Wednesday, 22 May 2024 13:26

Techweek inspired blog with June Chong from TechnologyWise Featured

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As it is Techweek this week; Aotearoa’s festival for tech that’s good for the world - we thought it would be a good excuse to catch up with some of our residents in the technology sector at Basestation. One of the longest standing companies here is TechnologyWise, we sat down for a kōrero with June Chong, one of the youngest members of the team. 

 

We started by asking, 

Can you introduce yourself and tell us how you got into the technology sector?

June starts by explaining that she is the youngest of three siblings. When her older brothers left the ‘family nest’ to travel and study overseas, she was at home with her parents in Brunei and quickly became ‘IT Support’ for them! Little did she know back then that this would be her future career!

When she was 17, June and her whānau moved to Aotearoa, they settled down in Hamilton where June attended Hamilton Girls School. At school there was an option for ‘Computer Studies’ but according to June, this was more Word Processing and how to use Excel - so not something that interested her. After leaving school, June went to study Computer Science at The University of Waikato, when I asked her why CompSci, she hinted there were a few factors. 

Firstly, she mentioned that the career counselor at school did a good job of promoting career paths in technology. 

For a while June toyed with the idea of doing something in the arts, multimedia or graphic design space. This is something she is good at and enjoys, but this would have meant going to Auckland to study (which she didn’t really want to do!). June was also put off by these industries as she felt they were harder to get into compared to a career in programming. 

While studying, June also had a part time job at the university in an IT Support type role helping lecturers use the university software. 

After four years of study and with honors degree under her belt June decided computer programming wasn’t the thing for her! The idea of working 9-5 in an office building technology didn't appeal to her. She was more interested in interacting with people and providing her skills and wisdom to help others - something similar to what she had been doing during her part time role at the university! 

Her first job after leaving university was for the local District Board working on their switchboard/support desk - it wasn’t ideal, but it was a start.  Soon after this June moved into a different role - Software Support, essentially talking with customers and showing them how to use the product. A large part of this role was sales - not something June was interested in, so it was time to look for something that aligned more with June's values and passions. It was around this time that June moved to Tauranga with her partner who had recently landed a job with Waikato University - June soon found work with a local start-up company. 

In moving to a new town, she wanted to connect with others so she signed up and volunteered with STEM Champions. This was an initiative run by STEM Wana for STEMFest 2019, it offered an opportunity for young adults (18 - 30 year olds) to work with high school students on a project and inspire them into STEM fields. It was through this volunteer work June met Alvin, a TechnologyWise employee. 

A year later in 2020, due to COVID-19, June was made redundant. She immediately reached out to her Tauranga contacts and asked if anyone knew of any roles in tech support that she could apply for. It was through her connection with Alvin that she was introduced to Michael Doerner, Technical Director at TechnologyWise - a week later she’d joined the team! 

 

Can you share with us what you do and what problems you are trying to solve for your customers? 

TechnologyWise is a managed service provider. The large majority of their customers are local small to medium businesses. The problems June and her team help their customers with range from ‘tier 1’  - something simple like a customer having a problem with their mobile phone, to ‘tier 3,’ managing and updating servers. Good customer service, communication and troubleshooting are key skills for June and the team. 

TechnologyWise also encourages their customers to use Open Source software. Not only does this make software cost-effective, it also means your data is more secure (i.e, it doesn’t go to a big software corporation). 

We ask June if there is much of an opportunity for TechnologyWise to use new emerging technologies such as AI or machine learning. She explains that because the service they provide focuses largely on maintenance and managing technologies for their customers, there isn’t much scope for new technologies. Sometimes the team might use something like ChatGPT to help with troubleshooting, but otherwise it’s not something they’d use much. 

 

Being located at Basestation, how does this help support the mahi you do?

June shares that a few of their customers are at Basestation, also being a central location it’s easy for their customers to access them and drop off laptops, harddrives, etc. 

When residents join Basestation it’s the TechnologyWise team that connects them to the network, WiFi, and printer. June, enjoys the work as it’s a great way to get to meet and get to know new residents, the mahi they do and the industry they are in. 

Fortunately her partner works ‘just over the road’ at the university making it easy for them to car share when they come to work. 

She concludes by saying “It’s a great place to be.”

 

Finally, we ask June

What new technologies excite you right now?

Generative AI”, June replies. 

June is a talented artist, most of us that know her are familiar with her amazing  ‘doodles’ on her note book. Using Generative AI for creatives and artists has the potential to be transformational. 

June tells us that by using this technology you can just type in what you want and the AI will create it for you - she is pretty excited about the potential for this.

 

If you want to find out more about TechnologyWise  and the mahi they do, check out their website here: technologywise.co.nz

 

 

 

Read 86 times Last modified on Wednesday, 22 May 2024 14:14

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