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14 Learn more. High on a mountain in Colorado an access gate to a ski lift at Aspen Snowmass isnt coming online. Its early in the morning before any of the lift attendants are on site to report the problem but from a command center a few clicks away Robert Blanchard identifies and troubleshoots the problem all over his morning coffee. Blanchard and his team handle all of the technology-related problems for Aspen Skiing Co. a four-mountain chain of destination resorts in the remote Rocky Mountains. Running the helpdesk for a destination ski resort isnt what most people think of when it comes to IT careers but the busy group of outdoorsmen and women enjoy their indoor-outdoor lifestyle. One of the nice things about working for a ski area is that its like working for many different businesses he said. You get in a car drive to a ski area go up the mountain make repairs and snowboard back down. Everything on our mountain is computerized Blanchard said. Some software tracks what trails were groomed overnight how much snow fell and its Bridging IT with the Great Outdoors Not the lifestyle most people think of when it comes to IT careers. consistency. Other software communicates with the trail grooming machines called Snowcats to track mileage GPS information acres per hour tiller gas and other usage data. Another program runs the snowmaking guns. The resort uses 850 computers and the department has grown to 18 people with six on the helpdesk. When hiring he looks for self-confidence a high level of commitment when troubleshooting and a passion for customer service. People who join the helpdesk end up staying because of the positive experience and the chance to play around with fun and interesting new technologies. Certifications arent the first thing he looks for when hiring but they certainly carry some weight. If I have two candidates applying for the same job and they both seem to have the other qualities that were looking for the person with the certification is the one who is going to get hired he said. Learn more about Roberts story at httptinyurl.comnfu44nu