This week we’re chatting with Chris Thornton, Gyrocom’s first employee…

This week we’re chatting with Chris Thornton, Gyrocom’s first employee…

What is your background?
I’ve always been in technology, I started working at Nortel Networks in 2000, working on routing and switching; where I first met Ryan and Graham. A few years after I left Nortel and was working in a support role for IBM when I came into contact with Ryan and Graham again in 2008 when they founded Gyrocom.

Chris ThorntonWhat attracted you in terms of joining Gyrocom 10 years ago?
I’d enjoyed working with Ryan and Graham at Nortel Networks; they were always very supportive so when the opportunity arose to work with them again, I jumped at the chance.

What sets Gyrocom apart from other companies in your opinion?
The people, there’s always someone who will listen to bounce ideas off to form that perfect solution

What changes have you seen in both the company and the world of IT in your time with the company?
When I started at Gyrocom it was purely a networking company, the world has changed significantly since then and Gyrocom has managed to change with it – we’ve always been at the front of the curve for the Software Defined Data Center.

What goals do you have for the future?
I’d like to take up a more managerial role within Gyrocom, perhaps in a support location.

How do you spend your spare time?
I spend most of my spare time enjoying time with my children, however when I’m not with them I enjoy mountain biking. I also like tinkering with new technologies as they come out.

If you hadn’t been in the world of IT what do you think you might have pursued as a career?
Difficult to say however it would have to be something related to technology as I enjoy getting my hands dirty with new innovative ideas.

What do you love most about the IT industry and what if any changes would you like to see?
I get a lot of satisfaction from creating things or fixing things, the IT industry is similar as it’s all about problem solving, technology can be used to solve almost any problem. The IT industry changes all the time and mostly for the better, the challenge can be in encouraging people to do things differently.

Why do you think there are so few women still in this industry and what should we be doing to increase their numbers?
I’d love to see more women in the IT industry, I was recently on a course with about 30 people, there was just one woman so the problem is still very much prevalent. I’ve read articles about a lack of female role models in IT but a quick search and this shouldn’t be the case, for example Ada Lovelace who was the first computer programmer or more recently televised in the film ‘Hidden Figures’ where Katherine Johnson successfully plotted the flight paths for space flight and then eventually the female workforce that took over the operation of the IBM computer (she celebrated her 100th birthday last year). I think it starts early, traditionally in school, girls have been less encouraged to study STEM subjects. I hope that’s changed but of course that will take time to percolate through into the workplace.

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