Ben didn’t provide any identifying information, so that’s all I have.


[1] How did you get into a career in IT, and when?

To tell that story, you’d need to be frozen, launched into space, swing around a distant galaxy, and come back when you’ve only aged a year and I’m 50,000 years old.  Then I might be half-way through that story.  The rest of mankind would have died off from sheer boredom by then.

My body would be long gone by then as well, but my mouth would be preserved in a jar filled with some greenish liquid and a bunch of wires connected to a machine with little lights on it.  Bald-headed aliens would be trying to analyze this constantly moving creature and figure out what it wants.

Technically, I started in IT in 1974, but that was a project funded by NASA with our local elementary schools (I programmed a dot-matrix printout of the Pink Panther using COBOL along with 11 other kids in the 2nd grade)

Officially: 1996.  As a “CAD and Windows NT LAN Administrator” for a large defense company.  Weird title.  Weird job.

[2] What big things [in IT] do you see coming in the next 5 to 10 years?

Virtual displays.  Gradually getting rid of video screens, phones with screens and TVs.  Something thinner, lighter, and less stupid-looking than today’s VR goggles.  You’ll be able to share what you’re watching with selected people, like team-mode in video games.  You won’t need a desktop monitor, TV or conference room projectors anymore.

[3] What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen?

Have you ever sat in an Emergency Room at 2:00 AM on a Saturday night?

[4] What do you think about self-driving vehicles?

Great idea.  They can’t happen soon enough.

[5] Most recent interesting experience?

Walking around downtown Atlanta in September, 2016, at 2:30 AM during the Microsoft Ignite conference.  I handed out leftover vendor t-shirts to some homeless guys and had a really interesting conversation with a Vietnam war veteran.  I’m pretty sure he didn’t recall any of that the next day. (I still laugh at the thought of a bunch of passed out street folks wearing brand new IT vendor t-shirts and ball caps)

[6] Favorite places you’ve visited?

Lots of cities and a few beaches, mountains, etc. from Virginia, to New York, California, Colorado, Oregon, and Georgia.  Trader Joe’s, IKEA, and any Lowe’s or Home Depot when I have a new project going on. (Sam Ash music stores in NYC are incredible)

[7] Hobbies?

Just two kinds: those I can afford, and those I cannot.  In the first group: walking, jogging, mountain biking, eating, drinking, talking smack, and making funny faces.  I have a few others like gardening and pretending I can sing while driving alone.

[8] Favorite Food and Drink?

Indian or Thai (or Bangladeshi).  Beer: Belgian Dark Ales are my favorite.  Wine: Merlot or Malbec.  Aside from that: Tropical Smoothie Cafe “Get up and Goji” is really good.  Cereal (Super Nutty Toffey Crunch, from Trader Joe’s)

[9] Favorite bloggers or sources of Tech Info?

Oh boy.  Just search on “sccm”, “mdt”, “orchestrator”, “sql server”, “azure” or “powershell” and the top 10 hits on any of those are where I hit most.  I still keep my eyes on the CAD/CAM world (check out Ralph Grabowski), since I cut my teeth there for almost 20 years (yes, I still miss writing design automation code in LISP).  My Twitter feed is a big source for daily info ingestion.

[10] If you weren’t working in IT, what do you think you’d be doing?

5-10, with good behavior (possibly).


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