On this episode of the NewyTechPeople Podcast we are sharing snippets from all of our 2021 interviews. Thank you for all of your continued support and we look forward to bringing some exciting new podcast episodes to you next year.
Hope you enjoy the episode!
Aaron & Witold
During that two and a half years i transferred what i could to the university of unicastle and i started in undergrad in com finance so that’s my my official undergrad is com finance and i finished that up probably two or three years ago while we were sort of growing the business so it’s been a long long haul um i think i’ve been at uni now um for most of your
it’s coming this is my 13th year so i’m starting a master’s in marketing at the moment so 13 years part-time studying at university yeah and a business and a wife and two beautiful little girls so it’s been a yeah i think i’ve had two career changes in my career so yeah it’s just i think it’s um too much pressure for students especially just to figure out what they want to do straight away out of high school and yeah it’s you’ve got to be passionate about what you’re doing particularly uni i mean uni teaches like technical skills which is is really good but it also teaches you time management and how to control yourself that’s the the biggest lessons i got out of that so um that’s floating into everything i do now and what advice would you give to students wanting to start a career in marketing or digital yeah digital marketing in particular the curriculum’s still pretty light at the uni it’s changing rapidly but it’s still pretty traditional so i’d still say focus on traditional marketing so everyone within our team at zimple is a marketer first and then we span off into our sort of you need the foundation and the fundamentals yeah first and that’s just different applying it across different channels different platforms i mean if you specialization is is still recommended like you can still need to so like seo or yeah seo sem social media content production there’s there’s a whole range of areas that you go into but the output of those particular skills are only as good as the strategic thought that’s gone into producing them yes so yeah we always try and take a strategy-led approach based on objectives and then back that up with skills so yeah anyone looking to start a career in digital i’d say focus predominantly on the soft skills so thinking listening being able to synthesize information and then put it onto paper and then have you back up in the tactical execution of that yeah definitely and market research obviously because that’s okay if you yeah exactly you’re going to be helping your clients grow their businesses yeah so let’s talk about simple so you’ve been steadily growing the business over the last several years which is exciting and you’re a sort of full service creative and digital yeah agency based in charlestown yeah so there’s there’s 18 of us now which is great so last year we moved into a new premises just above rascals in in charlestown up in the new corner development which was pretty exciting so we did a full fit out and that was to accommodate the short-term and future growth of the the company we’ve hit the short-term growth already and we’re looking to expand beyond that yeah so yeah we’ve got a pretty diverse team up there and everything seems to be moving in the right direction so we’re pretty good and can you talk about some of those plans for growth at this point and what are you going into other sort of areas or new client segments yeah so traditionally our client base is businesses that are already sort of executing some marketing but due to competitive pressures they need to sort of increase their their digital presence in particular and that’s why that would come to us what we’ve observed is the barriers to entry in business have lowered considerably off the back of you know digital means of communicating with people so yeah businesses have been around for 20 or 30 years that have a great reputation they’ve got plenty of word of mouth business are starting to notice that their revenue is in decline right um due to all these upshifts so yeah that’s where we come in and different channels people there yeah yeah well it’s very accessible yeah you don’t in the past you know you put a billboard up you run a radio campaign or you do some tvc but now everyone seems to think they can put together a facebook page and campaign and go for it on episode 59 mitch brindle first guys are new in the devops space and obviously you’ve grown your career um for those that don’t know who you are and your journey today can you give people a bit of an overview yeah sure all right so i guess um been in it now for about 10 years i originally started in traditional i.t so servers help desk networking stuff like that moved up from victoria so first gig was a support tech at hospitals down there got a job up here at calgary healthcare’s doing again more that support orientated work but then once i got a bit uh more skills under me i decided to step into the server networking infrastructure first thing i fell in love with was networking um anything cisco at the time that was me i went and got some certs etc then calvary went through a trans transformation so essentially i went from a support role to an engineering role which then essentially catapulted that exposure to that that tech space so going from networking then to service to citrix everything once calvary was um been done essentially i moved on to channel track which then the