B: In your opinion, what band or musician do you think has had the most disappointing career?
J: Most disappointing band U2, no wait I want to change that – The Police & Sting, a fantastic band combining rock and Caribbean rhythms. Egos get in the way, sure his music is still good – Dream of the Blue Turtles was good, but it’s not memorable, it’s not The Police.
B: At what age did you catch the bug and become consumed by IT and knew this was to be your future?
J: In the early 80’s I had a commodore 20. I had wanted to be a writer, it was a natural progression from the typewriter being able to edit a page without retyping. Typewriter to computer and its capabilities. It just seemed intuitive. Working with machines came naturally, understanding how they worked and how to fix them.
B: What is your favorite meal?
J: A good grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup.
B: What are your favorite and least favorite technology products?
J: My favorite tech, Alexia, it will play whatever song is in my head, I can ask it questions. Everyone is worried (about privacy), it’s too late. My least favorite is a double-edged sword, the smart phone. Everywhere you go people are living life through a screen.
B: 60 years ago, everyone smoked – decades later we are very aware of its detrimental effects – Decades from now will social media be perceived with a similar view?
J: I hope so. I think we have become too quick to embrace without looking to see if it is a benefit. Pedal to the metal with lights off at night. It’s my hope that there will be an equilibrium. I feel there are no controls what companies are doing with our information. It’s basically a massive social experiment.
B: Do you share any information about yourself online?
J: It’s too late for that.
B: With AI (Artificial Intelligence) evolving daily and younger generations already subservient to their phones, when would you project in years people having mechanical managers?
J: Within 20 years.
B: What’s one thing now you would tell yourself as a teenager?
J: This is the first of many… Kiss, Car. We buy into forever and the reality is it is going to change so many times you won’t believe it.
B: As a native Coloradoan, how would you describe where you live?
J: What are you looking for (smile)? I have been fortunate enough to travel throughout this great country, and I keep returning to where I grew up. There is only one other place where I would live and that is Washington State. It’s where I graduated High School and holds an endearing piece of my life.
B: As an engineer who deals with educating clients daily, who was one of your most influential teachers?
J: A creative writing teacher in high school who gave you advise, but also gave you the freedom not to follow it. To show you the parallels and make you think, while showing you there is more than one side to any issue and to take the responsibility for your position and what comes with it.
B: How do you keep your technology skills current?
J: It may sound a little hokey, but every interaction with a client makes you a better technician. Because we (Computer Worx) have such a varied client base, our skillset often leads you to an answer you would not have expected. Always being able to think outside the box. I don’t always know the right answer, but every problem is an opportunity to expand your knowledge while finding it. Also, in addition to podcasts and reading, the training opportunities that our company offers.
B: You’ve just been assigned to a project involving a new technology. How would you get started?
J: Research what I need to know, how the technology pertains and benefits the client, so I can make its use successful. I set up a test environment, play with it until I understand it. Listening to podcasts, reading numerous newsletters, I will usually hear about what is coming down the road in advance, a whisper at least, so I am not surprised.
B: What websites podcasts or blogs do you follow?
J: My favorite podcast… does it have to be tech? Movie Sign with the Mads (https://soundcloud.com/user-340711944/tracks) It’s the guys from Mystery Theater talking about movies. It’s very interesting.
B: What have the last few years taught you?
J: That this is never not interesting. That when you think you are going in one direction, life does a 180 and it doesn’t kill you. Life is one big ride and your mileage may vary.