From gender equality in tech to the future of Brexit, Emily Maree is back with six big questions for Darren Sexton, Head of Inside Sales at PFH Technology Group.
- In a bid to make iPhones as streamlined as possible, it’s expected that the next version will incorporate wireless charging. What are your thoughts on this?
Like all technology, the first release will not be perfect, but by releasing it to a wide audience, Apple will use its customer base to expose the weaknesses and will invariably act quickly to make it better. This is what Apple does really well, it listens to customers and reacts to their feedback.
- A recent internal memo at Google hit headlines with its claims about women in tech. How do you think gender inequality in tech can be tackled?
I haven’t really experienced a lot of gender inequality in my career; in my previous role we had two VPs onsite in Ireland who were both women and our chief executive was also a woman. Women were always considered equal and this came from the top down. That’s probably the key thing — the culture needs to be driven from the top down.
- With places like Kerry, Dundalk and Galway thriving, where do you think the next Irish startup hub could be?
Successful start-up hubs not only need to accommodate people from different IT backgrounds, they also need to keep them in the area. The hub needs to be able to establish a culture where people are connected and where networking is simple and intrinsic to work life. If you were asking me to name a city, I think Limerick has great potential and has been overlooked for far too long.
- With Brexit looming, many banks and financial services firms have their eyes on Ireland for relocation. Although we still don’t know much, what impact do you think Brexit will have on the Irish economy?
Could it be any worse than the last ten years? In my humble opinion, there are experts and economists trying to build reputations by predicting what will happen when, in truth, we still don’t know. What time has taught me is that we will get through it. The IDA may need to work a little harder to attract new companies to Ireland and some people may need to learn new skills to get work, but isn’t this what we have been doing since 2007?
- What do you think could be the next defining trend in technology?
I think machine learning will become more important over the coming years, and will be used in such things as driverless cars. A huge positive here would be that driverless cars could not be used as weapons in any form of attack on the public. The car would sense any impending chaos and simply shut down. The ability to have devices make the right decision at the right time will enable technology to move to the next level.
- Name one app you couldn’t live without