Computer technician: combining IT with humanity

Working to ensure that automating IT support does not come at the expense of human contact can be challenging.

Over his 23 years as a computer technician, main class, at Cégep Garneau, Stéphane Beauchemin’s1 team has grown from 3 people to 31. The exponential growth of his profession over the years has brought its share of challenges.

A race against time  

“With constant advances in information technology, it’s hard to keep up. People often want the latest tools or equipment even though existing equipment works well and remains efficient. But using unnecessarily complex software is risky,” says the computer technician.

As team leader since 2008, Stéphane Beauchemin is responsible for distributing the cégep’s support requests across his team. He also oversees the management of backup copies and the development of websites for teachers, and provides support to his team of technicians, as needed.

A successful automation project   

He is particularly proud to have implemented software that automatically keeps watch over the computer network. The software monitors thousands of processes, such as printer status and available storage space. His team can therefore anticipate problems and act proactively.

Reconnecting people   

However, Stéphane Beauchemin regrets that automating tasks often comes at the expense of human contact. “Before, when troubleshooting with students or teachers in person, we could expect thank-you smiles. Today, we spend our days in front of screens and no one is aware of all the work we do. People think it just gets magically done, when in fact there are humans behind it!”

Union commitment that feels good   

The computer technician says that his involvement with the FPSES-CSQ does him a lot of good. “It’s a way for me to reconnect with people. I was also able to show the employer that although automation has benefits, it also has impacts for people, which must be taken into account. This adds a new dimension to my work, and I feel well supported by my union,” he says.


1 Stéphane Beauchemin is a member of the Fédération du personnel de soutien de l’enseignement supérieur (FPSES-CSQ).


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