What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?
My first job was working in my father's bicycle shop on Saturdays. My career path into IT was very traditional. An interest in electronics led to home computers followed by O- and A-levels in computer science and a degree in applied computer systems.
What is the best business trip or junket you have ever experienced?
I have been fortunate enough to live and work in California in the late 90s at the start of the dot com era, and in Singapore. In each case, I was there for a couple of years and really enjoyed travelling around the area.
What is your favourite joke or the one you heard most recently?
The one I heard most recently was from my six-year-old son: "Why are pirates called pirates?" Answer: "Because they arrrrrre."
If you were competing in the X-Factor, which song would you choose to win over the judges?
I am not sure that singing is my X-Factor!
Which four famous people (living or dead) would you like to invite to your next dinner party?
The captain of Malaysia Airlines' flight MH370, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley and Neil Armstrong. I have a few questions to ask each of them.
What would you like to do next weekend?
Celebrate my 17th wedding anniversary with my wife. Now that is a great partnership.
If someone shrank you to the size of a pencil and put you in a blender, how would you get out?
I would either climb out or sabotage the motor somehow. By the way, I read recently that Google has stopped asking this type of question in interviews because it turns out there is no correlation between good answers and good candidates.
What is the best way to get UK plc growing faster?
Investing in building hospitals, schools and houses and improving road, rail and air. It will create jobs in the short term and make us more efficient in the longer term.
What are the characteristics of the perfect channel partner?
Integrity, a shared vision of success, and a good sense of humour. Without the first, nothing else matters, the second is necessary for the partnership, and life is too short to do without the third.
What is the one thing you miss from being a kid that you no longer do or can do?
Long summer breaks immediately followed by looking forward to Christmas for the next three and a half months!
What was the last film you saw and what did you think of it?
It was Despicable Me 2. A great sequel and the minions subplot was very clever. A great family film that everyone could enjoy at different levels.
Are IT skills shortages best filled by on-the-job training or formal education (such as at a university)?
I was hired for my first job in a graduate intake at a company called LBMS. All the graduates had taken sandwich courses with a view to gaining real experience to complement their studies. Looking at where these people are today in the world across the industry, I have to conclude it was a fantastic programme.
Your closest near-death experience?
Smoke in the cockpit at 30,000 feet, mid-Atlantic. People assume the oxygen masks will come down but of course oxygen is the last element you want to introduce in a fire. I've flown to 60 countries and had five frequent-flyer gold cards, but when you see the cabin crew panic, you realise it's serious.
Nathan Wyld is channel director for Europe at Nexthink
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