Ask A Techie 20 Questions – Russell Williams – IT Professional

This is the thirteenth 20 questions. So far these type of posts have been getting a good amount of views. I am trying to keep it interesting and fun. It has been nice reading what others in the tech space are thinking in this format. I came across Russell from a WINN TV article I was reading. He is an IT Professional from St. Kitts and Nevis. You can connect with him from his website – theitfacility.com

How would you define a techie?

I think a techie is anyone, who has a passion and drive to understand technology and bring tech solutions/innovations – of all kinds, science, electronics, mechanics as well as ICTs – to bear on real life challenges and issues which affect people everyday.

What made you fall in love with tech?

My father was always tinkering, he could make anything and I mean anything, from a piece furniture to bike parts or fix a watch (without dating myself, digital watches were some way off). He would bring home Tech magazines and we made some electronics projects together. My brothers and I would watch tech programmes and see all this futuristic stuff and it was amazing.

What global tech event would you like to attend?

I think Free Open Source Developers European Meeting- FOSDEM- would be high on my list and perhaps COMPUTEX in Taiwan

In what ways can the Caribbean benefit from ICT?

I think we really need to look at using technology in ways that can contribute economically. Imparting skills that will be relevant and that can be leveraged to compete globally. Proper and effective use of technology is the only way we can maximise out “Intellectual Property” and intellectual capacity to our advantage and benefit and compete globally. We can’t out manufacture the Chinese or the Europeans, but there’s no geographic monopoly on creative talent and innovation.

Tell us anything about yourself.

Plain speaking, no nonsense kind a guy with a little patience. Enjoys music, sports and likes to eat!

If you had to choose a job outside of tech, what would it be?

Before choosing my O-Level subjects I took one of those tests to identify the types of job you would be good at. All that came back were tech related jobs, Air traffic control, engineer, electronics engineer etc. etc. so I guess I wouldn’t be straying too far from home. But I would like something perhaps in Education, agriculture and engineering, but tech would still have to be somewhere in the mix.

Most prized gadget you own?

After my Swiss Army knife which has a hole in the blade after trying to repair an electric hedge trimmer while still plugged into the mains, would have to be the telephone amplifier I made with my dad many decades ago.

Describe how the internet works

Is that for real? I didn’t see a Question Mark! I don’t know. Telecoms companies run cables into internet backbone and voilà we pay through the nose for perhaps 60% of the advertised speed for many to spend large chunks of their lives on FastBook.

If you have a drone, what would you use it for?

My late accountant always told me that every expense should have an income head! In other words, it should return a profit! So I would have to find a commercial angle some how, whether marketing or chronicling an event.

Which word is the odd one out: First Second Third Forth Fifth Sixth Seventh Eighth

Forth! According to Yahoo Answers LOL! Apart from being a river, Forth is also a Programming language!

Best tech advice you have received?

Back ups always work. Recoveries fail, so check your back up actually works!

Why is there still a digital divide?

I would need more specifics i.e. I would need to know where you’re speaking of. However, I think essentially it’s a question of priorities at an individual and state level. I’ve seen and heard people, say it’s too expensive, I’ve heard training is too expensive but then these very same people have more bling than Elizabeth Taylor or 2c 🙂

What challenges do entrepreneurs face?

Wow, I’m not sure we have that kind of time! Again one would need a point of reference. But if we’re speaking of the Caribbean, principally, access to finance has to be key. We hear calls for entrepreneurs to think outside of the box and be creative, come up with the next big thing. But the next big thing begins with an idea, and we don’t typically respect ideas in the region. The successes of the future are likely to be service and not asset based. Banks/lending institutions, don’t back ideas and they don’t lend money for anything they can’t reposes.

List five characteristics of a good website

I’m not a web designer, but ease of use and engaging content are up there for me.

What do you do for fun and relaxation?

I listen to classical music, watch TV and try and take in the beach

What do you wish there was an app for?

A pause button on time!!

Team work or individual work?

There is a place for both, but the good books says, “one can put 1000 to flight, …”, and we say, “one hand can’t clap”. But I learned a new phrase recently, “If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far go together” The challenge is know who to have on your team!

Advice you would give to other techies?

The advice is the same as I give to anyone and try to remember myself, try to stay focused, try to keep up to date, failure is an option and don’t fear it. Oh and try and live a little.

What question would you ask the next techie?

What’s new?

What productivity app/service do you use most and why?

Apart from e-mail, I’m making use of Evernote. Why? Memory degradation. I’m coming to accepting the fact that I’m a mere mortal and that the shortest note is better than the longest memory!

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