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Insights from David Pogue, Technology Expert

CTU Presents Speaker, David PogueInspiration for our industry leaders and innovators comes in many different forms.  For David Pogue, a leading expert and author in the field of technology whose works include founding Yahoo Tech, hosting PBS’s long running show Nova and authoring several best-selling how-to titles, his passion for technology came from an unconventional, yet completely logic place: magic.

“I’ve never been that interested in technology.  I’ve always been interested in magic,” said Pogue.  “My own self-analysis is that technology is the closest thing we have to actual magic.  I can pull out my phone in Europe and change my thermostat in Connecticut.  That’s pretty close to magic.”  

As a result, Pogue has become a leading expert on virtually all things tech.  His love of magic, musical talent and sense of humor allow him to bring this intricate knowledge to the masses – which is vital given society’s migration to a more digital space.  Pogue sees having an understanding of the evolving landscape as an advantage to entrepreneurs and business leaders.  “The ones who succeed these days are the ones who are plugged in,” citing that an understanding of the shift in culture is vital to business leaders.

While having a base level understanding of technology is important for business leaders, specialized IT careers are on the rise to meet the increased demand.  One of the fastest growing careers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics is in Information Security.  “The time is now; this is day one of the explosion in demand for security and privacy experts,” Pogue said about the need for Cyber Security professionals.  “Many existing systems are insecure and can be fixed up, and we’ll be looking for experts to do that.” 

In addition to meeting our information security demands, Pogue noted that there are other fields in IT that are on the rise.  One particular discipline that he sees meteoric growth potential in is big data.  “Right now, we are in this phase of amassing trillions of terabytes of data.  Right now, we’re just collecting it.  I’m quite sure that the next Google is going to be whoever can harness that data and make sense of it.”  Within the raw data that has been collected, he believes that there are incredible discoveries to be made.  “I’ve heard it said that the solutions for diseases are in that pile of data.”

With all of the opportunity and innovation occurring in the technological industries, where does someone who is interested begin their career?  Pogue suggests, “The first thing is to keep on top of what’s happening and see what the trends are.  Look at the way things are and ask ‘why is it that way?’  What the frustrations that people tolerate without thinking and ask how to improve that.”

It’s likely, with technology still growing exponentially, that in the next 50 – 100 years we will be amazed by the advances.  “I think self-driving car is a near thing in the short-term,” Pogue stated.  He also referenced work being done at Carnegie Mellon University on the brain and hypothesized, “Imagine 50 – 100 years from now.  We could type by thinking, we could communicate by thinking – there is no telling where the technology can go.”

There is no doubt that his outlook on the world of IT is very positive.  He offers to those going into a technology-related field, “You’ve chosen the one field that is just going to keep growing for your entire lifetime.  You will never be hunting for work.  You will always be in demand.”  In closing he requested of those who will be the future of the field, “Those who are technologically proficient are outnumbered by those who are overwhelmed by technology.  In everything you do, try to remember people using your work would appreciate you making things simple, beautiful, and work smoothly.  Get out of your engineering mindset and into a human mindset.  That is the greatest good you can do for the world of technology.”