What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?
It was a case of seeing an opportunity. My family had all worked in telecommunications but I started my IT career at a time of immense growth and change in the sector; a time when it was really coming into its own. I think that was the main attraction.
What is your favourite joke, or the one you heard most recently?
The old Les Dawson joke – “Two TVs got married. The wedding was awful but the reception was fantastic.” What never fails to make you sad or disappointed? Why? People who lie – for obvious reasons.
Tea or coffee, and how do you have it?
Tea, white with two sugars.
What is one thing you miss from being a kid that you no longer do or can do?
Champion the Wonder Horse, I loved that show. And Flash Gordon. Kids’ programmes don’t seem to have the same sense of joy or imagination these days.
If you were given too much change in a shop, would you give it back?
Yes – unless it was Starbucks…
If you could only be one, would you rather be right, or happy?
Happy. Happiness makes the world go round. Although, to be fair, I would rather be both…
Which is more important: a good leader, or the team as a whole?
They go hand in hand, although I think a good leader can turn around a good team but you rarely get it the other way round.
What was your most important lucky break in life so far? Did you make the most of it? Meeting the wife, of course.
Will there always be value in printed books and magazines?
Yes – I think they offer a different user experience, plus you can write notes and pass them on. It’s a sharing experience. There is something about dedications at the beginning of the book as well. They give a sense of history and community.
Would you rather draw up the plans, or carry them out?
Draw them up – I don’t really like anyone else telling me what to do.
Is telling little white lies wrong? If so, under what circumstances?
No. Brutal honesty can be far more destructive.
What would you like to have as your epitaph?
“Well now I know…”
Your closest near-death experience?
Jumping out of an aeroplane at 6,000ft without a parachute. It made for an interesting game of chase.
What is more important: loyalty or morality?
Loyalty – it works both ways in a relationship. Someone who is loyal to you is unlikely to ask you to do something immoral.
What are the traits of a perfect boss?
Honesty, loyalty, a good listener – being a good boss is about the relationship you have with your team, and you can’t have a strong partnership without these qualities. You also need someone who will leave you free to make – and learn from – your own mistakes.
What was the last film you saw and what did you think of it?
The Hobbit – Battle of the Five Armies. An excellent film, great cinematography and storytelling.
Can politicians ever be trusted on IT?
No, I think IT needs to stay out of the realm of politics – look at the way they are trying to seize control of the internet.
How do you try to cheer yourself up when you’re feeling down? Does it work?
A very large glass of wine. And yes, it certainly does work.
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