Manual for Gavin.



If there is something urgent or particularly time sensitive, you can call me on the phone, or call/chat via Teams. If I am able to respond, I absolutely will. Otherwise if I am presenting or something, I’ll catch up with you later on in the day as soon as possible. If you’re the social type, you can also find me at LinkedIn and Twitter.

My approach to email

We all know managing an inbox is no simple task. Every day we get that torrent of spam, recruitment messages, sales pitches, carbon copies, endless threads between people on a subject to which you’re only loosely associated, not to mention meeting invites, alerts and the rest. I’ll be completely honest and say my time is better spent being productive elsewhere. So, if you email me, here is my commitment to you:

👉 I generally read e-mail the same day, but my inbox is not a chat tool or a to-do list.

How I manage my inbox

I check my email three times a day, on my computer, at around 10am, 1pm, and 5:30pm. I set aside 30 minutes to filter and categorise my inbox. Unless I am travelling, I rarely use my phone to check email. If there is an action for me then depending on the urgency I will set aside time to deal with that action as soon as possible, generally the same or following day. If there is no direct action on me I will skim-read the email, make any notes I might need, and mark it as dealt with at which point it gets archived.

Meeting invites

If it’s clear the meeting hinges upon my availability, I will of course let you know if there is a scheduling problem. Otherwise scheduling norms mean that a single 30 minute block will often be consumed by several concurrent events. Frequently there are times I wish I could attend at least three of these at once. Alas I cannot multi-task that efficiently. So I tend to accept invites tentatively, and will attend what I can, when I can.

About Me

The basics you should know about me are

I’m a security architect who works at Microsoft. I talk a lot about identity, passwordless, zero trust, securing cloud workloads, and our end-to-end XDR+SIEM story. I’m here to leave the world in a better place than I found it. Most of the time I work from home, but I’m open to opportunities to meet face to face. I’m also a family man and make sure to carve out time to be for present for my wife and kids.

The stages of a project I work best at include

The envisioning and planning stages are where I excel. I love being presented with a challenge, getting in a room with a bunch of talented people and a whiteboard, then thrashing out a solution.

My best working patterns look like

My brain is wired to do its best work early in the morning. So if I’m studying, or have a big piece of work to land, I’ll generally appear as offline or go on do-not-disturb first thing.

I work brilliantly together with

IT and security leaders, engineers, other architects, non-technical folks, whoever! I appreciate humility and honesty. I certainly don’t know everything, I wouldn’t expect you to know everything either, and that’s fine. Let’s learn from each-other. I do expect others to treat me like a fellow human, and not a drone who exists to deliver outputs A, B, and C. I enjoy working in diverse teams with people who might have differing backgrounds and opinions to my own, I believe this provides all parties with an opportunity to learn and grow.