Staff Biography - Nick Hofmann
In detail, what is your role at Think IT?
I am one of our senior engineers, and a project engineer. I handle some of the major changes, such as when you need to replace your server, or migrate to a new technology, as an example, Office365 or getting rid of your physical server and moving it into the cloud. As one of our seniors, I help out with tricky problems and giving guidance to our other technicians when help is required.
What is it that drives and encourages you within your work and personal life?
I absolutely love problem solving, and have done since I was young. Getting stuck in to difficult challenges/jobs really drives me, and I am a big believer in doing things the right way, the first time.
Who, or what, was the biggest influence in your career today?
Prior to joining Think I.T. I worked for one of NZ's biggest I.T. companies. While I was there I learned some invaluable skills, but I felt a bit like a small cog in a big machine, and was missing guidance and leadership. Once I moved to Think I.T. I found what I was missing, in one of our technical leads, who was somewhat of a mentor to me. He did not just provide me the answers to my problems, but challenged me in the way I think and approached things. He allowed me to find the resolution myself, as well as pushing me to tackle large projects and develop new skills that I wouldn't have on my own. Working at Think I.T. with this sort of leadership has given me great skills to look at problems from a wide perspective, weigh up the most likely source of issues, and work down a path to find the resolution in a swift and accurate matter.
Whose biggest fan, are you?
Satya Nadella, definitely. His predecessor, Steve Ballmer, was not taking Microsoft in the right direction, in my opinion. When Satya took over, his vision for Microsoft was not how they had done things in the past, but where he saw technology going in the future. It was a bold move, but if you look at the Microsoft Azure cloud platform today. It's a huge success and I believe it is a model that many businesses today can utilize to their advantage, and benefit from.
What accomplishment are you most proud of within your job role at Think IT?
In my role as a Projects Implementation and Delivery manager, I come up against some pretty hard targets - whether that be a short period of time to complete a large amount of work, or to complete projects to my personal level of accuracy and diligence within a set timeline or budget. A particular project I am proud of is from January 2017, when the allocated hours to complete the work was less than the amount of business hours remaining prior to the timeline. With committed work and responsible delegation of tasks, we were able to get the job done ahead of schedule, to the clients' satisfaction. At the end of the day, I love seeing a job done right, and with the least impact to the customer's business.
What technology most excites you?
I am all about the cloud! When weighing up the physical, licensing and support costs of replacement hardware these days, I really see the benefit of moving services to the cloud, as I believe they are cheaper in the long term and in 3-5 years time, you don't have the same physical replacement costs you have done in the past. I have done a number of migrations/projects to cloud services and they really excite me. I am currently a Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate in Cloud Platform and one step away from being MCSE: Cloud Platform.
What areas should business be focussing on when it comes to technology?
I think a big part of how technology can help businesses today, is looking at processes that consume many resources or take a large amount of time. Thinking about tools can be used to automate or streamline the process. Rather than taking a view of 'This is how we do it, because that's the way we've always done it', the vision should be 'This is how we do it, and this is how we can IMPROVE it!'
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Cooking is a big love of mine, and I am an avid collector of cookbooks and recipe's. While I don't have much time anymore, PC gaming used to be a big hobby of mine too - I have been sponsored by Microsoft, Playtech and Computer Lounge, and our team was ranked 2nd in Australasia a few years ago for one of the games we played. It might sound like 'all fun and games' however required up to 20 hours of practice a week - I don't have time for that any more!
If you could gain one super-human power, what would it be?
My power would be to teleport - definitely. To be able to go wherever you want, whenever you want, instantly, Holiday? You're there. Too cold? Oh look you're in the Maldives. Left your wallet at home? Oh back in 2 seconds. Epic!