Q&A with Wendell Holmes, Cloud Services Manager

Wendell joined us as a new immigrant from South Africa near the end of May 2007 as a Level 2 Infrastructure Engineer. He is currently Cloud Services Manager - a fascinating hybrid role which Wendell describes as a tight-rope balancing act combining hybrid and Cloud-based consultancy and leading a high performance team of like-minded, culturally diverse individuals.      

What roles have you held at Fronde?

I had an excellent manager and mentor (Michael Butler) who supported and guided me to open up career progression opportunities within Fronde. I went from a Level 2 engineer to Level 3 quite rapidly as Fronde was quick to recognise hard work, diligence and capability early on. From there my roles have been Technical Lead, then Team Lead Infrastructure Services, Enterprise Support Manager, Practice Director for MIS (Managed Infrastructure Services) and Cloud Services Manager. All of these roles had quite distinct functions and responsibilities over the years as technology and people have evolved. One thing I would say is no day at Fronde is ever the same, with daily unexpected insights and challenges around the corner.

What do you remember from the early days?

I remember being impressed with the level of skill displayed by my peers when I started at Fronde, and what stood out the most was the wonderfully welcoming, warm and open people at Fronde. As an example of this within my first few days my family and I were offered a TV and various other critical home supplies to help set us up on our new journey in New Zealand. Fronde has always had a strong focus on being a family organisation even early on when I first started. It’s part of its DNA which makes it stand out from the rest as a business that truly cares about its people.  

What technologies have had the greatest impact on your life over this time, both personally and professionally?

The advent and drive towards making the lives of us “techies” a bit simpler in some ways with virtualisation and cloud technologies has had a significant impact on me professionally. From a personal perspective, as an avid PC gamer since the 80s and 90s, seeing technology taking massive leaps over the last 15 years in terms of fidelity and in some cases photo-real and incredibly detailed and complex environments has changed the landscape of how we interact not just in games, but in how some movies are being made today. Can’t wait to see what the future holds on both accounts.

Have you experienced major life events during your time at Fronde?

I would have to say that seeing my sons grow over the past 15 years as part of the Fronde family and embracing New Zealand is right up there. Also having been involved in some of the Wellington earthquakes over the years at Fronde has certainly puts things into perspective. I have worked with some truly amazing, diverse and warm people over the years at Fronde who have, as a collective, stood firm together in the good times and the bad.

What are three words to summarise how Fronde has changed in the last 15 years?

Pushed the envelope.

What are your predictions or hopes for the industry?

I reflect on the rapid integration of how tech has shaped our lives and I am hopeful that with these evolutionary strides we focus more on biotechnology to enable at-risk people a more fruitful life and perhaps we might come up with a cure for cancer and other life-threatening diseases. On the flip side, one of my hopes is that we are able to achieve some semblance of balance from the digital world to a degree and truly enjoy each other's company and “be in the moment”.