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Although ITC has now matured, it will continue to create new job opportunities as the evolution of services becomes ever more critical to the future of commerce and society in general. However, much of this will be routine and process laden, and the real excitement will be centred at the cusps of creativity. Networking, animation, 3D, visualisation, VR and AVR, not to mention games and entertainment all create and support traffic, and generate a good ROI, that will demand a continual stream of talented people.

Far more demanding, and exciting, areas are now emerging at the interface of nano and bio-tech, materials science, and computing. This is where we might see the next big advances in health-care, energy, transport, green solutions, and the second industrial revolution with distributed design and manufacturing. As a result there will be a demand for people who can span disciplines to realise the best outcomes. The ability to build and produce artefacts a molecule (or atom) at a time, coupled with the structured programming of hardware will change everything.

When I started my career it was as an electrical and electronics engineer, and indeed I was employed in the electronics sector for some years. But I soon found myself migrating to computer hardware design, networking, programming, optics, acoustics, speech processing, signal recovery, SONAR, modelling, human interface design, genetics, VR, AVR, search, security, and more. So my advice is: donít specialize too soon, get as broad an education as possible, never pass on opportunities to gain knowledge, experience and understanding, and never suppose that your education is finished or complete because it is a lifetime continuum. And remember: our working lives consume at least 50% of our existence; we should try to keep it all fresh, exciting and fun.

Looking back over my life every single aspect has improved through the advancement of knowledge, science and technology. And it has been ever thus for successive generations. There was never golden time Ė other than today! We now have more capability and options than any other generation of our species. And whilst we might face a mounting raft of problems, I donít see anything we cannot solve, I only see opportunities we can exploit. But it is down to us and us alone Ė and a necessary mind change;

  • work with nature instead of against here
  • look to the good of the whole rather than the individual
  • design and plan for sustainability
So do enjoy: if I could start again, I surely would!