What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?
My first proper job was in technical support at Shuttle Technology, a Taiwanese company that was the leader at the time in ASICs for parallel port interfaces.
These ports (and Shuttle products) were the standard interface for computer peripherals of all kinds - scanners, hard disk drives, card readers, and so on. Through various mergers and acquisitions Shuttle morphed into Smart Disk where I become IT manager, running the product support and IT infrastructure teams in Europe.
What would you like to do next summer?
Just to be really awkward I'd love to go skiing. I got the bug two years ago on my honeymoon and have been two or three times since. I've always found the people chilled and friendly - and I actually like the cold (as well as the beer afterwards, of course).
If you were the newest crayon in the box, which colour would you be?
Purple. It's a dark colour that still has some lightness to it.
What will be the most important trend to follow in 2015?
Without a doubt the convergence between AV, IT and security - the pattern is clear already. Customers are alive to the opportunity to run multiple services over the same network, and only the most naïve are willing to fund separate networks for all three.
Tell us about one of your greatest moments in life so far.
At university I was a lighting engineer at discos and events, and there is no feeling like it. The lights have as much impact on the mood as the music does. Especially when you catch the music just right, and illuminate a room full of waving arms.
Tea or coffee, and how do you have it?
Tea - white with one. One because it is fewer than two but tea just doesn't taste right with no sugar. This dates back to youthful work on a building site, where everyone has sugar, and if you asked for tea without, you got sugar in it anyway.
If you were the next prime minister, taking power after this year's general election, what would you do first?
Panic. Then wonder how I got there. I'm no politician and a pessimist where the political world is concerned. Anything really effective you might do ends up being watered down so much it becomes pointless.
Which four famous people (living or dead) would you like to invite to your next dinner party?
Bob Marley, Eric Clapton, Ronnie Barker and Spike Milligan. Two rockers and two comedians. Apart from being uniquely talented, each of these people has great depth, and is enormously intelligent in his own right.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos reportedly once said: "If you can't feed a team with two pizzas, it's too large." Was he right?
It depends on how much pizza each team member can eat, doesn't it? In my case, quite a lot. Fundamentally though, I do agree; big, flat teams aren't really effective.
What would you do or who would you be if you could be reincarnated?
As I mentioned, I worked as a lighting engineer at university events, and this is a path I sometimes regret not taking further. I'd love to do something creative that involved lighting and wasn't based in an office. Pyrotechnics is a growing area and that would be cool too.
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