networking side just exploded that’s kind of where we managed our internal networking completely we managed the actual track network as well so that was huge exposure there once i i done everything that i could there we then moved into nib and this is where the career just on its head nib was a place where they had a lot of that traditional infrastructure but because i had a lot of development focus too that’s where the the kind of um shift from you know thinking around that tech stack to that more software stack happened and i guess when in late 2015 so i joined nib in 2015 they decided to go down the devops route and the first iteration of that was essentially splitting off the infrastructure team with people who wanted to get more into scripting more into programming more into automation and essentially once that happened i i bid in hard on that i thought that was fantastic i was already into automation a bit and because of like command line with networking the command line wasn’t too spooky so i kind of gravitated to that side more of the infrastructure side and then yeah went through that for a number of years now been on that aws journey did migrationary work but then also lift and shift from on-prem to aws looking at any automation between those two environments as well and then today well i actually after that i i did leave nob for a proportion of time to go to cola lsl fantastic time there and that was to take an opportunity in the management space that’s where i want to take my career and then nib had a opportunity of a lifetime which is essentially managed the team that i was in before so my old peers were were there still and just working back in that tech space that i loved and obviously nlp is a great company too so yeah um that’s where i am today nice mate from episode 60 justin bain the people that don’t know what it is like i’ve walked into into your offices in the warehouse there and we’re seeing you know big diggers and you know big mining machinery which are being retrofitted with batteries for people that don’t understand can you give people a bit of an overview of what you guys sort of do in most layman terms with you that sounds good i was gonna delegate that answer to you and say you know when you came out to cardiff what did you see what did you think but yeah that’s right we uh we generally on the on the workshop floor have at least you know one two three four different platforms undergoing various stages of integrations so that may be a retrofit so from a diesel platform uh over to full battery electric which we do with our close vehicle oem partners uh and then we also which yeah we build batteries we build batteries for the highest deepest and toughest applications yeah right highest deepest toughest so we’re talking military i know i’ve seen like a little four by four vehicle that you were doing that was to be using military as well as you know deep underground mining vehicles yeah so talking through the highest so at the moment we’re building batteries for a large eev toll a large cargo drone partner and then talking deepest underground mines has been a big focus of the company battery systems battery electric vehicle systems for mining applications and then in the marine sector uh yeah some some projects are in the pipeline in that space as well but yeah toughest toughest talking to the defense military applications a few projects on the books there from soldier system battery systems through to electric vehicle systems hey we’ll get to the the office fit out the warehouse fit out in a second because i was super impressed when i went out there but for those that don’t know where 3me came from or how come about this you know start up to scale up journey can you give people an overview yeah so the company has had a long history of research and development in the automotive electric vehicle space and then i was approached around towards the end of 2017 by one of the investors in the company and said hey the company doing cool stuff electric vehicle systems uh we want to take it into the mines and we want to take it into the military and we want your help help doing it yeah nice you come from an army background right yeah that’s correct why is a guy like you approach to come and join this company yeah so i was an officer in the army i went through duntroon the royal military college down in canberra i was a signals officer initially so i guess you know technical background uh in regards to that but within a broad management perspective i guess what officers in the army do is problem solving uh strategy leadership and yeah blank sheet of paper for the business plan get on board sort it out so i’ll stay there for a sec so the army best set you up with that sort of the more leadership skills is that probably the best platform that the army provided you for your career yeah i’d say so yeah definitely certainly from the human resources management perspective you know you manage small teams large teams um you know work in conjunction with with foreign nationals foreign militaries so very broad leadership experience yeah nice and then you’ve obviously been able to take some of those core skills and take them out out from army world into you know corporate world or startup world which is obviously going through those those growth panes as well that come along with startup to scale up yeah definitely i think i think a lot of the skills are very transferable i think you touched on it just then obviously your startup to scale up you know does require