Some may think that children no longer want to take after their parents professionally, especially given the new career opportunities technology has created in recent years. However Dan Wilson, VTSL's Chief Technical Officer, not only decided to become the next generation of telecoms experts in his family, but pursue the next generation of telecoms technology itself. Dan learned about technical things at a young age, playing with everything from fax machines to telephones to computers long before most kids had every laid eyes on such devices. That childhood passion developed into valuable professional expertise that VTSL has relied on since its inception. Now with a child of his own, we can only wonder what the next generation of Wilsons will bring the telecoms industry (and what equipment Dan's son has been dissecting in much the same way his father did!). Below Dan answers a few questions for us, in VTSL's second employee spotlight interview.
How long have you worked at VTSL?
What is your job title?
Chief Technical Officer.
What is your favourite part about your job?
Being creative and making a really good product that people like using, particularly one that makes our customers jobs and lives easier. That is definitely my favourite thing.
What do you do in your spare time?
Mostly I look after my son. Being a dad is great but very time consuming! I listen to a lot of music, particularly electronic music. I also try to see friends in London and Oxford as often as possible.
Where is the coolest place you’ve ever been?
The coolest place I’ve been is Melbourne, Australia. I lived there for 6 months and it is such an awesome city. The weather is great and it is so relaxed. It is very cosmopolitan but also by the beach. You can’t beat that.
What is your favourite album?
I would have to say my favourite album is Music Has the Right to Children by Boards Of Canada. More recently, Jon Hopkins’ Immunity has been really floating my boat.
What is your favourite food?
How many hours do you sleep a night?
I sleep between 6 and 7 hours usually, but I really should be getting 8 or 9.
How did you get into technology?
My dad ran a telecoms shop in York when I was about 6 years old; he was forever bringing home broken fax machines, telephones and other stuff which I loved to dissect. Also, crucially, he ran the company books on an Amstrad CPC 6128 which was my first glimpse into the world of computing. He went on to work for Plessey, BT, iPass, Global One, which are all telecoms tech companies… so I guess I’m carrying on with the family trade!
What makes you laugh?
My five-year-old son. He is hilarious. I think has the same sense of humour as me. Just the other day he came up to me and said, “You’re a big aubergine.”
If you were given £10,000 right now, what would you spend it on?
Only £10,000? Geeeez I can’t buy much with that. Really only £10,000? [Smiling] Ok, I would probably buy a new car. No, I wouldn’t; scratch that. I think would blow it on a family holiday actually; we’d go back to New Zealand.
What does VTSL stand for?
[Laughs] It stands for victor tango sierra lima of course. No actually, I think VTSL stands for what have been our values since the beginning – make a great product and provide excellent service.