Founded On Open Education
HelpfulTechVids was founded on the principle of open and free education. Sharing and spreading knowledge through personal experience.
Superb Customer Experience
Fair & Flexible
We make it a point of not working for our customers. rather working with our customers. Working together to complete your projects.
As Written By Our Founder
These days, we have a dozen employees; an even mix of network engineers, systems engineers, and web developers. Some employees are local and some are remote. We have a small office in Elgin, IL (a suburb of Chicago) and the rest of the employees work from home.
During our normal business hours, we work from our respective offices, but outside of those normal hours, it's a high likelihood that the engineer you're speaking with is working from home for efficiency purposes.
Our main focus is customer experience; we're not satisfied until you are. We try to be as transparent as possible, communicating every step of the way through every customer's project.
Our next focus is education. If and whenever possible, we try to educate our customers. It's also great when our customers can teach us something. Our motto is "EDUCATING AND HELPING SINCE 2011 | LEARNING SINCE ALWAYS" for a reason.
Last, but not least: efficiency. Time is money. Your time is money and we have no interest in wasting either. We want to get from start to finish as fast as possible, but we don't cut corners. We've been known to work more than 18 hours daily to get projects completed ahead of schedule.
Hiatus and Resurgence
For quite a while, I was away from YouTube. I had found a job running another local Internet Service Provider and it consumed not only all of my professional time, but all of my personal time as well. While it was a great experience and allowed plenty of growth, both individual and professional, it was entirely too time consuming and therefore, didn't allow enough freedom for other projects.
However, in what little spare time I had, I was able to keep up with the comments and questions posted on the YouTube channel. Luckily, there weren't that many videos and therefore, not that many questions.
Interestingly, there were many offers from viewers offering to contribute content to the YouTube channel. I never expected that. Also, in this time period, our channel had gained enough views to enable ads on our videos. Imagine the world I came back to, all these new features and subscribers while I was away!
I grew exhausted at that position and it was time to leave. While looking for a new job, I started to slowly ease my way back in to the YouTube world; reaching out to some of the viewers who had messaged me over the last couple years to see if they were still interested in creating content or helping with the maintenance of the channel.
A number of those viewers were generous enough to volunteer their time to create content, answer other viewers' questions, and even do some consulting work for the HelpfulTechVids brand for a couple of years. That evolved in to bringing some local engineers on as part-time employees, which then evolved in to full-time employees.
Believe it or not, our earliest years were from the lowest point in my life. I was laid off of work from when a large corporation bought out our locally owned Internet Service Provider and outsourced all the network and systems administration jobs to overseas companies. While looking for a new job, I had to do something productive to fill my time. One gap that I always felt was missing in the Linux field was video tutorials on how to do things. Sure, there are plenty of text tutorials out there on how to setup xyz server, but many of them were out of date or didn't show you the expected output of the commands that you should see. So I started created tutorial videos for things that I was doing to keep my mind sharp.
Before long, I ran out of content. Either the things I could setup couldn't fit within something for the layman to setup or there were too many variables to cover in a YouTube video. I started venturing out and exploring new server setups and other things that I could learn and then do a video for. This made making the videos much more time consuming, but hey, I had plenty of time. You can only apply to so many jobs and go to so many interviews in a week, right? I would setup servers, mess up, revert to snapshots, try again. Keep going until I got them right. Start from scratch, wash, rinse, repeat, until I could do the steps from OS install to a fully functioning system multiple times in a row so I could do the video straight through without having to spend multiple hours or days editing the final cut.
Of course, this applied to more than just servers. Some of our earlier videos pertained to consumer grade networking devices. Some of my earliest videos that had the most popularity were specific to DD-WRT. Those original videos alone had the most views, even to this day. After the hiatus, I mistakenly took them down since the older WRT54G models were long deprecated, but that was apparently a mistake. Those workhorses are still being used today and we still get comments and views after re-posting the videos. I think they must've been linked to somewhere in the DD-WRT forums, however, as they certainly don't have the views they used to. Oh well...