Roger Marshall is president of BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.
Marshall has spent his whole career in IT, having worked his way through the ranks as a programmer, systems analyst, project and team leader, manager and director of IT for three London local authorities. From 1983 to 2010, Marshall was IS director for the City of London Corporation, where he was responsible for about 100 staff and expenditure of £10m per annum.
Marshall has been a member of the Society of IT Management (Socitm) since its foundation and the BCS for about 30 years. He is also active in the Parliamentary IT Committee and the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists.
Marshall's V3 Hot Seat follows those of Evernote CTO Dave Engberg and Nominet CTO Simon McCalla as part of V3's weekly insight into what makes those in the IT industry tick.
V3: What would be your dream job?
I’d like to create something by my own efforts and then take pride in the result. I'd like this as for so much of our careers, what we do is of necessity a team effort.
Marshall: Which mobile phone and tablet do you currently use?
I currently use a Blackberry Curve and Apple iPad.
Which person do you most admire in the IT industry?
I admire Tim Berners-Lee and Jimmy Wales, who both created things of immense value but did it for the common good rather than personal profit.
Which technology has had the biggest impact on your working life?
Citrix brought the office into my home and now I have it on my iPad. Some people are horrified by the thought that you can never get away from work but for me it is liberating to be able to work at a time and place that suits me.
What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
I became an IT director at 37 and stayed in the same job for 26 years, until I retired. But during that time I was president of my professional association, Socitm. Since retiring, I have become active in BCS, and this year I have become BCS president. For me that has to be the highlight.
What was your first job?
I was a trainee programmer in 1969. The job meant I had to learn to write business programs in a low-level programming language, IBM Basic Assembler, when I had no previous knowledge of computers. Learning it was a challenge, but it formed a sound foundation for the rest of my working life.
What’s your favourite thing about working in the IT industry?
You are never bored if you work in IT. The technology is always developing and the career opportunities available and the range of skills needed have expanded enormously during my working life. The future is just as bright for young people entering the profession today as it was when I started.
What will be the next big innovation of the coming years?
We are entering the next great wave in computing - the Internet of Things. This is driven by cheap hardware with very low power requirements and built in internet access. The resulting devices and sensors have the potential to transform our lives and help to address many of the world's problems. At the same time there are serious risks, which need to be understood and mitigated.
What keeps you awake at night?
One of the benefits of getting older is that you worry less and sleep better.
Who is your favourite band or musician?
I am a child of the sixties and I don't think that my favourite singer-songwriters of that period, Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell, have ever been surpassed. Today, my favourite is Regina Spektor.
Where’s your favourite place for escape?
I have grandchildren in Australia and visit regularly. Looking after small children may not be “escape” but is enormously rewarding and it’s generally sunnier and warmer there than in cold damp England.
f you want to volunteer for V3's Hot Seat, or want to suggest an IT leader you think should take part, please email Alastair Stevenson for more details.
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