Speaker: Andrew Fox
What inspired you to pursue a career in your current field, and how did you get started in your role at GigaComm?
Andrew Fox: I started a career in information technology almost by accident. I studied the classics at university, not information technology. And at the time, it was the early nineties, there was a recession in Australia and there weren't a lot of jobs for people who had studied ancient rhetoric and philosophy. And so I had a little bit of a think about what I didn't know anything about. And that was computers. Weren't a lot of people who knew a lot about computers in the early nineties. And I thought, well look, that's probably an area where there's a fair bit of demand. And sure enough, there was, I walked straight into a technology job. And in the course of a couple of years at that first company, I learned an enormous amount. Technically I did a lot of study developed my technical acumen, but most of all I learned that I could get the job done much much better by talking to the people that I supported and that was a lesson that not many of my colleagues had learned. And ultimately, that led to a career where I often became the human interface of the IT department with the rest of the organisation and propelled me into leadership roles. Fast forward 30 years. And I joined GigaComm after a conversation with our CEO and founder, having just completed a very large digital transformation at my previous organisation, I was looking for another challenge.
What do you find rewarding about your job and what is your vision for your part of the business?
GigaComm was a spectacular opportunity for me to build something substantial and really fulfill that kind of need for self actualisation that really revolves around building something. And as a result, I've now been with the organisation nearly a year now and it has been incredibly fulfilling working with good people, people who know what they're doing. It's a real pleasure working with people who have been in the industry for most of their careers or all of their careers, understand the industry fundamentally and get an opportunity to build a kind of a green fields network. And do all the things right that they potentially didn't do right earlier in their career. The result for us from a technology perspective is we're building these wonderful foundations that propel the organisation to success. Creating simplification of processes, automation of our systems. We're getting to choose the best systems that suit both the industry and our capabilities and our requirements. And it's been enormously fulfilling.
What advice do you have for others who are interested in pursuing a career in your field, and what skills and qualities are more relevant?
What advice would I give to others interested in a career in IT? I think the advice is twofold. One is it's really important to understand that this is a very technical field. And the more you can invest in your technical acumen, the more successful you will be. So that requires hard work, diligence, interest. But also study, I can't under express the importance of gaining certifications within the industry to demonstrate your skill set, but also to drive your skill set. The second piece of advice I would give is that a career in IT doesn't mean a career away from people. You need to really develop your ability to interact with people to understand their needs. Our job fundamentally in IT is to make people's lives simpler, automate what they do. So that they can concentrate on what they do best and there's no greater satisfaction than delivering something to the end user that makes them more fulfilled and happier.
If you could choose one fictional technology from a movie or book to implement in real life, what would it be?
If I could choose one fictional technology from a movie or a book, I think it's pretty easy. I've passed my 50th year on this planet and it just gets harder every day getting old. And so I would love if someone could invent a technology that would rejuvenate me and give me back my 20 year old body. So I could run around and have the energy that I used to have, when I was in my twenties. I think that would be a gift to everybody in the planet to find their youthfulness again.