Instaclustr Insights provide meaningful insights into team members’ work lives. This time it is Tessa Jensen – Technical Operations Manager, Instaclustr.
What does your role at Instaclustr entail?
I am one of the managers in our growing Technical Operations team. My responsibilities include the day to day management of our TechOps engineers, which includes, but is not limited to, onboarding new staff, rostering, participating in regular catch ups, and undertaking performance reviews.
Since returning from parental leave recently, I also have the added responsibility of being the Continuous Improvement Manager for the team, which involves identifying and managing the many improvements we are making to our tools, processes, and documentation within TechOps—a big job!
What does a typical day look like for you?
The first thing I do each day is check my calendar as I need to make sure I am ready for any morning meetings! I often start my work day from home—I juggle checking my emails and slack messages in between having breakfast (and coffee!) as well as getting my 2 kids ready for the day. If I have any early morning meetings I join them remotely from home. I then make my way to the office by midmorning. As a manager, I have to attend many meetings, so much of my day is making sure I am on top of any resulting actions that are assigned to me. When I have time in between meetings I like to say hello and catch up briefly with members of my team directly, either via Slack or face-to-face if they are in the office.
How did you first get interested in technology?
I grew up in a small town in regional Queensland, and for a long time I felt isolated. To cope with this I would spend a lot of time in our local library (which was only open 2 days per week) and I would immerse myself in reading books and forming obsessions with TV shows and movies. We were taught how to use computers and play various educational games in primary school, but then I was introduced to the internet and my world was rocked!
Suddenly I could search for anything I wanted to know about, instead of spending hours hunting for information in our small library! I could read all about my favourite stories and I discovered there were many others like me who shared the same interests and I could even chat with them! For the first time that I could remember I felt that I was no longer isolated from the world! At the time we still didn’t have the internet at home but from then on I spent any time I could hooked up to any computer with a dialup connection!
And your formal education followed in that path?
Yes, I completed a Bachelor of IT in Applied Computer Science, Networking, and Security from USQ. I think the most important thing the degree taught me was how to think critically, search for information effectively, and then make sense of the answers!
When did you join Instaclustr—and why?
I had been working non-stop in various IT roles for almost 8 years before I joined Instaclustr in November 2018. I had had a baby a year earlier, I was burnt out, and I recognized that I needed a change of workplace. First and foremost I wanted to find a role that had flexible hours, options for working remotely, and encouraged a healthy work-life balance—anything else would be a bonus.
At the time I had been working in an IT management role, but I was prepared to go back to a fully technical role or something different if I needed to. I had heard positive things about Instaclustr previously, and when I saw a role advertised in the TechOps team I decided to apply. I’m glad I did, because not only did I find somewhere that ticked the boxes of work-life balance, I was also able to take on a role that helped progress my career, learn new technologies, and work with great people to support a variety of customers all over the world.
What’s been your favorite part about Instaclustr since joining?
Working here fulfills my deep seated need to feel connected to the world and contribute in a positive way. I love that our customers are from all over and that I am helping them, albeit in very small ways, to achieve some amazing things. I also enjoy being part of a team and connecting with each team member to understand them as a person and how best to support them in their roles. A happy and engaged team has positive flow on effects to all parts of a business. Also, being able to work everyday in a t-shirt and jeans is great!
In your opinion, what makes someone a good fit to be in the TechOps Team?
Working in front line technical operations is not for everyone, but I do think it’s important for anyone working in a tech company to experience, or at least witness first hand, the type of work that is involved so they can understand the unique challenges that are faced by our TechOps Engineers.
In my opinion, there are a few qualities that help you succeed in TechOps, including:
- The ability to react quickly and adapt to changing situations.
- A love of solving problems no matter how big, small, technical, and non-technical.
- A drive to understand the “why?” and learn things quickly.
- A willingness to collaborate, communicate, and contribute within the team and the wider company.
If you think this describes you then maybe a role in TechOps is for you! 🙂