What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?
Summer work experience at the Porton Down Medical Research Centre – this raised the vivisection dilemma for me early on. Then I went to Deloitte Haskin Sells in Johannesburg where I used IT before joining IBM Australia just as the AS/400 was launched.
Planes, trains or automobiles?
Planes – you can travel further, faster and have more freedom.
What could prompt you to give it all up and join the revolution?
If Mandela were born again or went into a time warp. He has such grace, vision, leadership and peace – anyone would follow.
What is your favourite joke or the one you heard most recently?
Shergar, you said they wouldn’t Findus.
In my dreams…
Cisco would lose! Or eat its own marketing stories. Am I allowed to say that?
Oranges or bananas?
Oranges – they are more unpredictable on the inside.
What never fails to make you laugh?
The Eddie Izzard skit Death Star Canteen: “Sometimes it just doesn’t matter who you are.” Look, I’m starting to giggle: “Do you know who I am?”
Where would you like to go or what would you like to do on your next holiday?
Mozambique, to dive. Remoteness, sunshine, excitement. What could be wrong with that? When do we go?
What will be the most important trend to follow in 2013?
Onesies! Can you just imagine? Eeuww. Seriously, though, we will be big – every dog has its day and we are just getting ready!
Can politicians ever be trusted on IT?
Not while there is money or ulterior motives to be manipulated.
What is the best way to get UK plc growing again?
I absolutely, firmly believe that if we could convert football fans and TV soap audiences to spend even half of their time on other things, UK plc would be soaring.
What is one thing you miss from being a kid that you no longer do or can do?
Scream and run around in a playground to let off steam. Today, I would probably be arrested.
“Golf is a good walk wasted.” Discuss.
Who does the actual wasting? Is it a waste of the player’s personal time, a walk failed by a poor taker? I don’t get golf – players seldom appear happy. I’d say it’s a waste of great ground for horse riding – all those fabulous greens, hedges and banks.
How do you try to cheer yourself up when you’re feeling down?
I smile, and I try to make strangers smile in the next car at the lights. Grin and most will eventually crack a smile. Yes, it does work. So if you have ever had a weird person grinning at you at the traffic lights, guess who!
If you had your time again, what would have been your next choice of career?
Making facial prosthetics. A friend of mind helps people walk among us with normal faces without being stared at.
Jane Brett is UK, Ireland and South Africa sales director at Allied Telesis
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