What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?
My first job was in portfolio management at HSBC. I made the move into IT when I started in B2B hardware sales for manufacturer Evesham Technology.
Planes, trains or automobiles?
Planes, as they are the most likely to provide on-demand entertainment and complementary WiFi. I don't think anyone in the UK could ever prefer trains.
What could prompt you to give it all up and join the revolution?
I like to think that I've been part of the open-source revolution for a few years now, bringing a more ethical structure to the world of technology than the old proprietary systems did.
Oranges or bananas?
Bananas. They are far more useful.
What do you say to those who claim the world will end on 21 December 2012, as per the Mayan calendar?
It's a shame they'll miss next Christmas.
What has been your toughest moment at work so far, and how did you resolve the situation?
We are lucky to have a huge volume of enquiries at the moment. Filtering those to decide which relationships will be mutually beneficial is difficult, but the toughest part comes when you have to say no. Sometimes it is for the best.
If you were shrunk to the size of a pencil and put in a blender, how would you get out?
With a little bit of luck.
Print or online news?
Online, of course. But traditional news is still trying to find a functioning business model online. I hope this is achieved soon, as the risk to journalism quality is substantial. Incidentally, MongoDB is used by several notable publications for delivering online content.
Would you rather draw up the plans, or carry them out?
In my career so far I have done both, and thoroughly enjoyed each of them. It is particularly rewarding when you have the opportunity to follow your own designs right through the process, as it seems easy for some people to create unrealistic goals for others.
Equally, poor execution is often blamed on poor planning. Having the same person deliver both removes the ambiguity in accountability.
Do you use social media?
Increasingly, social media is essential to business, and LinkedIn dominates that space, despite the best efforts of Xing and Viadeo elsewhere in Europe. On a personal level, I can be found on Facebook and Foursquare.
I have a Google+ account but haven't really touched it, and neither have most of my contacts.
Do you think your online persona accurately reflects who you are?
Yes. I've always believed in transparency (hence my career in open source), as it is always easiest to tell the truth. If you Google me and think I'm a fire juggler, you have the wrong Tim Marston.
Will the economic recovery continue?
It is clear there are many years of pain ahead for many companies. So far, I am fortunate enough to have felt it at a distance from the worst.
Can politicians ever be trusted on IT?
Yes, but first they must be educated.
Where did you get that hat?
I'm not wearing one, which is honestly a shame. I would love to see bowler hats make a comeback.
Tim Marston is EMEA channel manager at 10gen
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