So, you applied to become a Plesk Support Engineer and after a series of interviews and negotiations, you signed the contract. Congrats! You’ve just become a part of an effective and successful team. You’ll spend the first five weeks going through an intensive technical onboarding process full of lessons, hands-on exercises, and tests. Plesk University and the team behind it will be helping you along the way.
First steps to becoming a Plesk Support Engineer
First, we need to make sure, that you are familiar with all the basic OS and networking technologies at the Plesk’s core. For that end, we have two basic OS courses: one for Linux, and one for Windows.
Note: Basic OS courses are not public due to the use of proprietary video materials. If you want to acquire such education on your own, you can use objectives of LPIC-1 and LPIC-2 exams (and corresponding online courses) and non-AD parts of the MCSA: Windows Server 2016 certification course and exam.
Each course starts with a comprehensive test of your initial knowledge. This helps us identify knowledge gaps, tailor the course’s content to address them, and exclude topics with which you are already familiar, thus shortening education time.
Basic OS Courses
Basic OS courses consist of video, text and external resources that cover all manner of topics:
- Command-line basics.
- Linux package management.
- Services and processes.
- Networking fundamentals.
- User and group management.
- Installing and monitoring Windows services.
- NTFS permissions.
- …and many more.
We always recommend taking notes while studying – you will need them to complete small lab exercise after each topic. Practice is essential to learning and retaining the knowledge.
Advanced topics, such as MySQL, Apache/nginx/IIS, Firewall, and DNS, have complex lab exercises. For example, in the Apache exercise, your task is to install the web server, configure two name-based virtual hosts, and enable PHP on one of them. If you feel up to it, you can also complete bonus tasks: configure mod_rewrite rules and add a domain alias.
Completing these lab exercises will require your best efforts. You’ll need to use your notes, search through documentation, and look through available solutions on services like StackExchange and ServerFault. Then, find a way to achieve the required results.
Once we cover all topics, you’ll pass the post-training knowledge assessment. This is the same test you passed at the beginning of the course. It helps us measure the improvement of your skills and determine any possible knowledge gaps left after the training.
We need a +80% grade to consider the training a success. If the grade is lower, we’ll figure out the topics you’re struggling with together. Then, give you extra materials to study, before you can re-take the test.
Completing Basic OS courses takes around two weeks. After that, it is time to start learning about Plesk. For that, we use our official Plesk courses, which are also available to the public.
Plesk Onyx Courses – For Support Engineers too
In Plesk Onyx Professional, you’ll learn how to install, configure, and use Plesk. After each module, you’ll need to complete objectives on a test server. Install Plesk on Linux and Windows servers, configure security settings according to best practices, set up a service plan and create a customer account, and configure backup to a cloud storage or a FTP server.
At the end of this course, you should pass the Plesk Onyx Professional Certification exam. All Plesk Support engineers are required to earn a Professional certification before they start working on customers’ requests. Later, within first three months of your career, you also need to pass both Plesk Onyx Expert exams.
Then, in Plesk Onyx Expert courses (for Linux and for Windows), you will learn how to upgrade, maintain and troubleshoot a Plesk server. Each module in an Expert-level course has a troubleshooting lab exercise. Here your task is to troubleshoot and fix a problem after you run a “troublemaker” script on your server. The same script will help you determine if you succeeded or not.
After the Expert courses, you’ll learn about and try your hand at Migrating to Plesk Onyx. Further down the line you’ll get familiar with our top extensions: WP Toolkit, SEO Toolkit, Git, and Docker. As with all the previous courses in this education program, you are required to apply your newly acquired knowledge on practice. All of these are available at Plesk University.
Next stop: Graduation as Plesk Support Engineer
At this point, the technical part of your initial education is over. But before you graduate, you need to learn a bit more on how to be a support engineer. We’ll impart on you the best practices developed over the years. How to communicate effectively, handle conflict situations, safely process customers’ data, and be responsible in your work. You’ll also learn about our tools and processes.
And, finally, the day of your graduation has come! You have learned a lot about Plesk and you’re finally ready to start helping our customers. Your education will continue, fueled by new courses from Plesk University, materials from our knowledge base, collaboration with mentors, your colleagues, and Plesk developers. But that’s a story for another time.