points to him as being instrumental in her career growth It’s paid off! Daytona recently accepted a position with the Account Management team after having been a CSA for only eight months. Her response to my congratulations? “I live in the Cloud. I know the Cloud.”
So what does it take to be a CSA? In her own words: “A CSA is someone who has a passion for technical stuff, but you don’t need to know about it. If you don’t have that passion, it isn’t going to be fun for you.” Most CSAs make technology the center of their lives, spinning up servers in their downtime, and going home at night to teach themselves more about Linux and Windows.
“You don’t need to have the technical skills, but you do need to have the technical passion. Linux is something I can teach you. Fanatical Support is engrained in you.”
The Highlighter series details different jobs around Rackspace from the people who serve in the position, their managers and Rackers who started there and have since moved on to different roles. You’ll learn about the team’s vibe, the work they do and the philosophy of their leaders.