a lot of resilience and that’s uh that’s certainly something that you pick up in in your time in defence yeah cool i think the other the other part as well is just that the having to wear many hats right you sort of made mention of it before in the army you’re having to problem solve and you know look at different situations and probably play different parts within your role in different situations and then you’ve obviously taken that to the startup world is that yeah definitely multiple multiple hats when you’re when you’re when you’re running a tech company we’ve got a diverse workforce and we do a lot of engineering we do the tech development you know we’re progressing into production obviously there’s arms of you know getting getting cash in the door uh to keep the business on its uh on its fast trajectory so um yeah it’s very much a multi-multi-hat job yeah it’s it’s interesting to hear from my perspective i’m going to be a lot of tech professionals in particular and you’re obviously a ceo of a tech company now coming from that army background it’s a you’re not the first i don’t think i think i have one other guy on here that had that military background um but i think it’s and he spoke very very strongly of again leadership and um team building as a you know core aspect but it’s definitely not the the common path for the ceo of a tech startup yeah i think i think when you’re when you’re in the military you know say as a troop commander i mean you’re solving problems you’re pulling together pulling together a team to just to plan a mission um you know whether it’s it’s more more deliberately planned or whether it’s a you know short short notice type thing but you you’re getting people together in a room with different capabilities uh and you’re solving a problem and you know that’s what we’re doing at 3m we’re solving solving problems from episode 61 ryan priest what what advice would you give to young people wanting to start a career in technology oh i look i i went all in and just tried to learn and absorb as much as you could stay focused with what you’re passionate about um it’s very easy to sort of maybe get distracted there’s so many different avenues now like back when i was young it was like if you’re gonna get an it was a very it was a pretty clear path in a lot of ways you know you go do your microsoft search i did all them um did my itil search but it was very clear in the direction you could go now it’s like you can be like a software dev you can you know robotics automation like there’s just so many different avenues and machine learning engineers yeah yeah yeah and i think it’s just all about just like being focused like just find out where your passions are like you’ve got to do this you’re going to do this for a long time like your career unless you hit the jackpot which i’ve been trying to do the powerball come on baby but chances of you winning that are pretty low so you have to have a backup plan and that would be probably a career i guess and in your career you know you’ve got to find what you’re passionate about otherwise you’re just wasting everyone’s not only your time wasting everyone’s time yeah exactly because you’re going to get bored he’s going to keep jumping between and then you’re going to get to like the ripe old age where you go why didn’t i just follow what i thought was interesting or why didn’t i just why didn’t i just spend my days waking up and actually look forward to going to work and i’m definitely at that point i love going to work yeah i love the people i work for i love what we’re doing i think i’m very blessed in a lot of ways i’m not a religious person but i’m definitely feel like um you know the opportunities that i’ve had has been a result of me um probably being quite vocal about what i want to do but also just like knowing that i’m interested in something and chasing that so i guess my advice to newcomers and people coming to market is is don’t don’t rush it by all means don’t think you have to have like this clear path of what you want to do because you’re probably not going to work it out for about five years into your career right yeah and that’s that’s normal like it’s more than normal in fact i’d probably encourage it like dabble in a little bit of everything yeah but once you find something that really excites you go and master it like go and go and do the best you can at it because it’s only going to benefit you in the long run and you’ve got to have an end game and your end game is to retire and spend time with your family or yeah you know whatever it is i think there’s just a lot of pressure on kids these days to have it figured out straight away i think there’s i think that pressure is like always been there in some ways it probably stems from um both your parents and what the school expectations are and stuff and you do it a lot of us did just go surfing during the day and don’t worry about it but don’t take my advice and don’t do that like from episode 62 daniel pludeck what got you into technology to begin with funnily enough i started studying microbiology at university i really enjoyed the maths and sciences however noticed there were no real jobs in australia and especially back then the only real jobs are available overseas when i started looking at other areas where i can apply the maths and science skill set technology stood out so roughly halfway through my second year i changed my majors from microbiology to it and finished off my degree of dit focused and then went on to honours in it nice