Carl Mackie is Key Account Manager for Advantech, a leader in industrial automation and embedded computing hardware who have a long association with CeBIT Australia.In his time in the technology space, he has seen the Internet of Things transform from a concept into a reality that affects every aspect of our home and work lives. We had a chat to him about how technology has evolved, where the Internet of Things will take us and how sci-fi is becoming an exciting reality.
How did you get to your current role?
Carl: I’ve been in the game for a long time. We’ve gone from the days of 386 architecture (32-bit microprocessor) and now we’re up to gen 7. I would say that I’ve done a lot of learning along the way. A lot of study, hands on application and life experience. Learning has become a bit of an ingrained habit for me.
What do you love most about working in technology?
Carl: I’ve really loved the innovation. A decade ago on the floor, you’d be running a lot of wires everywhere (and try not to trip over them!). Now we do it all wirelessly. The next level will be for that same technology to become use- friendly, automatic and remote.
What is the most challenging part of working in this sector?
Carl: Definitely keeping up with all the technology. You can’t be across everything, so you have to have a specialism. For example, if we have a client come in for a meeting we’ll have 16-17 people in there, so that the person with more expertise can answer.
Name a book, podcast or presentation that has had an impact on your worldview. How has it changed your perspective?
Carl: I read a lot of sci-fi. I love that a lot of stuff I was reading 25-30 years ago, is now a reality. In a business sense, I really like The Peter Principle. That’s the concept of having the right person for the job at hand. It challenges the idea that one person should be in the same job for life, an idea that is very applicable to the current changes to the way we are working.
What is the technology that will transform the world in the next 10 years?
Carl: IoT, particularly the cybersecurity side of things. I am also really excited by Parallel computing, it’s a whole other ballgame.
What’s the most valuable advice you’ve been given?
Carl: To stay focused and be aware of what’s out there.
Lastly, do you use an iPhone, Android or… other?
Carl: I use both. I find that Android is a little bit more insecure and that Apple software is more encrypted.
The Advantech team will be appearing at this years’ CeBIT. Come and say hello. To make sure you don’t miss out, exhibiting at CeBIT Australia 2017 (it’s certainly not too late!).