John Awad: Managing a fast-growing team of superstars

Our interview with John, IT Manager at Zoom, THE video conferencing tool that everyone uses.

What do you ACTUALLY do?

When I first joined Zoom, I wore many hats, but as the company grew my role became better defined. I manage a fast-growing team of IT superstars that provide our Zoomies with the applications and tools they need to get their jobs done. We ensure a great onboarding experience for new hires, support our Zoom Rooms (not that they need much support!), and procure new technology. In short, we deliver happiness to our colleagues, so they can go out and deliver happiness to the rest of the world.

What types of devices do you support?

We support Mac, Windows, tablets, mobile devices, A/V equipment, Meraki for networking, and sometimes even the coffee machine.

What’s your favorite piece of tech?

My Samsung Galaxy S9+ is my favorite piece of tech. It helps me to stay well organized and connected.

What tools or apps are most important to your job?

Honestly, Zoom is the technology I use the most. Our Chat and Meeting service keeps me connected to over 1,200 global colleagues. We also use Freshservice as our ticketing system. It keeps track of all IT requests and automates our workflows. Centrify is our identity and access management system. Our users find it so convenient because it provides password-free access to our cloud apps.

Do you prefer hands-on, or troubleshooting from afar?

I prefer hands-on troubleshooting because I get the full picture and resolve issues faster.

Favorite thing about your IT environment?

I love that all of our tools are in the cloud. This makes supporting my company’s growth easier and there is less hardware to maintain – win-win!

Thing you’d most like to change about it?

The massage chairs on every floor don’t have a shiatsu setting… just kidding.

What’s on your desk?

I have my Veridesk for when I need to stand up, a Plantronics headset, my external monitor, two fidget spinners, Macbook Air, an Avengers Lab with a little bada$$ Iron Man figurine, and an iPad.

How did you start your career in IT?

I started my career in Long Island, NY working at the helpdesk for a school district.

What are the biggest misconceptions of your role, internally or externally?There is a stereotype that IT professionals aren’t approachable, but myself and my team love helping our fellow Zoomies and answering their questions.

What was your proudest professional moment?

I’ve had the opportunity to build IT from the ground up at Zoom. This journey has been an honor and I do feel so proud to be a part of it.

What are the biggest challenges in your work?

Zoom is expanding rapidly – we have dozens of people joining each month. It is a challenge to scale our team and implement new systems and processes to support this tremendous growth.

Most cringeworthy request?

Back when I was working at the school district, I was called to a classroom because the mouse cursor was jumping all over the screen. When I got there, the user was standing up using the laser mouse and it was hovering over the mousepad. As soon as I had the user sit down, the mouse made contact with the pad and it worked. He said to me, “Wow! How did the mouse know I was standing up?”

Do you stay hydrated at work?

If you mean coffee.. then yes, I am pretty hydrated. 🙂


I prefer GUI for the most part, but CLI still comes in handy for automation.

DIY or turnkey?

I’m leaning more towards turnkey these days.

Who would you love to see interviewed here?

You should definitely interview John Boyne, IT Support Manager, Americas at Airbnb.

Where can people follow you online?

You can follow me on LinkedIn.

Are you an existing atSpoke user?