What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?
My first job was as a data processing trainee at Burroughs Machines. I graduated with a degree in physics, but wasn’t cut out for research. IT looked like a more exciting place to be.
Planes, trains or automobiles?
Automobiles. Wherever possible, I like to be in control of my journey. I am not a control freak though, honestly!
What sport should be in the Olympics but isn’t?
Golf. It’s probably the biggest spectator and participation sport still not represented.
What is your favourite joke or the one you heard most recently?
I love classic Tommy Cooper one- and two-liners, such as: “Dyslexic man walks into a bra.”
Should Prince William shave his head?
No. He already gets enough publicity.
What was the best business trip or junket you have ever attended?
Israel. Great hospitality, and we were escorted around Jerusalem and Jaffa. More importantly, we closed a multimillion-dollar OEM deal while we were there.
Oranges or bananas?
Both. Oranges for thirst, bananas for energy.
What is the best holiday you have ever had?
Since starting work, I have only ever had one three-week break. It was back in the 80s, I had just bought a brand new bright red Alfa Romeo sports car, and my wife and I took off on a wonderful tour of Italy, driving wherever the fancy took us.
If you had a week to live, how would you fill it?
Well, I probably wouldn’t read War and Peace again!
Do you or have you read Channelweb.co.uk on your mobile phone or other handheld device?
I must confess not. But now I know that it is available, I certainly will.
Print or online news?
Print. I spend my working life online, so it’s nice to relax with a newspaper at the weekend.
Do you use social media?
Yes, but mainly for business networking. I have a Facebook account, but I rarely use it.
Will the economic recovery continue?
Yes, but it still has a long way to go. I think everybody - even the EU leadership - has finally realised how serious the situation actually was and the need for concerted action. However, the recovery can’t be achieved by spending, either public sector or consumer led, so it is going to be a long haul.
Your closest near-death experience?
I ruptured my spleen playing rugby. Unfortunately, it wasn’t diagnosed for 24 hours so I lost a lot of blood and was rushed straight to the operating theatre.
What are the characteristics of the perfect channel partner?
Openness. They must be able to understand exactly what their added value is and be able to articulate it well.
Are IT skills shortages best filled by on-the-job training or formal education, such as university?
I am a big believer that university should be for academic study, and of course there is a place for computer science in that respect. People entering the industry should understand how technology has evolved, the electronics behind hardware, and about architecture design and programming skills.
This can all be done in an academic context. However, there needs to be a good dose of real-life, practical work as well, to make the knowledge commercially relevant. These are best learned on the job, or in a more vocational type of institution.
If you had your time again, what would have been your next choice of career?
I have been lucky enough to work in IT from when it rapidly grew from a young industry, that was incidental to businesses and irrelevant to most people, into something that is now pervasive across society. I can’t think what might have been better.
David Cuss is director of partner sales at Quest Software
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