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application support engineer (ASE)

An application support engineer (ASE) is an IT professional who is responsible for troubleshooting the software applications a company uses and ensuring that help desk tickets are resolved in a timely fashion. In a large enterprise, an ASE may act as a subject matter expert for a specific software stack. In a small to mid-size business, an ASE will typically be responsible for supporting a limited number of client-facing software applications.

In addition to diagnosing bugs and problems that result in a poor user experience (UX), ASEs in large companies are often tasked with using what they learn to identify potential product enhancements. According to the employment website Glassdoor, an ASE with advanced skills can expect to earn a salary of $70k per year in the United States.

Essential day-to-day responsibilities for managing the event process include the following:

  • Provide technical support for enterprise-level application systems.
  • Respond to general questions and trouble tickets in a timely manner.
  • Research, diagnose, troubleshoot and identify potential solutions for how to resolve an issue.
  • Prioritize multiple, open issues.
  • Document issue triage as troubleshooting progresses.
  • Follow best practices for change control of proposed solutions.
  • Maintain service reports.
  • Document actionable bugs for engineering resolution.
Helpdesk event management
An ASE is responsible for documenting the helpdesk event management process.

Application support specialists in the enterprise

Above all, an application support engineer must understand how the application is supposed to work for the customer. In the enterprise, ASEs are usually part of a department that is populated by numerous support staff with varying skill levels and specializations. In small organizations, remote ASE staff may work for a third party support company. In this situation, the ASE may be contracted by the quarter, month, day, hour or incident.

As with many technical support departments, ASEs are often divided into lower and higher levels. Level 1 provides a basic level of support. They might just help internal users with the maintenance and operation of their software and solve common issues, escalating more difficult problems. Following from level 1, there can be a number of additional levels that address more complex issues. 

This was last updated in January 2020

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