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Memoirs of a Gator, part I

Written by Sean Valant

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Please gather ’round as I tell a tale to rival the greatest tales ever told!  Think of it as Lord of the Rings and Lord of the Flies mixed with Don Quixote with a hint of Robinson Crusoe and a splash of Gulliver’s Travels.  Pretty much exactly like that, anyway.  More or less.

Our story begins, not unlike The Canterbury Tales, with a job interview in early February of 2010.  Was that The Canterbury Tales with the job interview thing?  I forget.  At any rate, I have a discussion about websites I had previously built, the related technologies, and how I might handle different interactions with different types of Customers… things of that nature.  I pass the interview and am informed that I would begin training the following Monday.

So on that sunny Monday morning in February of 2010, I began my career at HostGator as a front-line Technical Support Representative; officially referred to as a ChatTech at the time.  ChatTechs no longer exist, they have gone extinct and evolution has provided us with Jr. Admins to fill that role.  Granted, this may just be semantics, but I was hired and spent my first seven months at HostGator as a ChatTech.

In the interest of full disclosure, I will state that I had virtually no real webhosting experience at that point; I’d never heard of cPanel, WHM or WordPress.  I have now grown to become a huge fan of all three of these fantastic tools; a process which began on that fateful first day of training.

Training was very educational; it’s a ton of information in a relatively short amount of time and serves the dual purpose of ideally teaching you, if not everything you need to know then at least a solid foundation, while also conditioning you to most effectively find answers to the questions that you don’t know.  As an aside, our training program is constantly being refined and improved upon and remains very dynamic in terms of staying abreast of the constant change that is fundamental to this industry.  Our trainers are like highly skilled knowledge ninjas who judo chop knowledge into all those who would join their fellow Gators here in the swamp.

Or maybe they’re more like Jedis… though Jedis are kind of like just fancy, space ninjas.  Please don’t barrage me with emails about how I misrepresented Jedis, I know how territorial you Star Wars fans can be.  I digress.

I remember a distinct feeling of needing to absorb all this new information as quickly and thoroughly as possible.  We are not only taught general troubleshooting for a myriad of technical issues, but also the ins and outs of HostGator policies, procedures and Terms of Service.  Truth be told, I did a fair amount of studying over the weekend between the two full weeks of training.  Ultimately I completed training and found myself on the chat floor taking real live calls and chats from real live Customers.

When next we speak on this subject, I’ll talk more about my early days at HostGator and some of the more interesting Customer interactions I had at the time.  Also, the path I’ve followed since those early days and hopefully share a lot of what the actual experience of being a Gator is all about.  Perhaps, along the way, I can talk some genuine brand new Hatchlings and some other veteran Gators into sharing their thoughts about their first few days as well.

I’m happy to answer any questions in the comments section about our Jr. Admins or the hiring/training process, really anything at all related to what we’ve addressed thus far.  Also, if there is any aspect of HostGator that you would like for me to expound upon as I tell this tale throughout additional posts, please leave me a comment and I’ll be happy to oblige.

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Comments

4 Responses to Memoirs of a Gator, part I

  1. Jorge Jacobo says:

    Interesting! I am customer and never stopped to read a post. But hey! It starts withh just one!

  2. Keith Kacin says:

    Thank you for your compliments of the training program, Sean. I know a lot of work has gone into the training at HostGator over the years, and I think any new employee coming in with get better training than any other hosting company offers.

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