What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?
My first job was picking potatoes when I was 14. I lived in the heart of Devon so it seemed the obvious thing to do. I soon progressed to working in a choc ice factory. I didn’t get into IT until my early twenties, when I worked on the phones for a distributor, selling Epson printers and PCs.
What will be the most important trend to follow in 2015?
Unless you have been living under a rock, you will have seen the massive increase in news of attacks on web applications. There is a new story about a breach of a site every day. The more prominent breaches, such as those of iCloud and Sony, mean that everyone on the street also knows about the importance of making web applications secure and keeping personal and company data safe.
This means all board members now see the potential impact of a hack on their company website and so are asking their security teams to address this. With web applications changing so fast these days, the old-style once-a-year penetration test is of no use so there is a very strong trend now for companies to look at ways of continuously assessing their applications.
What is your favourite joke, or the one you heard most recently?
A text: I’m just having a quick pint with Jim. If I’m not back in 20 minutes, re-read this text.
What never fails to make you sad or disappointed?
People with a lack of enthusiasm and drive in life depress me. Confucius is attributed with saying: “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” I am a big believer in loving what you do and throwing yourself into it completely.
Tea or coffee, and how do you have it?
I used to drink a lot of tea and coffee but decided to give it up. I feel much better for it and I don’t have peaks and troughs of energy any more.
What is one thing you miss from being a kid that you no longer do or can do?
Cycling everywhere! Particularly on routes that had jumps.
If you were given too much change in a shop, would you give it back?
I often get too much change for some reason and I always give it back.
If you could only be one, would you rather be right, or happy?
That’s a simple one. Happy, every time. Being right is important when you run a team, but it is not the being right that is important, it is the outcome of being right that is. That outcome often makes people happy too!
Which is more important: a good leaders, or the team as a whole?
A good leader is really someone who enables a team and so they are one in the same.
If someone shrank you to the size of a pencil and put you in a blender, how would you get out?
I’d be poured out.
Will there always be value in printed books and magazines?
There will always be value in printed books. I read information on a screen, but I much prefer to read something that is going to generate an emotional response in printed books.
Would you rather draw up the plans, or carry them out?
I enjoy planning but it is carrying out the plans, to a successful conclusion, that I enjoy most.
What are the characteristics of the perfect channel partner?
The perfect channel partner is one that trusts you and that you can trust. This trust is built up over time but is also based on experience and open and honest communication.
What is more important: loyalty or morality?
Loyalty and morality are the same.
Golf is a good walk wasted. Discuss!
If I weren’t using the golf clubs I wouldn’t walk so far.
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