View Full Version : I.T./computer jobs that involve night shifts

07-22-2007, 04:02 PM
In the thing I'm writing at the moment, I'd like one of the characters, who I see as an IT person, to work night shifts. Does anyone know of any IT support type work that would involve working nights? The book is set in London, so I need something that an English organisation or company would do. I've thought of maybe the National Health Service, newspapers, but any suggestions welcome.

07-22-2007, 08:09 PM
Technical support call centres? They have night shifts.

You might also consider data centres where they require 24-hour personnel -- at least one admin on site.

Can't think of any others right now. About to drop. Good luck.

07-22-2007, 09:15 PM
I know a guy who went to school as a computer programmer. He put himself through college at something called a "Sleep Center." This is where a doctor would send a person if they are having sleeping issues or some sort of medical problem that needs to be monitored while they are asleep. So basically this guy's job was to sit at a desk and monitor a bunch of screens with people sleeping. I think he might have done some minimal computer work as well. Dunno if this fits but there you go.

07-22-2007, 09:16 PM
Oh, thought of something else. I work for an online company and my boss is essentially our one-man IT team. Whenever he has to work on the servers he has to do it very late or in the middle of the night so that the site doesn't go "down" when a lot of people might be looking at it. We're a small company so if it was a big company it might happen more often or be a bigger deal.

07-22-2007, 10:23 PM
My company is a retailer. Our IT folks work night shifts to support our Ecomm division, the distribution center's second shift (and seasonal third shifts), and nightly store polling (plus the processing of that data). In Applications Support, there's also someone on call 24/7 to deal with any issue that arises for any user--corporate, DC, store, or business traveler.

07-22-2007, 11:17 PM
Police departments? Surely somebody is there to look after their tech stuff at night.

07-22-2007, 11:30 PM
Large companies with a lot of computer/network infrastructure have 24 hr network operations centers where folk watch for any problems on the network and then contact the appropriate on call folk to fix the problems.

07-22-2007, 11:32 PM
Admins for servers that serve large numbers of users -- retail companies with online stores, or large corporations with offices in many time zones, or colleges/universities often have someone on site 24/7. At the university where I worked the über server person and two alternates had one of three eight hour shifts. Smaller departmental admins would swap on-call duties--I had to wear a pager and go in if a server called me.

07-22-2007, 11:44 PM
I used to work IT night shifts.

We were a NOC (Network operations centre) that monitored client networks. When something went down or was degraded (network was slow), we would troubleshoot and either call in a more advanced techie, call the telco, or call the site to physically check the device. Some nights it was quiet and our team (3 people) could sit back and chat, others is was a complete gong show from start to finish. Our customers were worldwide, so we would be dealing with Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Middle Eastern, South African and European customers, as well as any power outages in North/South America.

BT (British Telecomm) would likely have a simliar set up... maybe not monitoring, but taking calls from groups like ours. Almost all major telcos are 24/7. There were also any number of IT people "on-call" for page outs when things *really* hit the fan.

Data centres, server support, some application support groups all have a 24/7 team.

Let me know if you have any other questions. Nights shifts were a lot of fun.... as long as I didn't want a life!


Tish Davidson
07-23-2007, 12:42 AM
My daughter has a summer job with a company that provides Internet access and IT support to non-profits and NGOs operating mainly in the third world. Because of the time differences, they have to have someone monitoring the system 24-hours a day.

07-23-2007, 01:48 AM
My husband was a beta tester for video games and he worked a night shift. Any debugging, etc. COULD have a night shift, especially if it was a hot project.
He also worked a night shift downloading satellite images, converting the files for field engineers, and resending it. The company he worked for had oil rigs in fields all over the world, and there were three 8 hour shifts a day for 24 hour coverage (it might be midnight here, but it's 3 pm somewhere else in the world!)

07-23-2007, 04:20 PM
Hospitals or major medical centers.

My cousin is in IT and earlier this year was moved from working days at a large metro hospital to working nights.

Tsu Dho Nimh
07-24-2007, 03:53 AM
Most of the upgrading is done at night, when the computers are less busy.

Generating reports about the day's activities is also done at night, usually by automated processes.

07-24-2007, 04:06 AM
My husband worked nights for a time as a database tech for a data storage facility, backing up and storing data.

07-25-2007, 04:47 PM
Good friend of mine worked as a systems programmer for a company providing contract IT services for many companies e.g. running payroll. He often had to work overnight installing upgrades or patches to the systems.

07-26-2007, 01:42 AM
Thanks to all for helpful responses. Much appreciated.

07-26-2007, 06:09 AM
You can make almost anything work -- Hospital, law enforcement, commercial center, bank, government body, charitable organization, university ...

What location and business do you need for your story? What adds depth and possibility?

07-27-2007, 02:37 AM
I'm currently working as a customer care rep in a contact center. I work from 8PM - 5AM. Love the shift, just pissed at the fact that I can't go malling with my money, since the malls are still closed...