Technical Support Engineer: The Ideal Role for Curious Troubleshooters
June 22, 2023
Hi! My name is Marc-Antoine and I work at Autify as a Technical Support Engineer. I have a Master of Engineering in Telecommunication and I have been working in Software Engineering for about 10 years, including some Technical Support roles that I enjoyed so much that I decided to pursue Technical Support as a career at Autify. Let me present what TSEs do at Autify, what makes their roles attractive, and what skills you need to become one.
What is a TSE?
Technical Support Engineers (TSEs) are a crucial part of any support team, serving as experts in solving customer issues. They are engineers dedicated to handling customer’s inquiries that Tier 1 support cannot handle. They excel in both understanding the customer’s burning needs and also understanding their company’s products.
In fact, it is widely acknowledged that TSEs are critical to the user experience. Unfortunately, TSE positions are often treated as junior-level jobs in Japan even though they require advanced technical skills and knowledge.
However, here at Autify we think that TSEs are very valuable and so we compensate them accordingly.
The role of TSEs at Autify
Luckily, TSE are not alone! The support chain is made of three principal parts:
- Customer Support team, the Tier 1 support directly in contact with the customer. They aim to solve about 70% of the customer’s inquiries by pointing them to our product documentation or providing simple solutions. Only when they cannot answer an inquiry will they send an investigation request to the TSE team.
- Technical Support team, the Tier 2 support that aims to solve another 20% of customer inquiries by providing more technical workarounds or minor bug fixes. For any issue that we cannot resolve by ourselves, we create a detailed bug report with reproduction steps and evidence for our Development teams to investigate.
- Development teams, the “Tier 3 support” in charge of the remaining 10% of very complex issues.
As you can see, TSEs are central in the support chain as they make the link between the customer (or customer support) and the various development teams that are responsible for different products or services:
Using our customer-like position and engineer knowledge, we also suggest product improvements (both internal and external) and contribute to customer-facing documentation. If an internal product improvement directly improves our support value, we may even implement it ourselves!
In short, TSE aims to create more value for the customer by solving their issues, sometimes before those issues even occur. Therefore our mission statement is:
Unblock customers facing technical issues and improve both documentation and the product itself to better deflect or resolve future inquiries.
Skill set and mindset required for TSEs
For front-end, both the latest frameworks such as React and Vue and older libraries such as jQuery can be helpful. This is because the customer websites being tested may be built with any technology. In terms of back-end, knowledge of protocols such as HTTP, authentication techniques, encryption and proxies is often beneficial.
Soft skills are just as important than hard skills, if not more so. To be successful in the role, you will need to be a passionate troubleshooter and have an intense curiosity to know everything. You will also need to get information from various sources proactively. To be a truly reliable TSE, you will need to become so familiar with Autify that you can confidently answer any question about it. It is also important to possess empathy and social skills to understand and communicate efficiently with all stakeholders of our daily job.
TSE is a job for those who enjoy encountering various edge cases and mysterious phenomena every day, and the fun of finding answers or workarounds for those problems.
I hope that this article has helped you understand why the TSE role is appealing. If you’re interested, we’d love to hear from you, so please take a look at our Careers page to see if there are any current openings for the team!