Stephen Brobst is the chief technology officer for Teradata Corporation, and was recently voted a top US chief technology officer by ExecRank for his high level of professional achievement and peer recognition.
Brobst joined the Teradata team back in 1999, having previously succesfully launched three startup companies relating to high-end database and warehousing marketplaces.
These companies include Tanning Technology Corporation (IPO on NASDAQ), NexTek Solutions (acquired by IBM) and Strategic Technologies & Systems (acquired by NCR).
Brobst follows other IT industry leaders in the V3 Hot Seat, including Symantec EMEA security chief technology officer Greg Day, and Hotels.com vice president of technology Stuart Silberg.
V3: What's your favourite part of your current job?
Stephen Brobst: Teaching and learning. You have not truly learned something until you have taught it.
What would be your dream job (apart from your current role, of course)?
I cannot think of a role that qualifies as a dream job more than what I am doing today.
Which mobile phone and tablet do you currently use?
My mobile phone is an Apple iPhone. Tablets are for fashionistas, Angry Birds, and those that consume the work of others. People who actually produce work do not use tablets.
Which person do you most admire in the IT industry?
Seymour Cray. He was the ultimate engineer. A man of persistence and focus who was not afraid to challenge what others thought to be impossible. The supercomputers that he designed were the essence of high-performance, delivered via the virtues of elegant simplicity.
As a young programmer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory I had the privilege of listening to him speak about supercomputing and his approach to design. I have since taken his message of simplicity to heart in all designs that I have worked on. I credit Seymour Cray as the most influential individual in the creation of the supercomputer industry.
Which technology has had the biggest impact on your working life?
The internet has allowed participation in the global economy in a way that is productive and fun. It allows me to stay in touch with the global Teradata R&D team without worrying about distance or geopolitical boundaries.
What's been the highlight of your career so far?
The wonderful co-workers and students with whom I have had the pleasure to share my career. My colleagues and students have become my extended family. I have learned more from them than any other source of knowledge.
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