Real Technologists Newsletter

Thursday, March 28th, 2024

March 21st, 2024


Episode Transcription:

Trac Bannon: We are approaching the midway point for Season 2 of Real Technologists. Senior, Pokie, and I wanted to take a moment to thank you and reflect on the past year. During Season 1, we learned that our eyes were bigger than our stomachs, so to speak. We had decided on an aggressive schedule of weekly podcasts. And like our guests, we learned a big lesson and had to pivot. 

This Season, Season 2, is focused on sustainability and growth. We love getting to know our guests, learning their stories, and crafting the podcast. 

Real Technologists is about telling captivating stories and diverse journeys of those shaping our digital future. From the heart of innovation to the forefront of change, technology continues to redefine our world, and behind every breakthrough lies a human narrative waiting to be told. Our team is split. Pokie works from our New York office. Senior and I work together from our Camp Hill location. As radio personality Pete Womback used to say, “It’s a beautiful day in Pennsylvania”.

To keep the quality high and keep ourselves sane, we’re delivering bi weekly. We embark on a journey of exploration, uncovering the unique experiences, perspectives, and challenges that have shaped the lives of our guests. 

It’s been wonderful to bring you Helen Beal’s story. She leads a number of global communities, including being CEO and chair of the Value Stream Management Consortium.

How is it that she considers herself an accidental community builder? 

Helen Beal: I did an English degree and then went to work for IBM and I started in sales. And I enjoyed the job because it was, you know, technology. And that was exciting and it paid quite well. So that was good just coming out of university.

But I kind of realized that actually I’m quite introverted. So actually being in sales was kind of… weird. But it was really good for me because it made me get out of my comfort zone and it made me more of a people person. And I found that to be successful at selling, you needed to listen a lot and that an introvert can do and is quite happy… and it’s quite an effective way of getting relationships built. So I think what happened was that experience of a decade or so of selling and then managing a team of sellers… taught me about networking. And really when you’re building a community, what you’re doing is you’re inviting people to participate in a large federated distributed team and sort of huddle around activities that you all have a common interest in.

So yeah, the community building was a complete accident.

Trac Bannon: Senior and I really do love living in Pennsylvania. I’m a native, and Senior has been a PA boy since 6th grade which is, by the way, when we met. I am positive it’s also why I adored talking with John Kaufhold. He’s a machine learning innovator and a startup founder, a trailblazer in the world of artificial intelligence and an all around wicked smart guy. He also grew up in Lancaster, PA… just a short drive from Camp Hill. 

John has that certain small town, Pennsylvania honesty that touches your heart. When we spoke, he was so authentically honest in sharing his regret yet owning responsibility for his actions as a teenager, losing his mother. 

John Kaufhold: In my senior year, my mom passes in September and I had not been speaking to my dad since I was 13. And my brother had just moved away to college the prior year, so I was kind of on my own, and then I was in such, I don’t know… antagonistic… I don’t know… difficult teenager. What do you call it?

 January, my dad went away to some kind of training for work. And I just asked a friend if they put me up for a while. And so I moved out when he was away, came back, he wasn’t there. Probably one of the worst things I ever did.

Uh, can you imagine if I was in pain? Can you imagine the pain he was in? He just, I mean, like… you can look at the statistics on what’s stressful in a person’s life, losing your significant other. That’s what just happened to him. I lost my mom, not, not nothing, but, and then for the kid to just…. disappear when you’re away.

Trac Bannon: I love the trait that we see in many of the Real Technologists… that they look back and are honest about their journeys. Julie Holdren, data scientist and entrepreneur phrased it this way. 

Julie Holdren: It’s interesting. There’s a whole lot of things I spent time focused on and worrying about that just weren’t relevant. And I think my older, wiser self, I think I’m able, I’m more judicious about my focus and my intent… and the things I can control and the things that I can’t.

So that’s what I would say is identify them sooner and quicker. 

Trac Bannon: Each episode of Real Technologists is crafted to broaden your horizons, spark innovation, and empower you to make informed decisions. Through candid conversations and insightful revelations, we aim to showcase the potential of the human spirit within the realm of technology.

So, whether you’re an avid tech enthusiast, an aspiring entrepreneur, or simply curious about the folks driving innovation in our digital world, join us as we unravel the stories behind the innovators shaping our future. 

I’m Trac Bannon, your host and storyteller, inviting you to join Pokie, Senior, and me on Real Technologists. Together, let’s explore the limitless possibilities of technology and the extraordinary lives of the people driving it. 

Each episode will give you… something to noodle on.

This podcast is a Source Network production and updates are available on your favorite audio streaming platform. Just search for Real Technologists and consider subscribing. Special thanks to our editor and sound engineer, Pokie Huang. He’s done an amazing job bringing these stories to life.

The music for today’s episode was provided by Blue Dot Sessions, and we used Descript for spoken text editing, as well as Audacity for the soundscaping. The show distribution platform is provided by Captivate FM, making it easy for our listeners to find and enjoy the show. That’s all for today, folks.

This is Trac Bannon. Don’t forget to subscribe and never miss an intriguing episode of Real Technologists and something new to noodle on.

Episode Guest: