James-Cook-Employee-Spotlight

Employee Spotlight: James Cook, Operations Director

We have some impressive employees in our ranks: from basketball players to marathon runners, from gamers to authors. The Employee Spotlight series aims to highlight the talented individuals who work here.

For this month’s Employee Spotlight, we’re featuring James Cook, the Operations Director here at Cybrid.

What do you do at Cybrid? 

Operations Director.

What are your credentials/past experience, for working in your position? 

I’ve worked in the IT arena from the ground up for 25 years through Blue Chip London based corporations, I’ve also had a self-employed phase before moving into the MSP environment. I’ve worked with some great people and conversely some that weren’t so, on projects ranging from literally miles of hands-on cabling in new showroom complexes to more intricate technical workflows on cybersecurity and foundation processes. I’m constantly learning from those around me in a real-world environment. I bring those skills to my current role and continue to learn from everyone around me from the new apprentices to my peers.

What’s the best thing about your job? 

I love the challenge of taking something that doesn’t work as well as it could and not just turning it around for that specific instance, but future-proofing it via automation and manual process and procedure.
Seeing a workflow gain traction and making the processes that are encompassed become more efficient can give a renewed sense of engagement to teams – this gives me a great sense of pride in the work I do.

What’s been your proudest moment at Cybrid?

In the two months I’ve been here my first actions were to migrate our phone solution to something a little more flexible which has now been implemented and is flexible enough to progress to a dedicated out-of-hours solution (a project still underway but making great progress).
Second would be the reconfiguration of our existing ticket platform to enhance its functionality and again provide a flexible enough foundation to allow the fluid migration of a secondary legacy ticket system – we now have a greater view of potential pain points flagged at a much earlier stage across the whole platform.
These are just two small, but key parts of a bigger evolution they are paving the way for future projects.

What’s it like working at Cybrid during the current pandemic? Has the way you work changed at all?  

I see this question a lot and it’s one that is normally responded to with a resounding YES! But I see it as quite a subjective question so I like to challenge the perspective.
While home working and distancing guidelines have forced a change of the tools we use to communicate, Microsoft Teams being a prime example, I believe that the ethos and approach are the things that make up the “way” we work, which shouldn’t change.
In short, your finished product, be it physical, digital, or informational is a result of the way you work not the tools you use to create it.

Before working at Cybrid, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had? 

I’ve been lucky in that I’ve always been in the IT arena, I genuinely find my job interesting due to it’s broad spectrum but I appreciate it’s not for everyone. In my younger years used to take holiday from my support role to work a supervisory role at Reading festival as a break from the routine. The characters I worked with and people I met in that place (other than the usual trouble makers) definitely gave some lasting memories.

What’s something new you’ve learned in the past week? 

That my heart rate can hit 208 and it didn’t kill me, and as a reflection of that, I should probably slow down a little on Portsdown hill climbs.

What are your top three books/podcasts? 

That’s a tough question….
Ted talks podcast
Start with Why
Anything by Bernard Cornwell

What do you enjoy doing when you are not working? 

I’m just finishing up renovations on my house, so now I’m spending more time on the road or mountain bikes while the weather is good. I’ve had a few sea fishing sessions which I really enjoyed and have been known to murder a game of golf or two! I love getting out and being active but I’m very much a fair-weather person so in the colder wetter months I’m all about a good movie and log fire!

Stay tuned for more Cybrid Employee Spotlights!