Five Minutes With – Iain Whyte

IT Manager
Iain Whyte

Welcome to Five Minutes With, where you get to meet the incredible team engineering your success.

Iain Whyte is the manager of the FMG IT department. His progressive big picture vision for FMG’s technological advancement ensures our engineers are supported by state-of-the-art internal and virtual systems at all hours of the day.

What drew you to IT as a career?

As a kid I could always be found tinkering with computers or something electronic. Eventually I earned a degree in Electrical Engineering, but it quickly became obvious that no one in Australia designs or builds electronics or embedded systems, so I swapped hobby for career and career for hobby. I’ve found the two disciplines to be hugely complementary anyway – data centres in particular. I was that student at university that drove the IT department absolutely nuts by dodging all the rules to do cool things.

What’s the most rewarding part of your role?

Seeing the magic happen when all the pieces come together and something that didn’t exist before is now making someone’s life easier.

What career advice do you have for those starting out in this industry?

Wouldn’t you rather be mowing lawns? IT, just like doctors, never seem to get down time. At a party? Someone will have questions for you. Sleeping at 3am? Someone will have questions for you. On the upside, if you’re someone that can fix problems no-one else can, you will always have a job.

Coffee or Tea?

If you believe as I do that we’re all living in a simulation, then caffeine is the bootloader.

If you could give your past self 1 piece of advice what would it be?

Never build a data centre on the top floor of a building. They ALWAYS leak.

Do you have a personal mantra or a quote that inspires you?

It would have to be a tie between “Don’t Panic”, and “Nothing is impossible”.

Is there a stand out project from your time with FMG? What makes it special?

I’ve been with FMG for 2 years now. I guess the IT environment at the time when I joined could best be described as a ‘fixer-upper’ opportunity. No one project stands out to me, but I’m incredibly proud of our ability to support the business during this Coronavirus pandemic – our transition to working from home was very smooth. In reality, that was 2 years in the making – VPN, collaboration tools, securing and upgrading the networks and internet infrastructure, refreshing our infrastructure platform. It’s not that we specifically planned for such an event; but when your documentation, automation and systems are in order, when you have a well-trained and dedicated team, and when you have the trust of the business to do what’s right, you gain something many people are selling but few possess – the ability to execute.

What do you like about working with FMG?

FMG treats IT as an enabler of the business, not as a cost centre. It makes all the difference professionally. Personally, it’s a great and diverse bunch of odd personalities and boffins – I fit right in.

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