Meg Ciliberti: IT Lead, Shopify

Meg Ciliberti: IT Lead, Shopify

Our interview with Meg, IT Lead at Shopify, one of Canada’s fastest growing tech companies.

What do you ACTUALLY do?
I lead a team of IT Specialists at Shopify who are based in various countries and time zones. Our team supports each Shopify employee – over 3,000 people globally.

What types of devices do you support?
We support a variety of devices. While we primarily use Macs at Shopify, we also have some teams that require PCs for their roles and are also exploring the use of Chromebooks.

What’s your favorite piece of tech?
What a tough question, how can I pick just one? Right now, it would be a toss-up between AppleTV or my iPhone X.

What tools or apps are most important to your job?
Slack would easily be my most important. It gives me the ability to stay connected with my team and acts as a hub for notifications regarding key projects, system outages and updates.

Get Shit Fixed is an internal tool built by one of our senior IT Specialists which gives us the ability to track and monitor inventory, create repairs, lock devices, and supports nearly everything needed for our day-to-day tasks.

Do you prefer hands-on, or troubleshooting from afar?
Prior to being at Shopify, I had 11 years of experience in both technical support and training at Apple. Both roles were very hands-on and in-person. I prefer to hands-on troubleshoot because I get to see the “light bulb” moments – one of my favourite experiences.

That being said, I am a huge fan of having things like great documentation and lots of automation in place so that people are able to help themselves. This is called “tier zero” support, and allows us to work towards a place of having 24 hour support.

Favorite thing about your IT environment?
Shopify is driven by key cultural values and they are reflected in our environment as well. We are a very trusting team and we default to open internally. This helps us streamline things like access control and approval processes to get people the tools they need to ship.

Thing you’d most like to change about it?
I’d like to snap my fingers and solve all of the challenges that come along with rapid growth overnight, but alas, I’m not Thanos.

What’s on your desk?
I have a small selection of toys on the left, keeping me company throughout the day, a Swell bottle, an iPad for an app I’m currently testing, my 13” Macbook Pro with Touchbar, and my monitor. I’ve taken to having my monitor rotated vertically lately – I find it helps my workflow a bit better.

What was your proudest professional moment?
My proudest professional moment to date was being asked to speak at several conferences despite being “new to the scene.”

Most cringeworthy request?
While this isn’t necessarily a request, I am constantly surprised at the types of things people have open on their devices when they are being serviced or troubleshot.

Do you stay hydrated at work?
I’m one of those people that love to stay hydrated. I am a pretty big tea drinker in the morning and then I try to drink as much lemon water throughout the day as possible.

CLI or GUI?
In a past life, I was a designer so I am a sucker for a beautifully designed GUI.

DIY or turnkey?
I’d have to say we need a mix of both. For our unique environment, there is often no turnkey solution that checks all of the boxes for us. And while DIY solutions are great, they need a lot of maintenance.

Who would you love to see interviewed here?
Tom Bridge, Technolutionary

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