out of university where where did that take you for first job out uh first job out was as a dba for aeon i absolutely hated the role i just could not stand sitting at a desk all day looking at code and understand why figures were off by .0001 somewhere in a database so i did that for about a year and then moved into a professional services role with eds where i was able to work on a much broader range of technologies nice did that role also have any customer facing element it was customer facing so i was based on customer site initially at colonial bank helped with the technology merge open bar acquired by commonwealth bank through that contract i was offered a full-time role with eds and that took me to ericsson general motors commonwealth bank advanced overseas uh where i worked on xerox transformation in canada which ended back to general motors in canada and then rolls across the us all right i’m going to go into that usp one sec but you just may mention something there that purely technical role moving into a role that’s got a customer facing element to it my gut feel is the people i talk to that get those higher level positions up into the sea level management and then c-level positions in technology have that really strong people element and that communication part to what they do as opposed to being purely technical do you think exposure to that in an early role for you helped in that in that growth i think um you need to have a breadth of skills having the customer facing skill set does help with the growth because it does teach you how to deal with different stakeholders and how to communicate and how to communicate with non-technical people i found coming as an introvert and from a technical role the ability to listen and understand helped a lot especially in customer facing experiences so i found even in my early roles i’d inherit the problem customers because i’d sit and try to understand what their actual problem is and work for that problem with them and that would normally turn them around so i think yeah technical or not doesn’t matter so much it’s being able to understand what is that problem you’re trying to fix and then leverage what you have um available to you as far as skills experience other people to be able to resolve that issue yeah and that’s technology as a whole right it’s an enabler and the technology itself what whatever platform you’re using whatever code you’re writing in the the biggest solution and you know what is that problem you’re solving is is the issue right on that note what do you think the biggest skill that you would have had to learn from moving up that chain to getting c level is there a skill in particular or learning in particular you think is most important i think the biggest learnings are a you have to be confident if you’re not confident in your ability to do something nobody’s going to be confident in you yeah listening is very very important so the more you listen the more you understand and if you understand you can then address challenges and take on the work that other people don’t want to do or can’t do so i find the biggest opportunities and the biggest jumps i’ve ever made has been taking on the problems that have been lingering for years getting them fixed which then drives that exposure and i found doesn’t matter what role you start at in the organization if you can fix their big problems you’ll move up quite quickly from episode 63 aaron and will told that they have yeah and this is something that you know it varies obviously by um you know piece that we’re working on but uh we do use dotnet fairly extensively because like starting at you know the hardware level we have um effectively a rover that’s doing all the data logging for the mobile laser scanning so it’s like pulling the lidar information in it’s then time stamping the camera feed to the gps the same as the lidar keeping the gps and you know kind of really collating all that data um so that’s all you done in net we actually have like a linux environment on a single board computer um and it used to be mono but now we can run.net core you know even better so uh so we run that kind of at the coal face essentially like as we’re capturing uh and then we have you know uh normally something watching that there that is effectively just a gui that’s on a screen somewhere so the operators can can actually see whether or not they actually look at it is another thing but it’s there but it’s there so and then we pipe telemetry up to our web service and we’re using.net on the website as well from episode 64 david lynch the audience that may not know what minder is can you explain what my under product is yeah sure and what your plans are yeah sure mondra essentially is um is our hosted server solution so it’s essentially the cloud a lot of people hear about the cloud um and that’s what it is uh um i suppose behind all the smoker mirrors it it um our data our infrastructure sits in two data centers down in sydney um that are both replicated so um you know if one goes down for whatever reason whether it’s a power outage or whatever all the data can swing across to another data center yeah so can you talk to us about some of the data centers that you’ve got in sydney and the security around that because that’s obviously a hot topic um in the cloud infrastructure space yeah absolutely so um so we’re in the equinix data centers down in sydney um one based in silver water and one based in the city and they’ve got their government grade type data centers so they’ve