Martin Davis is the chief technology officer of online betting site Bet365. He has been at the company since 2001 when he joined as head of IT, before being promoted to his current role in 2007.
Davis’s IT career began after studying computing and information systems at the University of Manchester. He started off writing Cobol systems on mini-computers before moving into C and C++ software writing.
Davis is also featured in the next issue of the V3 Tablet App which will be out this week, as we discuss the requirements of keeping a website like Bet365 up and running for punters around the world to have a flutter.
V3: What does your day to day role involve?
Davies: Most of my working week is spent in technology and project discussions. I’m generally close to all major projects.
What would be your dream job?
Organic vegetable farmer.
Which mobile phone and tablet do you currently use?
My phone is a Galaxy S3. I tried out an iPad but went back to a laptop after a week or so. I found it a good example of form over function.
Which person do you most admire in the IT industry?
There are many. I would not be able to single out any one individual. The people I have most respect for have all been significant, hands-on technological innovators.
Which technology has had the biggest impact on your working life?
The web. I don’t think we’ll fully understand the impact that the web and other internet technologies have had on society for many years. I think many people will agree with me that it’s not all been positive.
What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
It would be my current role. I’ve been working at Bet365 for over 12 years now and have seen it grow from a small startup to the largest company of its type in the world. It’s been a fascinating journey.
What was your first job?
While at school, delivering groceries for my local grocery shop. I believe that many supermarkets are now copying this model. My first job in the IT industry was as a Cobol programmer back when it was still fashionable and two digit years were a good idea because they saved space.
What’s your favourite thing about working in the IT industry?
The roles I have enjoyed most have always been the ones where I have been doing things I’ve not done before and finding solutions to new problems.
What will be the next big innovation of the coming years?
Memristors look very interesting.
What do you enjoy doing when you finish work?
Spending time with my children, watching my vegetables grow, walking, reading and looking at new technologies.
What keeps you awake at night?
The imminent arrival of Skynet and the fact too many people don’t subscribe to the notion that "Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should".
What was the last book you read and was it any good?
Non-fiction: Prime Obsession by John Derbyshire. It’s the second time I’ve read it. Fiction: Shift by Hugh Howey. This book worried me because I found its central premise to be all too chillingly plausible
Who is your favourite band?
Ereaders or real books?
Real books please every time. Ereaders have two problems for me - lack of privacy and lack of pages.
Twitter, Facebook or Google+?
I don’t use social media. I talk to friends face to face and if that’s not possible, then I speak to them on the phone.
Food Inc. It’s a documentary about large scale food production in the USA. Very enlightening and rather scary. Go and watch it, then buy lots of copies and give them to your friends.
Windows or Mac OS?
Windows 7, but only if I can dual boot with a good Linux distro such as Mint.
On-premise or cloud?
Whichever is most appropriate for the problem and available budget. Here and now it is on premise.
What’s holding back women from entering the IT profession?
There should be nothing. There are many professions that don’t attract women. Maybe they just find other careers more interesting.
How can we get more school children interested in IT careers?
Make it exciting. Teaching Powerpoint and Word to young people is not going to stimulate the mind. Building robots with Lego Mindstorms is.
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