trainee computer operaor


Well-known member
373 93
Hi all. I am in the process of applying for a job as a trainee computer operator for Veritas. I am only 18, but the job says i do not need relevant work experience as full training will be given.

Thing is, I hate the idea of going to a job interview/starting a job when i have absolutely no idea of what i'll be doing.

The add says my duties will include: Submitting batch work, tape handling??, monitoring all batchwork, maintaining output quality and problem reporting.

Does anyone have any experience with this type of job who can clarify in laymens terms what i'll be doing/the above avctually involves, if by some miracle i get the position.

thanks for any help. Sorry if it seems like a stupid thread



Legendary member
8,394 1,170
Morgan, I'm not sure why you're applying for a job that you know nothing about, but as they say full training provided I guess that wouldn't be too bad.

However, the more important aspect is are you going to want to do the job?

Veritas are very likely going to want to ascertain you're the right person for the role. If you go in completely clueless you wont stand much chance and you'll be wasting everyone's time.

If you have aspirations for programming and analysis then this operations role would be a good entry for you. Veritas would expect to have someone career-minded, but not SO career minded they'd be bucking to get out of operations and into programming within the first few months of joining.

If you're genuinely interested in developing this line as a career then do some research on the web about what operations activities involve.

Even more impressive would be for you to establish with the current Veritas operations department what is is they do and what sort of equipment thay run. If you explain your intention I think (subject to corp. confidentialty aspects) they would be more than happy to help you.


Well-known member
373 93
Thanks for taking the time to reply, bramble. My real interest is in trading stocks which i have done since i was 15. I got my account up from 500pounds to 3k trading 1pound per point. That has since been spent on 'boys holidays' and the idea of starting from scratch again doesn't appeal. I just need a job to get me enough money to be able to trade again, but with a larger capital.

Most jobs i look at want 'relevant work experience'. I hardly have any. I made my money through trading in my recent years. Thats why this one appeals to me. I have a GNVQ in IT, but i dont know if thats gonna cut any ice in this position. I dunno....guess I'll just see what happens.

Thanks for your advice.



43 0
Hello Morgan
I'm going to ramble and although brain dead due to 35 years playing computers - maybe something below may be of interest...:0)

Batch work -
is a 'batch' of similar/related operations which need to be processed by the computer.
For instance -
- every morning the accounts department could need latest accounts with the previous days ins/outs etc, merged into the systems accounting database and accounts reports printed out in various formats.
- the transport department may need yesterdays data (fuel usage, waybills, mechanical breakdowns, overnights, ???) merged into the transport database and relevant reports printed out in various formats.
'Batch' is a gathering up of like things and having batched up these things, commence the next operation which in your case would be running programs on the computer/inputing data into the database via special screens/forms, making sure the accounting programs (as an example) were running correctly and producing the correct output (for example - the output was being written to correct destination folders/directories on the hard disk) heck... really depends on the setup. An operator 'operates'... Feeds the computer with DATA, which may mean keyboard work, may mean putting a removeable hard disk or cdrom or magnetic tape on its associated hardware drive. could mean watching the operators console where (maybe) messages are output from programs running on the system... like "hey YOU... feed ME NOW!!!!" (just joking) but the point is the computer may have some 'removable' storage devices which you the 'operator' must deal with.

Think of it as a car - the thing does not do anything by itself does it? You have to feed it (petrol, oil, water,...). You have to monitor it (air in tyres, no leaks, wipers ok, lights work,...). You have to 'operate' it! Drive it by starting the engine, using the gearbox, brakes, accelerator, steering wheel,...

No difference really - a computer is a big calculator which needs DATA - which needs STORAGE to hold callculation results... needs INSTRUCTIONS which take the form of computer software and computer 'operators'!!!

You're the minder - the guv - the dude who pushes the buttons and the poor sop who has to be ONE HUNDRED PERCENT sure that what your doing is CORRECT because potentially tens/hundreds/??? require updated this and that and the other thing and your the MAN who 'operates' the computer or computers which produce the information the user base requires (of course... always yesterday :)

Problem reporting -
let's say a program starts doing dumb things/things out of the extra ordinary. Well - your the guy on the spot Yes? So you have to look for error/dump files on the disk, record the contents of the monitor screen where (maybe) the program dumped its error report or whatever/wherever the programmer decides on (hopefully something/someplace usefull!) The company probably has error reporting forms or a database or both which you are responsible for recording the error and maybe noting down just what was going on at the time of the error/fault - heck, that's what training means - no sweat, you get trained, you learn, you maybe study a bit 'cause your interested... NEXT THING you know you do some programming and get the bug and you keep your eyes 'n ears open and get yourself promoted? to a trainee programmer. Think of computer operations as a step, a step on a IT career - it that's what floats your boat or course)
Bramble said it best - is where a guy can commence an IT journey - heck, you may even like/love it... And if you good - well, you could top many 10's of K a year no problem. Have your cake and eat it too, do the IT thing and do the EOD thing combined!

