Every Friday we profile a prominent figure from Australia’s IT, telecommunications or video gaming industries in the Friday Five.
Scott Robertson is the regional director of Australia and New Zealand for security vendor WatchGuard Technologies. But if you were in his class in primary school you would have come across Scott in a different role — onselling lollies for a profit! He’s this week’s guest on the Friday Five.
What was your first job ever?
I was self-employed at the age of nine. I used my pocket money to buy sweets and then sold them for a profit to other kids at school to make myself some a few extra dollars and be able to buy better bike and skateboard parts. My first real job was probably labouring on building sites or answering phones for pizza companies.
What do you most like about working in Australia’s technology industry?
The industry is ever-changing. Everyday you wake up knowing something has shifted in your field that you’ll need to get across and become familiar with. This is particularly evident in the security sector, where technology is used to defend and protect businesses from hackers, organised crime and malicious malware traversing the internet and vendors are forever building patches and fixes to deal with the latest outbreaks.
What’s your hobby?
I’ve recently taken up scuba diving and I’m really enjoying the process of discovering this new and fascinating world. There is just so much to see and explore. I also enjoy keeping fit and visit the gym or exercise most days. It’s a great way to unwind and relax before starting your day. I also enjoy reading, not just to fill the time between taxi and take off!
What can Australia do better to help grow a great technology sector?
Develop a better support program for local technology entrepreneurs. Australia has some great innovators and sadly many have had to seek investment offshore, often having to move the business or development process to the US or Europe. This subsequently starves the local industry of opportunity and the opportunity for local IT professionals to work on solving the new problems of today. This also limits the development of the local IT economy and talent.
What/who has been the biggest inspiration in your career?
I would have to say my family. In particular my parents for their hard work ethic and for taking risks to provide opportunities for my brothers and I to do things they only dreamed of. I think this early lesson in risk taking encouraged me to get into the school sweet trading business!
Image credit: WatchGuard Technologies