Meet our unsung heroes
Justin Hobbs, Cloud Consultant
We’re patiently waiting for some sunshine (so we have the excuse to do our interviews in a nice park somewhere)… sadly no luck yet, so this month we sat down for a chat and a coffee in our Mill Pool House office with Justin Hobbs, one of our very experienced Cloud Consultants to find out what he gets up to in his important role at Fordway.
A grey day weather-wise, but a busy day for Justin as he finishes an Intune migration for one customer before beginning the process of a large Azure infrastructure project for another of our valued clients.
Let’s go back to basics… what is your role at Fordway, Justin, and what does it involve?
‘’I am a Cloud Consultant, working primarily with M365 and Azure. My focus is on designing, architecting, and delivering technical solutions in these environments for our customers, as chargeable pieces of work. It is probably fair to say that every day is something different or something new.’’
How long have you worked for Fordway?
‘’Just a smidge over 6 years.’’
What has been your highlight/favourite project so far?
‘’There has been a lot over my time so far, I was lucky enough to work at BFK when I first started, cutting my teeth in a first line service desk role on site. They are certainly great memories for me to be involved in something so huge such as the build of the Elizabeth Line.
I love a good Intune project, having done a lot of endpoint deployment and management over my career so far it always appeals to me, I like creating something that users will utilise every day and trying to make that a great experience for them.’’
Amazing you were involved in the Crossrail project, Justin!
For those of you that don’t know, Fordway managed the IT for the Elizabeth Line for over a decade. You can read more here.
Did you always want to work in IT, and how did you progress your career in the industry?
‘’I had no idea what I wanted to do for work when I was younger, it took some time working in jobs I hated to really sit and think about it and decide what route I wanted to take.
I had vague notions of perhaps doing something with computers, but that only really came to fruition when I managed to get an apprenticeship in the IT teaching department at my old college. From there I took my experience and fresh CompTIA A+ certification and wandered into Fordway one day on my walk home from the apprenticeship, landing a job at the service desk.
Since then, I have had a passion for IT and trying my hand at new things that come up really.’’
Now that work from home is largely the norm, do you have any tips for a healthy work from home routine, or maintaining a healthy work/life balance?
‘’Something I have never struggled with is logging off. Aside from setting clear boundaries for yourself, take some time to do some chores during the day, step away from the screen for a bit and go for a walk perhaps, make a cup of tea every now and then.’’
Yes, it’s always important to take a break from the screen and get out when you can.
Have you had any training while working at Fordway that has allowed you to progress in your role or develop your skills?
‘’I have attained some Microsoft certifications during my time here, recently obtaining my Azure Solutions Architect Expert exam. We also have had the opportunity for some soft skills training over the years.’’
What advice would you give someone considering a career in tech?
‘’Have a think about your strengths as a person or what elements of tech interests you and see where they apply to relevant IT roles.
For example, I enjoyed building my own PCs and tinkering/fixing them, I wanted to know more about how they worked – it made sense then, to aim for a role in support. That being said, a role starting off in support is usually a good one, as you often get to touch a lot of different things and its fairly easy to find your path from there.’’
That’s great, thanks Justin.
Now on to some more light-hearted questions, starting off with your office (or home office) pet hates?
‘’My cat hates it when I displace him from my desk chair, how dare I?’’
I would have to take the cat’s side on that one… next question, If you could only bring one item to a deserted island, what would it be?
‘’A helicopter, perhaps? Something I could use to leave instead of remaining stranded on a deserted island.’’
Makes sense! As we are in the holiday season, what’s the best place you’ve ever visited?
‘’A hard one to answer, there are so many fantastic places. Something that stands out, is eating dinner on the balcony with my wife in Nice, the sun setting over a glorious view of the Alpes-Maritimes tumbling down to the Côte d’Azur, and onward to the blue pearl of the Mediterranean Sea.’’
Sounds dreamy! finally and most importantly… your thoughts on pineapple on pizza… yes, or no?!
‘’What is not to like? Sweet and savoury together, a taste sensation.’’
I mean, some would disagree, but each to their own! Thanks for your time, Justin, it’s been great to chat and find out a bit more about life behind the scenes of a Cloud Consultant.
What makes Fordway a great place to work is our people.
From getting to know our customers and understanding their needs, to enabling users and their organisations to do more with less, people are at the heart of what we do. We’re proud of the people that we work with and that means we are committed to helping them reach their full potential.
If this sounds like the kind of place you’d like to work, then get in touch with us today.