What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?
My first job was probably a paper round. I did the typical young-person jobs growing up-bus boy [waiter], tour guide, fighter in a suit of armour.
OK, the last was a little weird but true. I had a summer job as an historical interpreter, touring schools and camps and talking about the Middle Ages. If that doesn't establish a certain level of geek credibility, I don't know what will. I built my first computer in the 1970s, in grade 4 [primary school] out of wood, springs, wires and lightbulbs. Clearly, I was destined for IT.
Planes, trains or automobiles?
Trains by choice, simply because where I live in Vancouver there aren't many opportunities to take trains. Fun when you don't do it every day. That said, I do spend many, many hours on planes.
What sport should be in the Olympics?
"In my dreams ..."
... I can fly simply by trying hard.
What was your best business trip ever?
Beijing around 2000. Walking along a deserted part of the Great Wall on a cold November day was spectacular.
What was the best holiday you ever went on?
Summer in a cabin by Okanagan Lake as a child. The weather was always hot, the water was right there, and I was undersupervised.
... fill out a Proust questionnaire.
What would your superpower be?
If someone shrunk you to the size of a pencil and put you in a blender, how would you get out?
Just ask. Who wouldn't help a pencil-sized person in a blender?
Print or online news?
Both. I still like the random access of a conventional newspaper, and the luxury of long articles.
Do you use social media?
LinkedIn to keep track of where people are working and email addresses. I am obstinately sitting out Facebook. Twitter to promote my blog at http://KScottMorrison.com .
Will the economic recovery continue?
Yes, it is in everyone's interest to recover. Problems have a way of being solved when they affect the problem solvers.
What does the channel most need to learn?
The channel needs to better understand architecture beyond cookie-cutter deployments. Technology infrastructure has vast capabilities now that are not always being used effectively because architects don't appreciate that there may be many ways to solve the same problem.
Is IT well taught in schools?
I would argue it is being taught better than in the recent past. Schools are becoming less concerned with this language or that particular implementation, and more confident laying down a strong foundation to understand computers.
I'm a huge fan of internships; I think these create the important split between the theoretical and the practical. Schools are pressured to serve the latter, but really they should concentrate on the former and let practical experience and implementation detail come directly from guided work experience.
K Scott Morrison is CTO and chief architect at Layer 7 Technologies
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