Calvin Hendryx-Parker will be at Cloud Field Day 8 this week. This is his very first event as a delegate! Cool, right? Calvin is the co-founder and CTO of Six Feet Up, an expert Python development and Cloud consulting company established in 1999. At Six Feet Up, he provides technical vision and leads all aspects of the company’s technology development. In his role, Calvin enjoys providing the strategic vision for enhancing the offerings of the company and infrastructure.
How did you get into technology and IT?
A family friend brought over his old 8088 PC for us to play with when I was a kid in the early 80s. He really wanted me to start programming, but I really wanted to take the thing apart. He helped me actually overclock the CPU by replacing it with an NEC V20 processor and a freshly soldered crystal onto the motherboard. I still have the original Intel 8088 in my desk drawer.
What are your biggest challenges?
Who’s got challenges? All I see are opportunities all around and too little time to pursue them all. The most recent “opportunity” that we have tackled is how to make virtual events more engaging and interactive given the state of the shelter-in-place world.
Where do you see IT going in the next 3-5 years?
While the term IoT has been around a lot longer than the buzz word used to describe it, I see this combined with cheap storage and ever-increasing CPU power as an amazing opportunity for the AI and ML technologies to benefit almost every aspect of IT and more. We can start to augment our human skills with additional context for making better decisions to help the planet not only survive, but rise to the next level. This is coming fast and the next 5 years are going to be an amazing time to be alive.
What was your first computer and what did you like about it?
My first computer was a Texas Instruments TI/4A. It could not only use cartridges to load games and programs, but it also had a tape drive so you could save your programs that you typed in from the back of the computer magazines.
What is your go-to computer now?
My go-to computer now is my Huawei Matebook X Pro running Ubuntu Linux, but in just a few days, my new Dell XPS 15 will be here with 8 cores and 64GB of memory ready for me to feel the real computing power. As soon as it hits my desk, it will be wiped and have Linux on it.
How do you manage your work/life balance?
Our company has run on the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) for the last 18 months and this has really gotten us focused on being more proactive and innovative. Things are rarely, if ever, on fire so I am free to focus on growing the company and putting more time towards being with the family.
If you weren’t working in IT, what would you be doing instead?
I would probably be a visual and sound engineer. I really love all the hardware and technology that goes into live event production and making the audience have an amazing experience. I know it is still technology related, but it would totally be where I would want to be.
Do you have any hobbies that you enjoy in your spare time?
I do love getting outdoors and running, walking or hiking, but when I am not doing that, I am outfitting the house with home automation gadgets. I almost have the family trained on how to use the house.
What is the coolest thing you’re working on right now?
I wanted to build the virtual event platform that I would actually want to attend. The current state of virtual events was making me very sad as we ran up to our own event we were hosting in June 2020. They were all mediocre experiences with crazy skeuomorphic conference halls that were hard to navigate and looks about as good as a 1970s wood-paneled station wagon.
We managed to build and deploy into production an event product in under 2 months that I feel provides the level of engagement needed for these types of events to be successful for the attendees and speakers alike. The very first event on the platform was mid-June and had attendees from 37 countries and 14 time-zones.
The project is called LoudSwarm and you can check it out at https://loudswarm.com. We are actively adding new features and looking to create more amazing experiences for conference attendees around the globe.
Who inspires you?
I am constantly inspired by my wife and co-founder, Gabrielle. She is incredibly good at making me go the extra distance when I may have stopped just shy of something great. We always end up building amazing things together whether it is a company, a software product, festivals, or our children.
As a child, what did you want to do when you “grew up”?
One thing was for certain, when I grew up, I always wanted to have fun. I don’t think it would have mattered the career, but luckily, I have been able to accomplish this childhood goal and leverage every opportunity to the maximum.
What superhero movie character would you like to be and why?
I would have to say Captain America. I love his drive to protect the little guy and to make things fair in the world. I am always looking for ways to save the day and put things right.
What is your favorite thing about what you do?
I feel like a big boy that gets to play with all of the fun technology toys. But my truly favorite thing is to always be learning and expanding my knowledge around technology and how to apply it to solve problems.
If you won the lottery and could retire, what would you do with your time?
I am probably one of those that can’t sit still very well. Once the vacation stage is over, I would love to find a way to marry my love of tech and fun to help others. The world needs folks who can spend the time to lift others up and I want to help.
And last, but not least, what are you most excited about seeing at the event?
I am super excited to hear about the cutting edge of these technologies and actually being able to ask questions directly to the vendors making these moves in the Cloud space. Just the possibility to provide input to these big players in the market as an individual expert feels very impactful.
Awesome, Calvin! Looking forward to having you at Cloud Field Day 8!
Remember to add this very full event to your calendars; July 15-17, 2020!
- Meet Field Day Delegate – Dr. Avril Salter - July 16, 2020
- Meet Field Day Delegate – Kyle Jenner - July 14, 2020
- Meet Field Day Delegate – Lariana Luy - July 14, 2020
- Meet Field Day Delegate – Calvin Hendryx-Parker - July 13, 2020
- Meet Field Day Delegate – Andy Thurai - July 13, 2020
- Meet Field Day Delegate – John Deegan - July 9, 2020
- Meet Field Day Delegate – Neil Anderson - July 7, 2020
- Meet Field Day Delegate – Jim Jones - July 2, 2020
- Meet Field Day Delegate – Tony Bradley - May 14, 2020
- Meet Field Day Delegate – Pieter-Jan Nefkens - May 6, 2020