Staff Biography - Tom Woolcott

In detail, what is your role at Think IT?

I'm a Remote Support Engineer. After you raise an unexpected technical issue with us, I make it my business to see it through to a conclusion while keeping the lines of communication open. It’s a balancing act: using a sixth sense about what the underlying cause of an issue might be, gathering info and breaking it down into solvable chunks. A process-driven approach and a busload of gumption usually gets the job done. You can think of me as a gentlemanly tech-MacGyver.

What is it that drives and encourages you within your work and personal life?

The unknown, self-reliance, coffee. I’m curious about the world and want to know what’s around the next corner; I like to surround myself with great people but also enjoy a good measure of independence. This, along with a black coffee (and I’m not fussy – instant will do), gets me through the week and the weekend.

Who or what was the biggest influence in your career today?

I’m inspired by the people I have worked with, here and in previous roles, who taught me valuable lessons about how to approach the world of IT and how to see things from different perspectives. You know who you are.

Whose biggest fan, are you?

I’m a big fan of survival and adventure stories and the people who went on those journeys, like Samuel Hearne, who was an 18th-century English explorer travelling across northern Canada. Hearne realised the only way he could go long distances in arctic conditions was to abandon his European preconceptions of taking a big team and loads of gear and instead draw on indigenous technology, working with available resources to travel light and fast.

What accomplishment are you most proud of within your job role at Think IT?

I was on the first iteration of the Blue team and we proved that by working in smaller groups and focussing on communication we could be more efficient. Despite the unknowns when dealing with reactive tech support, we were able to provide expectations around response times and deliver on them.

What technology most excites you?

I’m inspired by real-world applications of technology, for example on Bottle Rock Peninsula near the start of the Queen Charlotte Track where ZIP – Zero Invasive Predators – Ltd uses a combination of automation, mobile technology and GIS to remove rats, stoats and opossums, cutting down on repetitive work that would otherwise mostly be done by volunteers.

What areas should business be focussing on when it comes to technology?

The basics! Security and a contingency plan. You don’t want to be sitting around like a turkey wondering what to do if you’re suddenly offline or your systems are hit by a virus.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I enjoy reading non-fiction – I’m currently reading a good book about how the tides work, and before that, I read all about totara trees. I like to put ultra-hot chilli sauce on everything, and I listen to loud fast music to get motivated, particularly on the way to the beach when the surf is good!

If you could gain one super-human power, what would it be and why?

I would have the power to create and delete virtual instances of myself and assign them tasks, like sleeping, or doing the dishes – then merge with them afterwards. Meanwhile, the real me would be free to get on with important things like reading books and going to the beach.