First level technical support

ish produces a software product for the education sector called onCourse, provides hosting services through our colocated hardware, and provides technical support for a range of businesses. We require an intelligent, articulate and proactive person to provide technical support.

This role is an interesting combination of customer support, seriously challenging Unix and network systems admin, and working with our 5 person development team.


While we don’t limit ourselves to software from a single vendor, there are some established pieces in our toolkit which we find invaluable. You will need to already know a lot about these or quickly learn about them when you start.

  • FreeBSD (a little bit of Linux as well, but we’ve found FreeBSD to be extremely powerful for our needs)
  • ZFS (once you use it, you’ll never go back to another filesystem)
  • Tomcat
  • Zabbix (a distributed monitoring system a bit like Nagios, but nicer)
  • The usual host of server applications for corporate environments: Apache httpd, samba, netatalk, etc
  • LDAP (we use this even for small customers since it fits so nicely into our workflow)
  • Subversion (yes, we keep our server configuration under version control)
  • Astaro (a commercial security appliance built on Linux)
  • pfSense (an open source security tool built on FreeBSD)
  • Bacula (an open source backup tool with an odd name)
  • OSX (all our workstations run this powerful hybrid of the Unix and commercial software worlds)
  • Bind (we run a cluster of DNS servers)

You’ll notice that almost our entire list is open source. And that is by design. The founder of the business is an Apache member and open source methodologies flow through everything we do. We’ll use commercial tools where they are useful, but

In addition, we find ourselves up to our elbows in the following technology almost every day.

  • TCP/IP networking and security (SSH tunnels, port forwarding, load balancing servers, redundant internet links, etc)
  • Scripting (you’ll need to know some scripting language… we tend to use PHP, Ruby and Python, but we are open to your preferences)
  • SQL (this is pretty important here to support our development team)

And a bunch of tools we use, but are less important since we have other staff with these skills.

  • Jenkins
  • Asterisk
  • Drupal
  • Jobsworth task tracking
  • Communigate

It is vital that you are willing learn. There is a lot to know, but there will be plenty of support along the way.


The successful applicant will assist in the following areas:

  • customer support. If you are looking for a back office job where you rarely interact with customers, this isn’t for you. We aren’t at the retail or home user end of the business… most our customers are in corporate environments with systems controlled by us.
  • maintaining relationships with customers and ensuring their needs are met. This includes designing solutions for customers who are only able to wave their hands about vaguely when asked what problem they are trying to solve.
  • helping with QA on our own products and with reproducing customer problems to assist our development team resolve issues
  • creating new and better ways to solve problems for ourselves and our customers

You will work with our senior sysadmin and with our account managers, sitting in between the technical delivery and the customer communication.

This is a business hours role, but some out of hours work may be required from time to time to respond to emergencies. This is relatively rare since any such problems are only of our own doing (that is, not implementing proper fail over in our systems).


Demonstrated skills and experience, together with attitude and work ethic, are vastly more important than formal qualifications. Most important are:

  • personable character, able to establish rapport with customers
  • willingness to learn new skills and develop existing skills
  • excellent spoken and written English

Please submit a covering letter and resume. In your covering letter, please outline how your background fits with the items under the Role heading above.

About ish

Operating from a designer converted warehouse in Newtown, the work environment is comfortable and human: not a fluorescent light in sight. We enjoy what we do. The software that we write and systems we build are critical to daily business of our customers – our work must meet very high standards.

As a small business, there are many opportunities available to work in different areas and develop a range of skills. There is also scope for each individual to affect how the business grows and how it is perceived.

How to apply:

Please submit a covering letter and resume to In your covering letter, please outline how your background fits with the items under the Role heading above. If you don’t send through these details your application will not be considered.

Salary (including super) $52k. Full time working rights for Australia are essential.