What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?
My first job was at a children’s summer scheme, running daily activities for children in care.
I began working in IT when I left university. Having to pay the bills, I applied for jobs and was offered a role at Computer 2000 in the unmanaged sales division. I was promoted through various positions in what is now the Azlan division in Computer 2000 before leaving in 2005, after being offered a very good position with an e-tailer.
Planes, trains or automobiles?
Anything but trains. In the UK, trains are always late and overcrowded, so automobiles would be my preference because of the freedom they grant you.
What sport should be in the Olympics but isn’t?
Cheese rolling. It’s an iconic piece of British history that should definitely be considered the next time the Olympics come to the UK.
What is your favourite joke or the one you heard most recently?
Two aerials got married. The ceremony was rubbish, but the reception was brilliant.
“In my dreams…”
…I never have to work, having won the lottery. Although the most I have ever won was a tenner, so there is not much hope of it actually happening.
What was the best business trip or junket you have ever been on?
It was definitely learning to kitesurf with D-Link while at Computer 2000. It was in the middle of February in Cornwall, freezing cold with gale-force winds, and it was something I would never have dreamed of doing.
What is the best holiday you have ever had?
A few years ago I went to Kenya with my wife and close friends. Being on a safari was amazing, and you never forget the thrill of spotting the big five in their natural habitat. However, Longleat no longer holds the same thrill it did for me as a child.
If you had a week to live, how would you fill it?
With family and friends in a tranquil beach setting, somewhere away from it all.
…touched it, it was already like that.
What would be your superpower?
I would have the ability of Hiro Nakamura, from the TV show Heroes, to manipulate space and time. It would make work and meeting deadlines a lot easier, and if I made a mistake, I could go back later and fix it.
If someone shrank you to the size of a pencil and put you in a blender, how would you get out?
Well, I would have a phone with me, which would have been shrunk in the process as well, so I would phone a friend to rescue me.
Print or online news?
Online. Information travels so quickly today that it is the only way to truly know what is going on.
Do you use social media?
I use them for business and personal reasons, but keep the categories very separate.
What does the channel most need to learn to succeed and grow this year?
I think the channel needs to learn to react more quickly to changes in the market. The solutions that partners offer today are unlikely to be the same in 12 months.
Your closest near-death experience?
I was coasteering a few years ago, and the last part of the course involved a 40ft jump off some cliffs into a reservoir. As I was doing the run-up, I hesitated in the last few moments, and only just had enough momentum to take me past a ledge that was 30ft down. All my friends said the instructor went white in the face and looked very worried as he peered over the edge.
Is IT well taught in schools?
It is more than 10 years since I last set foot in a school so I couldn’t really comment. I do, however, know that there is a lot of investment in school IT equipment - including in our own offerings - so I would hope that the teaching is there to back it up.
Mike Dowling is EMEA channel manager at ScriptLogic UK
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