How did you get into Technology and IT?
I was given my first computer (Commodore 64) at the age of 4. I remember typing BASIC programs from COMPUTE! Magazine for hours, as a child. I also remember almost none of those programs running on the first try. I learned to debug BASIC and learned from my mistakes, which I think really helped make me appreciate what goes into even the most simple applications. I never became a programmer, but I do fall back on that skill from time-to-time, when I want to automate something.
In my early teens, I scored a job at a small computer company by impressing the owner of that company by answering another customer’s questions at a weekend computer swap booth (I was also a customer). I worked there for 6 years building computers and installing LANtastic 10base2 networks after school and on the weekends.
While working a side-job one weekend, I was noticed by someone who worked at a local technology consulting/staffing company while I was setting up a network at the local Boys and Girls club. I was hired into that company a few weeks later. It was there that I really began to grow my skill set, as I was put in much more challenging situations and in front of much larger customers. Toward the end of my career at this company, I began to dabble in Wi-Fi, which at that time only produced speeds of 1 or 2Mbps.
Please tell us a little about your current role.
I am currently responsible for the Mobility Practice in the Central US for a large VAR. My primary responsibilities include technical training, network design, pre and post-sales support, and technical escalation for a great group of engineers. I am also a member of the Mobility Advisory Board, where I regularly interface with my peers across the US to help set the direction for the Mobility Practice for the rest of the organization. I also regularly present at area conferences and events about Wi-Fi technologies.
Where do you see IT going in the next 3-5 years?
While there will definitely be a shift toward automation, I don’t see a lot changing as far as the workforce goes. We will still need talented engineers, and those engineers will still be getting their hands dirty configuring networking equipment. Automation and Software Defined Networking may make it easier for customers to manage their networks on an ongoing basis, but they will still require talented engineers to design and implement.
What was your first computer?
Commodore 64, complete with an audio tape drive.
If you could have ONE super power, what would it be and how would you use it?
Contrary to popular belief, I cannot actually see RF. However, I would love it if I could. Being able to selectively see RF (filtered by frequency) would be an amazing super power.
What do you do in your spare time (hobbies)?
I have (too) many hobbies. I enjoy 3D Printing, fast cars, ham radio, home automation, photography, astronomy, and many more.
What are your biggest challenges?
My biggest challenge is developing technical training materials and methods that are effective for engineers of all technical levels and learning styles. I really enjoy teaching, but it is definitely very challenging.
How do you manage your work/life balance?
Poorly. This is definitely something I need to work on. I often find myself working at night and on the weekends.
What are you most excited about seeing at the event?
Since the bulk of my Wi-Fi experience has been with Cisco hardware, I am excited to get a fresh take on innovations from other vendors.
What is your favorite movie? Tell us about some of your favorite parts or characters.
Planes Trains and Automobiles. “Those aren’t pillows!”
Planes, Trains and Automobiles (released November 1987); starring Steve Martin and John Candy. Candy died March 1995 at age 43. Martin will celebrate his 74th birthday on August 14; the first day of Mobility Field Day!
What is your favorite kind of ice cream? Do you eat it alone, with toppings, in a cone, in a bowl, out of the container?
Vanilla Bean ice cream in a bowl.
If you weren’t working in IT, what would you be doing instead?
I would probably be a welder or a mechanic. Definitely something where I could see the tangible results of my work.
Thanks, Dave! This has been great! See you soon!
Check out these very sweet photos of Dave and his son, Elliott; age 3.
Don’t miss a minute of Mobility Field Day 4; happening August 14-16! And Happy Birthday to Steve Martin!
- Meet Field Day Delegate – Wences Michel - August 16, 2019
- Meet Field Day Delegate – Jennifer (“JJ”) Minella - August 12, 2019
- Meet Field Day Delegate – François Vergès - August 9, 2019
- Meet Field Day Delegate – Timothy Dennehy - August 7, 2019
- Meet Field Day Delegate – Haydn Andrews - August 7, 2019
- Meet Field Day Delegate – Manon (“Mae”) Lessard - August 6, 2019
- Meet Field Day Delegate – Dave Benham - August 5, 2019
- Meet Field Day Delegate – Scott Driver - June 21, 2019
- Meet Field Day Delegate – Matt Callaway - June 19, 2019
- Meet Field Day Delegate – Michael Davis - June 18, 2019