got all sorts of security i suppose gates that you need to get through in order to go anywhere near the actual servers themselves yeah um and they’ve got all the temperature controlled stuff which a lot of those data centers necessarily do but for us it was just that extra level of um security that we wanted to be able to have yeah good i saw i watched the video on your website so i saw big fans yeah there’s massive generators there’s all sorts of things to make sure those things sort of stay up all the time but as i mentioned before so when if one was to go down for any particular reason it’s all backed up at our other site that’s great and we have that ability just to ramp up our clients so that they have no sort of outages at all so yeah fantastic great okay so um so the minder cloud infrastructure is one of your key products can you tell us about your plans for that and there’s some upgrade plans yeah i believe yeah there is so we’ve already done our first upgrade um we call it miner 2.0 so it was funny because i just arrived at oas and i think i arrived in the february of 2020 yeah and about six weeks later that thing called covert hit and so i kind of ruined everyone’s yeah it kind of was it was a bit tricky to to navigate through that but um we got through it and you know the the team were really supportive so with an awesome team um everybody just dug in but at the same time we were due to have an infrastructure upgrade so we moved from a what they call a flex pod system into a hyperflex system um with cisco as well so um so that upgrade was a sizeable investment and sort of in the middle of covert most people kind of bunker down and count their pennies and make sure that they’re going to be able to get through and i suppose the the guys entrepreneurial type spirit came out and um they knew they had to upgrade perfect time to do it yeah strategically it just made sense for us to do that and we had a little bit of downtime i wouldn’t say a lot of downtime um to be able to actually focus on that upgrade so that we’ve done that and now we’re at the stage where we’re we’ve almost grown so much that we actually need to upgrade again so yeah our storage and our capacities are starting to get the stage where we need to go again yeah from episode 64 david lynch you’ve obviously you know been to a lot of different countries and tell us about that experience with africa africa and that was just recently obviously so last october i was fortunate enough to head towards africa um yeah the story i tell is about on the way out of africa we had to have copper tests done most of the airlines wanted to see proof of a cover test before they would board you yeah you’d imagine what the airline system’s like in the middle of a pandemic it’s masks and separation and everything else going on um but yeah they um were you nervous about flying in a full plane was it the plane the planes were empty really empty yeah yeah i i don’t know how they’re making money yep i really really don’t but yeah um i mean it’s a nice time to fly like you weren’t crowded and food services were prompt and the plane was empty so it was it actually was a good time to fly yeah apart from you know the global pandemic risk element but now on the way out of of mali we as i said we had to stop for our cover test in bamako city so we arrived at the airport and got into a minibus and were you know shuffled into the hotel and got to have a really good look at the city and other countries and um again that whole healthy appreciation for for here at home um you know that capital bamaco there’s a lot of tin sheds you know the main roads are tired north side streets aren’t um you know all the basics that we have here you know sanitation and garbage collection it’s there but it struggles yeah um yeah choked roadways with people and scooters and you know people sitting in the backs to get where they’re going and all that sort of stuff but um they they put us into a hotel for a couple of days um it’s in the nice part of town in the in the um embassy district um all tied rose everywhere there with it then i’ll never forget came around the corner and there’s this little concrete bridge over a muddy looking creek and the bus pulled up on that as the as the gates in front of the bridge open and they had razor wire on top of them and that and the gates opened and out came an armed guard and at that point you sort of realised there was another armed guard sitting in a hut off to the side and then out came another two one with a mirror on a stick looking under the car and another one with a bomb sniffer dog who did a lap of the car um so even if you’re not guilty of anything you need to win that that’s right exactly right i haven’t got any sunscreen that smells like explosives um and at that point we’re rattling from the amount of medication we’d had for any malaria and stuff as well but um yeah so they they circled the car and that was okay and they drove the car and shut the gate behind there was an inner gate in front of it um they got us all out and the sniffer dog snipped us all over and then we all walked into a like an airport security hut so x-ray machine wands and then the bag x-ray and they would have had quite big machine guns i imagine yeah they weren’t planned
yeah they weren’t playing um so yeah so then we you get through that you put your bag through and then you walk out of all of that and you’re into this courtyard of a hotel with flowers and fountains and music playing and you’ve stepped into a different way you