What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?
My first role was working for a services company that provided maintenance and support for electrical equipment. I quickly gravitated towards IT support, and have been in IT ever since.
Planes, trains or automobiles?
It would have to be automobiles. I’m a bit of a petrol head, and have owned more cars than the number of years I’ve been driving - I get bored quickly. I’m also a keen motorsport fan and if I’d had the resources when I was younger, I would have loved to have got into racing.
What is your favourite joke or the one you heard most recently?
I had to reset my password this week, and our system stated that it had to be eight characters. I used Snow White and the seven dwarves.
Should Prince William shave his head?
Great idea, like a modern version of Yul Brynner in The King and I.
In my dreams…
...I’m always awake. Why is that?
Oranges or bananas?
Bananas, because they’ve shown more imagination than just being called “yellows”.
What was the best holiday you have ever had?
The best holiday is always the next one. The anticipation and expectation are part of the fun.
What do you say to those who claim the world will end on 21 December 2012, as per the Mayan calendar?
I would say “Happy Christmas”, on the basis that they won’t get to see it!
...understand why people spend time doing mundane things that could be done more efficiently by technology. If we got rid of boring tasks, there would be so much more time to do stimulating, interesting, or exciting things.
If someone shrank you to the size of a pencil and put you in a blender, how would you get out?
Probably in liquid form.
Print or online news?
Online. It’s more accessible, dynamic and therefore immediate. And of course, if I want to read it on paper, I can just print it.
Would you rather draw up the plans, or carry them out?
I’d rather be responsible for drawing up the plans. I enjoy defining a strategy for success - although the execution of strategy is what makes a business successful, so finding the right team to carry it out is vital.
Is IT well taught in schools?
It’s improving. Schools are moving from just teaching IT as a subject, to using it to support learning across a range of subjects. This is vital as it reflects the real world. Today’s students use IT completely differently to the previous generation, and it’s exciting to see how it affects so many facets of their lives.
What is one thing you miss from being a kid that you no longer do or can do?
I learned to snowboard a few years ago, and was reminded that not since I was a kid had I reason to throw myself to the floor several times in a day. I miss the fact that it didn’t used to hurt.
Where did you get that hat?
Actually, I have a red fedora in my office, courtesy of one of the team, who got it for me from the Gartner CIO conference in Barcelona. It’s called into active service for every office sweepstake.
Are IT skills shortages best filled by on-the-job training or formal education?
Both. Proper formal skills development based on real-world requirements is vital, but it is also incumbent on the industry to provide support and vocational training to develop future generations of IT professionals.
How do you try to cheer yourself up when you’re feeling down?
I make a point of finding something to laugh about every day. Believe it or not, it works.
Terry Walby is UK managing director at IPsoft
Cancom said it is 'considering options' regarding a sale
At the Women in Tech Festival UK this week, CRN and Westcoast brought together bosses from the channel and end user communities to discuss one of the biggest challenges for both: top talent
Money will be used for M&A and to expand engineering teams
Yesterday's event brought together women and men from the channel and end-user tech community. View the highlights here