Exceptionally modest and remarkably talented to boot, our Support Engineer, Alex Jostsons, was a bona fide rock star in the eighties before he decided to pursue a more conventional career in the IT industry. As you can imagine, he knows a thing or two about performing under pressure which is why he’s the perfect fit for his role at Zafire.
We talked to Alex about his career to date at Zafire and to find out more about him, both personally and professionally.
What is your role at Zafire Group Ltd?
I’m based at Zafire’s Asia Pacific Regional Office in Sydney, Australia where I work as a Support Engineer alongside other colleagues in Infrastructure. My role involves technical support.
What do you like most about your job, your team, and working for Zafire?
I used to work for a well-known technology solutions global corporate prior to working for Zafire. I found that particular organisation very risk-averse when it came to developing new products. Zafire is completely the opposite in that respect. When I first met our founders in 2009, I was impressed by how driven they were and how committed to product development they were, and it’s still an important part of the business here at Zafire today.
I really like the fact that everyone at Zafire is very passionate about their job and genuinely loves what they do for a living. It’s an inspiring, open-minded, fast-paced place to work where the staff are very driven and very smart.
Working with my direct report, Rick, also has a lot to do with what I like most about my job. I’ve never worked with someone with such an insatiable thirst for knowledge and such an incredible ability to consume and use the knowledge. He is a genuine boffin, very rare!
What was the first concert you attended?
It would have been a Dire Straits concert but I’ve been to plenty, having worked myself in the music industry prior to getting involved in tech. Simple Minds, Phil Collins, and Simply Red were also firm favourites. I recently went to a Mick Hucknall concert (the former lead singer of Simply Red) which was excellent. I really admire how driven he still is after all these years in the industry.
What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?
I’m a family man so spending time with my wife and (now adult) kids has always been very important to me. I’ve been married for over 30 years, my daughter is 21 years old, and my son is 19 years old. How time flies!
I also love going for walks in the Bush which is quite literally right on our doorstep. It’s very beautiful here and we get the most gorgeous sunsets.
Where is your hometown and what is it like?
I live in suburban Sydney with my family, right on the edges of the Bush. It’s the best of both worlds: near enough to downtown Sydney but perfectly positioned to access nature.
What would be the title of your autobiography?
Good question! It would have to be something along the lines of It’s Going Too Fast!
Which apps do you use the most on your smartphone?
I can’t live without Google Maps, especially living here in Sydney. Even though I know my way around, I always use this app because it is almost unfailingly accurate and has prevented me from getting stuck in traffic for hours on end on multiple occasions.
I’m also an avid user of automation tools for smart energy devices, such as smart plugs, to help me monitor our energy usage which is particularly useful given the rising costs of energy at the moment.
I’ve also been dabbling a bit with cryptocurrency so I like to check my crypto balance on my smartphone to see if I’ve actually made any kind of return on my investments (watch this space!). I’ve only invested a small amount of cash but it’s still fascinating to monitor the crypto market.
If you could teleport anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?
I love pine forests, so anywhere in the world with one of those would be perfect. I particularly like the redwood pine forests in the USA, and I’m also very fond of the wild landscapes of Scotland and New Zealand. I’d definitely chose a rural destination rather than an urban one.
Do you have any phobias?
I don’t have any phobias. However, living in Australia, I do have a healthy wariness of spiders and snakes as a bite from these can prove fatal over here.
I do have a recurring dream of needing to run and not being physically able to do so which I usually have when I’m grappling with some kind of unresolved problem in real life. That’s probably the closest ‘fear’ I have to a phobia.
What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
I’d buy property if I won the lottery. I’d love an apartment in central Sydney and a house on the south coast with a sea view and solitude.
What has been your favourite project at Zafire?
I really enjoyed working on the Azure migration with my direct report, Rick. It was a fantastic opportunity to develop new skills and acquire new knowledge.
What are your top three life highlights?
My top three would have to be meeting my wife (I proposed five weeks later!), bringing my newborn kids home from the hospital, and being able to work flexibly so that I’ve always been around to watch my kids grow up.
What do you like to do on your days off?
I love watching Premier League soccer and I’m a big Liverpool supporter. One of my favourite childhood memories of my dad is watching a match with him on the television and asking him which team we were supporting. My dad asked me which team was winning and when I told him that Liverpool was in the lead, he suggested we support Liverpool. The rest is history!
What was your favourite subject at school and why?
I love maths because I found it very easy compared to the other subjects I was subjected to at school!
Thank you very much Alex!