Vox Media’s Eric Arredondo on working as IT support

It’s safe to say that no company in existence today that has more than a couple of employees can exist without a knowledgeable IT support person or team. When you’re trying to run a website, create a solid technological structure, and keep things running even at the most stressful of times, a strong IT support team can make sure that things don’t go completely haywire at the worst time — or, if it does, that somebody is there to fix it.

The Verge is certainly no different, and so we asked one of the members of Vox Media’s IT team — Eric Arredondo, IT administrator — to tell us a bit about himself and his job.

What do you do for Vox Media?

I am an IT administrator for our IT service desk team. I help manage and support the internal systems, applications, and hardware that keep the company operating. My team’s responsibilities cover a wide range of needs to support our various networks and departments, ranging from hardware asset management like the company computers to employee account creation or email support. Essentially, our work is to help everyone do their best work.

How has your job changed during the pandemic?

Our general mission has remained the same, for the most part, but supporting our company entirely remotely has brought up new challenges. We definitely ship a lot more than ever, supporting our company’s current work-from-home environment and trying our best to give the same level of service as we would in the office. We try to help supply any equipment necessary for users to get their work done and emulate the office experience at home as best as possible.

Interestingly enough, it’s sometimes the small things that used to take a few minutes to do in person that have proven to be the most challenging. For example, in the old times, I could just walk over to a user’s desk and assist right away, whereas now it’s much more hands-off, talking a user through troubleshooting over Slack or Zoom. Additionally, in the office, we can control the network that the team connects to and utilizes — it’s easier than dealing with each user’s own respective ISPs and router issues.

We’ve always been a pretty remote-friendly company, though, which helped my team with the transition to fully remote work. It’s definitely made us more efficient than ever, too.

What hardware tools do you and your colleagues use?

Generally, everything we need to do can be done via our computers, with most of our admin work being done via software or SAAS (software as a service) apps. I work on an M1-equipped MacBook Air, and while I have a desk with a monitor and such, I’ll generally work all over my apartment, sometimes from the backyard. I do have a loud mechanical keyboard, a Keychron K2, that sits at my desk with fun lights and a lot of key travel. It’s something I probably wouldn’t have put my office neighbors through, but at home, I’ll happily type on a loud, clicky keyboard.

Keychron K2

Prices taken at time of publishing.

Wireless mechanical keyboard with switchable keycaps and backlighting.

I also use an Apple Magic Trackpad 2, as I prefer it to an external mouse, and use a Rain Design mStand360 to prop up my computer at my desk. I could probably do with a more supportive desk chair, but I sit in a Supreme director’s chair in my WFH office, mostly because I like how it looks.

My label printer, a Dymo LabelWriter 4XL, has also been getting a lot of use during the pandemic, in regards to the aforementioned shipments.

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