You’ve heard what it’s like to work as a CSA, but how do the leaders of this team approach management and career advancement? Before you get a job, you have to interview for it. Doesn’t it seems only fair that you’d get a chance to interview your soon-to-be managers, too? Don’t sweat – we’ve taken care of the leg work for by speaking to Chris Caillouet, second shift team lead.
Chris makes it clear right off the bat: he wants you off his team. ”In one year, or less, my expectation is for people to move to a different team.” Don’t take this the wrong way: what Chris means is that he is passionate about training people up quickly as CSAs, getting them a good technical background and teaching them the lingo of Rackspace and then getting them to where they want to serve the business.
“We’re looking for an eager fit,” he says. Someone who is passionate about the role and meshes well with the culture of the team. What is the team’s culture? “CSAs are the concierge of cloud support.” This means they need to have a passion for helping people and be knowledgable about who can best address their issues. While simple technical problems, control panel navigation and confirming uptime are run of the mill tasks, complicated and nuanced issues may call for escalation. Knowing where to direct those issues, and getting them in front of the right people quickly means everything to Rackspace customers.
But it’s more than just technical skills. Chris warns that if you interview for a CSA position, you should get ready for some weirdness. This is a team that has a lot of fun and expects people to be humorous, mentally agile and unorthodox. ”We play lots of games, and try to learn the candidates skills, personalities, stresses, and reactions.” Rather than ask simple questions and get canned answers, Chris and his team like to mess with candidates a little, making them tell jokes or put them in wild situations and watch their reactions. Future Rackers – you’ve been warned!
Chris feels like the best candidates for the CSA position are people who may not be technical today but are looking to learn more. ”It’s a good place to start if you have an inclination or an interest in technical stuff.” This is a good place to learn the business and how we structure ourselves. Then you can make a more informed decision about what the best fit for your skills would be, and put some work into building up the requirements for that position. ”This allows us to take someone who doesn’t have the technical training and give them experience. Not just classes, but real world experience.”