Output quality -
well... ever written an essay and the teacher said YUK/MESS/DO-IT-AGAIN!!! Well, computers mess up too! The various output devices like laser printers, impact printers, cds are able to mess up Yes? Your the Mr Fixit dude now... YOU gotta get that paper aligned correctly in the impact printer - get the preprinted continuous stationary setup on the printer, deal with changing all sorts of printer consumables: toner, paper, ribbons,... whatever the beasties need to do their job.

Tape handling -
think big magnetic tape drives - mag tapes can only hold so much data - yes? Well you gotta HANDLE the tapes..., take out, put into the tape drive(s). Make sure you put tapes back where they belong so you (and others) can lay their hands on them. Tapes hold a reasonable amount of information and are removable - they can be transported away from the computer/office/building - they are the LIFE BLOOD of the company because tapes can be used for 'backups'. The computer/company NEEDS data - Yes? Well, a computer operator must ensure the data is available and that means media which holds the data, not just yesterdays or even last weeks. Hourly/daily/weekly/monthly backups may be needed - it all depends on the company - depends on the computing setup IE, are hard disks mirrored? (another hard disk which is a RealTime copy of the master disk - a program writes to a file and the underlying OperatingSystem/hardware ensures that the nominated 'mirror' also gets the identical operation done to it too), are the computers shadowed by hot standbys? (like the 'mirrored' disk idea but on the computer level - ie, level your 12bore at computer A and basically no sweat as computer B the hot standby just seamlessly takes over without anyone knowing... ha,haaa)

Heck, I'm old hat at the operator game - 35 years ago a computer operator really did OPERATE and feeding the computer took on a quite literal meaning viz: punched cards, paper tape, various widths of magnetic tape, huge printers, dealing with punched card crashes when the card reader decided to enter mangle mode. and even dropping a box of 1000 cards - and of course YOU the operator - have to get them back into order so the program can be input to the computer.... bla bla...

Nevertheless, as an operator - your the MAN. Do the biz and all are happy with you - but be late or have to deal with cr*p software/hardware/managers... well that's a different story and better not to think about.

Finally - search on the web. Google or? is a veritable goldmine of info. Just gotta think lateral - be persistant and the web will supply you with any darn thing you could imagine (well almost...)
Example: using and ticking the "pages from the UK" and search string "job role of a computer operator" google came back with 65,600 hits. You can "search within results" via the link at the page bottom and continue narrowing down until you get relevant (to you) hits...
Take a look at which was on the first page of above mentioned Google search. The NCC is professional place to look... have fun!

I think Bramble has good level advice to you Morgan. Too little is done 'at the coal face' by just screwing up the courage and calling up the company and TALK - ask questions - TELL whoever will listen what you want to learn about. Be politely PERSISTANT in your research - if reaching a dead in politely ask if the person would please pass your call onto one of their collegues whom may know more about the job/environment/...
You may find them flattered and eager to be of service Morgan - I would be... YOU are showing keeness and a desire to LEARN about a company - not just waltz in and expect them to be kissing your feet for having managed to arrive only 5 mins late on your first day!
Oh yes - make sure they have your name AND make sure you get the names of all you speak to. vip, because if/when you visit the company, you'll immediately feel better simply because you're not really cold calling now, are you....

Best of Luck and Fantastic Journeys Can Lie Ahead Morgan!!!



Well-known member
373 93
Wow...great reply Eagle rock. Thanks for taking the time to give such an extensive reply. Exactly the sort of response that i hoped i would get. Im gonna re-read everything in your post again after some lunch.



Experienced member
1,071 3

Veritas is a good company. I used to to work in IT before trading, and know them fairly well (although this was a while back) If you spend a couple of years there, try and get some exposure to their products. Then you should have some skill sets that will ensure you will be able to fall back on if you ever need to build up an account again.

Typical successful US software house - laid back and easy going if you get the job done with PLENTY of rewards. Trouble if you dont!

Good luck

PS - keep your tradind aspirations quiet at the interview. They wont employ you if they think you'll be off in a few months. They look for commitment.


Established member
809 152
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