10 Internet Resources for People Looking for an IT Help Desk Job - dummies

10 Internet Resources for People Looking for an IT Help Desk Job

By Tyler Regas

Sure, there’s LinkedIn. If you’re looking for an IT help desk job, you know and use some combination of Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. What about those little nooks and crannies that host all manner of rabid nerds, ever eager for the latest gadget, service related news, or just some fun? Well, here’s ten of them for you. Hold tight! They may not be what you expect.

  • XING.com: XING is interesting, to say the least. It’s sort of like LinkedIn, but not. You can get a free account, but you’ll be asked whether you want to upgrade to Premium. It’s not bad at $13 a month, compared to LinkedIn’s $30, but you do have to pay at least three months in advance. Opt for a year, and the price drops to $10.35 a month. Free, however, is just fine if you’re just networking and socializing. The users a quite social, and you may be surprised what people in suits talk about aside from business.

  • EFactor.com: This is going to seem strange, but EFactor is an entrepreneur networking site. Why would you want to engage entrepreneurs? You’d be surprised how helpful it is to learn what it’s like inside the head of business people. On EFactor, you can learn what business people think like and about, how and why they make decisions, and how the process of running a business is managed. Arming yourself with this knowledge can help you navigate the tricky waters of employment, and give you an edge over others who have not walked in your footsteps.

  • TheMarySue.com: The Mary Sue is a young, brash, and popular blog all about geek culture from some strong women, for strong women. There’s also a very active comment community where people are respectful or suddenly not present.

  • Slashdot.org: This is a very old site that has remained active since it first came online in 1997 by Rob Malda, who goes by the handle “CmdrTaco”. He named it SlashDot.org because he wanted it to be annoying to say out loud. Try it. H-T-T-P-Colon-Slash-Slash-Slashdot-Dot-Org. Just rolls off the tongue, no? Despite this, Slashdot has long grown into one of the nerdiest sites on the Internet. It is curated entirely by readers with a handful of editors selecting the best from the submissions to post on the site. There is a ridiculously large number of contributors who submit probably everything there is to be known on the Internet about technology every day. If you want to keep tabs on anything in technology, Slashdot should be one of the first places you look.

  • ThinkGeek.com: Now it’s time to decorate your office (or cubicle), but you have no idea where to shop. You want to get a Lego mug that you can build stuff on, a dancing Groot figure from Guardians of The Galaxy or an R2-D2 pop-top trashcan, but where can you get them all in one place? ThinkGeek.com, is where. You will be amazed at the insane amount of stuff the site offers, all for the nerd who loves to show what they love, at work. Don’t get too much stuff, or you’ll break your bank account and annoy your coworkers (and likely the boss), but a few small personalizing items is a great way to break the ice. Just leave them at home until you’ve settled in for a few weeks and have established a good pattern of completed responsibilities.

  • Archive.org: Believe it or not, not everything that was ever published on the Internet is still available. I know, right! There’s an interesting project that has been going on for years called Archive.org, and one of the things it does is make snapshots of website for storage in their aptly named Wayback Machine. Just enter the URL of a site that you can’t see anymore, and you may just find it. Want to see what GeoCities homepage looked like back in 1997? Need to find some technical information about an outmoded system that you can’t find anywhere else? Yeah. It’s that cool. What about going back in time to find something on Apple’s site that it no longer makes available? You can do it.

  • Forums.MySQL.com: MySQL is one of the most popular database servers in use around the world. It likely drives most sites that you visit throughout the day, and it is amazingly capable for an open source project. Because of its prevalence, you are likely to come across it now and then. Don’t worry. You don’t have to be a database administration magician to perform simple tasks, but it does help to have access to people who are able to wave their wands to fix most anything. That’s where the community support forums for MySQL come in handy. You can sign up for a free account and have at it.

  • Google.com/Groups: Remember Usenet? Yeah. Didn’t think so. Google itself started archiving Usenet in 2000 and has archives running back as far as 1981. That is a lot of years of Usenet posts, considering Usenet (the UUCP protocol) was one of the primary forms of communicating and sharing information and data on the internet outside of email, Gopher, and a few other protocols. Amazingly enough, these archives still exist, and Google created its Groups feature to modernize the process. There are a lot of useful, well-trafficked groups on Groups. You may have to perform some search gymnastics before you find what you’re looking for, but you’ll be shocked at how active these groups still are.

  • Forums.CNET.com: CNET has been around as an Internet resource since 1994 and has remained relevant the entire time (CNET’s Alexa score is 128 as of February 2015. Google’s is #1). The site covers mostly tech and science news, has loads of reviews for all manner of products, and is a popular place to keep tabs on things, but the forums are a great place to get some friendly help from your compatriots. Just sign up for a free account, find an appropriate forum, and dive in. As with any forum-based site, it’s best if you search for already posted answers, but if you don’t find anything, don’t be afraid to start a new thread.