Aside from being one of our hardworking System Administrators here at Cloud Employee, Neil is known to be a funny, friendly, and talented musician. Away from his desktop, System Administrator Neil likes to serenade with his awesome guitar skills and voice.
But, before you read the full interview, let’s get to know Neil up close and personal in the short clip below.
Just a few things about Neil
Q: How long have you been at Cloud Employee?
Neil: I’ve been working at Cloud Employee since November 2017.
Q: What is your current position?
Neil: I am a System Administrator and also a Full Stack developer.
Q: When and how did you start as a System Administrator?
Neil: I started here as a Full Stack developer, but I was lucky that Cloud gave me an opportunity to work with a client that needed to maintain a server and also develop a web project. At first, I thought I wouldn’t make it because I am a developer and not an admin. However, thank God, because I used to work as an IT staff with my previous employer and that experience helped me to meet the client’s expectations on handling the server.
Q: What projects/technologies do you enjoy working on in your spare time?
Neil: Currently, I’m using PHP (Laravel framework) and I’m currently working on a logistics/shipping web application. So, in my spare time, I would love checking the latest trends on using PHP such as those in security, new standards and approaches to writing codes and its new enhancement, especially in the Laravel Framework.
Q: Can you share some projects you’ve done? Which of them are you most proud of and why?
Neil: Yes, I have done various projects in the past. These include an online customer satisfaction survey, GPS vehicle tracking system, Web Portal for a company, internal scripts for exchanging e-messages and integration, government agency system applications for the Bureau of Customs and Department of Agriculture, and for an international government agency like in Japan.
Currently, I have here a Web Portal for UK clients which is what I am most proud of. This is because before, I worked with local clients, but now, I see myself as an international developer who develops various projects to help international clients make their processes more efficient and most especially to help them save money.
So, we heard you’re good at playing the guitar...
Q: How long have you been playing the guitar and how did you get started?
Neil: I started playing the guitar since 2nd year High School and had a guitar given by my cousin. At that time, I had a friend named “Jeje”, who is one of the instrumentalists at church and who also happened to be my mentor ;-). Actually, he didn’t teach me the right way to do the chords. I was just singing and looking while he was playing. But then, that experience helped me to start playing the basic chords.
Q: What songs or music do you usually play?
Neil: Before, since I’m a choir at the church, I always play liturgical songs. But now, ehemmm… I can play some international pop songs like Ed Sheeran, Bryan Adams, Jason Mraz and etc.
Q: Do you play in a band? Have you ever competed before?
Neil: Yes! I was in a band during High School and we won 2nd place. Back then, I was the Lead guitarist. :-)
Q: What was the hardest song you had to learn? Why was it hard?
Neil: Since I also became one of the instrumentalists at church, playing songs from the church is really hard because you need to be accurate in playing the chords and strings.
Q: Can you give some tips for anyone who wants to learn to play the guitar?
Neil: To learn really fast, start with the basics and make it a habit to practice! :-)
Your life at Cloud…
Q: Walk us through your day. What’s a typical day like for you as a developer?
Neil: Being a developer is quite hard, but also fun at the same time. Every day, I solve lots of algorithms, attend client meetings and more.
Q: What is the best thing about your job?
Neil: When you solve problems, you learn something new and make your clients very happy and satisfied. For me, that’s the best thing about my job.
Q: What is something your office mates don’t know about you?
Neil: It’s a secret but while my friends usually know me as a “Joker”, I’m actually a serious person.
Q: How do you beat work distractions or boredom?
Neil: I’ll just get the guitar and play songs. Sometimes, I watch comedies on YouTube, but most of the time, I talk with my officemates. :-)
Q: How are the people at your office?
Neil: They are silent, busy, and serious, but they are also friendly. The management is approachable and I love talking to them about personal stuff and about life. :-)
Q: What’s your most memorable moment at Cloud Employee?
Neil: I will not forget the time that I can both play table tennis and work as well with a client with a tight deadline.
Q: What made you decide to work here?
Neil: Working at Cloud Employee feels like home. You can play, talk, and work productively. That’s why I decided to work here.
Q: What do you love about Cloud Employee?
Neil: I love the Foodie and Beer Fridays. I like my workstation, the people, and the management.
Q: What are your top three tips for aspiring System Administrators?
Neil: First, don’t stop learning. Always get yourself updated on the latest trends on software and hardware.
Second, build up your connections. Shout your ideas, questions and etc. at forums like StackOverflow.com, blogs, and more. Don’t be shy. :-)
Lastly, attend seminars. This helps yourself to be updated on actual techniques, strategies and approaches in a project.
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