Sonia Cuff is a Technology Consultant, Speaker, and Microsoft MVP.
What’s your IT origin story? How long have you been in the field?
I started working in a bank as an 18 year old, fresh out of high school. We had a ton of problems with a DOS-based sales reporting program (running on a 386 PC) & I was the one on the phone to Level 2 support. They noticed that I could understand what they were talking about & asked if I’d ever thought of joining IT – they had a project coming up to roll out new PCs nationwide. And the rest, as they say, is history .. over 20 years of history in fact!
What’s been the biggest change in IT since you started your career?
The biggest change has been what the Internet has enabled IT Pros to do, and the threats it has introduced because of what our users can now do!
Current worst trend in IT?
Adding new collaboration tools, thinking that will solve our problems.
Current best trend in IT?
Automation – the more we can improve the delivery of the easy stuff, the better.
How do you approach organization at work? What are your must use apps? How do you approach organization? What’s your ideal workspace?
I’ve been away and really missed my L shaped desk and 3 monitors, including one in portrait! Juggling everything involves my Inbox, subfolders for current events & projects, Planner inside Microsoft Teams as placeholder reminders and my calendar (all on Office 365). I’d also be lost without OneNote, which has everything from event notes to ideas for blogs and Pluralsight courses.
Book recommendations for other IT pros (besides The Phoenix Project?). What are you reading now?
Hit Refresh by Satya Nadella – a great look at the turnaround in Microsoft’s culture. And because I can’t do non-fiction before I sleep. I’m reading Mark Russinovich’s novel Zero Day. So far I have mixed feelings about it.
First computer you owned.
What do you do when you’re not working in IT?
I’m a volunteer and trainer with the Queensland State Emergency Service. I teach people how to repair roofs, use UHF radios and look for missing people or evidence (supporting our Police). At home. I’ll be cooking, or watching Netflix with my daughters.
How do you caffeine?
A small flat white on freshly ground Full Throttle beans made at home on my Sunbeam Café Series machine, after dropping the kids off to school, then another one late morning. English breakfast tea the rest of the day and decaffeinated tea after dinner. Quality, not quantity.
Who do you want to see answer these questions?
Best career advice you’ve received.
Change what you can and don’t stress about what you can’t change. Pretty good life advice too.