Envisage Spotlight: Getting to Know the Nerd Herd Jack Edition
This week on Brittany Interrogates Envisage, our test dummy is Jack, who is actually no dummy at all----just a nerd.
If you've been into the Envisage office lately, you may be asking yourself, "Jack? I don't know Jack." (And if you are thinking that, then I'm going to take a moment to laugh at the silly way you worded that.) Jack is our remote employee, so he doesn't work at our main office----we sort of exiled him, and occasionally send him resources like food and matches. Now and then he pops up for a Nerd Herd meeting at our office, and we humor him for a day.
Because I can't just walk over to Jack's desk and interrupt his work with my presence, I had to reach out to him via the Internet, and so all of Jack's answers are eloquently typed up by Jack himself, rather than me referring to my scribbled notes and typing up what I remember from my interview conversation!
What does your workspace look like?
I think the best way to describe/defend my workspace is "it makes sense to me" :P
I tend to keep everything I need frequently on or very near my desk. If I put things away in the pursuit of organization, I forget where they are when I most need them, or I find myself spending extra time trying to remember which drawer or cabinet I left things in.
Also, I'm a huge fan of boxes! It's a container that I can put away when people grumble, but I can easily look inside and grab things I need. I'll always know that "the Amazon box that printer came in" houses all my display cables & adapters, and "the UPS box" holds all of my network cables, etc.
When I was a kid doing homework, I would pull everything out of my backpack and spread it out around me, and I never quite grew out of that approach.
Who (or what) inspires you the most? (And by “inspire,” I mean, what motivates you to be your best self?)
I draw inspiration from a lot of people and things, and I would say I have different inspirations at work and at home.
At work, my inspirations are Pat and Annie (I'm not sucking up, I swear!), and Jack at one of the dealerships I support.
When I am having difficulty troubleshooting a problem, my inspiration from Pat kicks in...I call Pat with the "hard" problems, but I often find that by running through the issue as I would describe it to him on the phone, and guessing at his responses, I can work through a lot of problems. Nobody likes to hear the knowing chuckle from Pat when it's something you could have figured out without consulting him ;)
When I am sending an email, or having a conversation at work, I draw inspiration from Annie. She is a fantastic professional coach/mentor. Annie has taught me a great many approaches I can take with people. I frequently reach out to Annie when I am not sure about an approach I plan to take with someone, or an email I intend to send, and her answers are always simple brilliance; Annie helps me find ways to convey exactly what I need to, but in a very diplomatic and friendly way.
Lastly, Jack from Lexus inspires me to keep learning. He is a fiercely competent person, and I have long admired his knowledge and skills, even moreso after learning he is entirely self-taught. In the time I have known him (around 5 and a half years, as of this article), I have watched Jack pick up old hobbies like music, and continue learning, and I can think of a small number of instances where he was resistant to learning something new. That kind of openness to knowledge and experience would make the world a far better place, if more people had the same approach Jack does.
What is your favorite time of day?
Well, I am sure of few things in life, but I do know I am NOT a morning person! I love the night, especially when I am the only person still awake. There is something completely serene about being awake while everyone else sleeps, and it is the time of my day I look forward to most.
I also really enjoy the early afternoon when I don't have anything specific to do, and mostly during the summer!
What do aliens do for fun?
Well, considering that IT people the world over are often confounded by printer issues, I would have to guess that aliens like to make small things go wrong with them, and watch the results for fun.
What are your predictions for tech?
I read your other articles for inspiration on this one (see what I did there??), and I have to say I would point to AI as being a hugely disruptive technology that we will be seeing more of. AI is already everywhere, we just are often not aware of it. Netflix's machine learning algorithms for recommending shows to you is very interesting to read about, and phone assistants (specifically Google's Assistant) become more impressive just about every month.
I also think passwords are on their last leg. We do not have a widely available/accepted alternative, but the Age of the Password will come to an end at some point. We already unlock our phones with biometrics (face scanning, fingerprint, etc), and auth keys like YubiKey and Google's Titan key lend further credence to this. Passwords have been the go-to way of securing things far longer than even computers have existed, but we are still in the early stages of technology and computers (in my opinion), and I think passwords are a relic from a simpler time. As adoption increases and attacks/breaches happen more frequently, I think we will need to find a way to move on from passwords to something more difficult to crack/less prone to human error.
Although he is not physically present in the Envisage office every day, his presence is often felt in our Envisage group message, where he shares tech articles, amazing reaction gifs, and sassy but good-natured remarks. We can always count on Jack for some light-hearted banter, and sometimes knowing this about him will provoke me to be extra sarcastic with him. We couldn't do what we do without his expertise, great attitude, and genuine love of techie things, so let's give a little cheer for Jack! Thanks Jack!