Q: This month, we’ve been focusing on the evolution of technology over time. What was the first piece of modern technology you ever owned, and how have you seen technology change since that time?
Todd: “Oh man, I guess my first piece of modern technology would have been my first computer. I had an Amstrad 386sx. And I think the biggest change in the technology world has been performance and size. Technology has gotten smaller and more compact, and at the same time, faster and more powerful. And that means powerful technology is in the hands of everyday people. I think that’s the biggest change: technology’s evolution has made it more accessible.”
Q: As technology evolves to be more capable and efficient, what do you think is important for the average technology user to educate themselves about?
Todd: “Security. No question about it. In this day and age, we’re using tech for more and more things. Technology has been applied to so many areas of our lives and is so connected to us, personally. So be on your guard and be aware of what’s happening with that technology. You need to know how the ‘bad guys’ operate and how to defend yourself and your information from them.”
Q: As an IT professional, how has your work changed over the years as technology advances? And how do you ensure that you continue to educate yourself on new technologies?
Todd: “Well, what’s changed in the IT profession is that we’re not fixing physically broken technology anymore. We’re at a point where all of that is avoided by proactive work. Now, it’s more application—we help businesses and the people who work there by looking at their situation, their needs, and their resources and finding technical solutions that support and enhance their work. Then, we ensure that technology is secure and the employees are educated.
And how do I educate myself? Trench warfare. That’s a funny way to put it, but it’s true. I stay up-to-date on changing technology by using it, working with it, and researching it. I’m in the technology world every single day, learning new technology and applying it in meaningful ways to help small businesses succeed.”
Q: What kind of technology are you most excited about that is not readily accessible today but may be available to the average consumer in the near future?
Todd: “I think one of the things that’s really exciting in the technology world is something called “machine learning,” which isn’t a single piece of technology, but rather a function of some new technology. If you think about the new Apple Watches that detect and track your heart rate, blood oxygen, and ECGs, that’s a great example. The watch is able to take that information, sense trends and patterns, and then give you information or advice or alerts about your health. Basically, your watch is taking in information and learning from it, for your benefit. That’s a really cool and helpful function of technology, especially when you’re looking at applications in health and work life.
Now machine learning is different than AI—I find AI slightly terrifying. But, machine learning holds so much potential, and I think that’s what I’m most excited about: future applications of machine learning.”