Some people see a full time job as, well, a full time job. Contributor David Lavenda manages to balance his full time job with completion of a graduate degree in Science, Technology and Society and contributions to multiple outlets, including CMSWire. Underachiever.
David is fascinated by the interactions linking people, organizations and technology and has been named an International Scholar for the Society for the History of Technology. All this while retaining a sense of humor.
What do you consider your most significant career accomplishment to date?
Conceiving, designing and building a high-tech product from scratch and seeing companies rely upon it for the success of their business is a very satisfying accomplishment. Repeating this accomplishment several times during my profession career has been doubly rewarding. In this regard, I take pride in co-founding a high-tech enterprise software company, building it to 120 employees and then selling it to a public company so the business could scale and impact more organizations.
How do you define success?
I see success as reaching goals that I set for myself. It doesn’t have to be grandiose. It can be as simple as completing an article or as complex as raising a family with values. Both kinds are fulfilling ... to different degrees, of course.
What motivates you?
I particularly like taking on challenges that couldn’t be solved using conventional methods. I try to find a similar problem in another field and see how it was solved. Making these connections is hard because it requires background in multiple disciplines and a sense of creativity to see how the puzzle fits together. That’s what makes it so interesting. Cracking that nut is really satisfying.
What is the first interaction with technology that you remember and what did you think at the time?
Two interactions stand out in particular. First, when I was ten, I built a darkroom and began developing my own pictures. Putting photographic paper into the developer solution and seeing a picture appear from a blank sheet was magic. This was my first exposure to using technology to create something with my own hands. Second, when I was in high school, a friend and I convinced a laser manufacturer to give us a laser for experimentation. We tried (in vain) to create holograms in my basement, but the experience of researching a topic, working with domain experts and then experimenting was one that stayed with me.
Fill in the blanks:
If I didn't do my current work: I would be an academic researcher
When I'm not working: I like to explore new things and write about them.
The highest compliment someone could give me: is to say I am creative.