Charles Ewen on his first ever job, why he decided on a career in technology and what advice he'd give his teenage self
Charles Ewen is the CIO of the Met Office, an organisation he joined in 2013. Before that he worked as head of customer experience for electronics manufacturing firm Farnell Global.
Despite working for the Met Office, he recently told Computing that he's very cautious about predicting the future.
He has also joined Computing's new interview series 15 questions. Previously Asda CIO Anna Barsby was in the hotseat.
What job did you want to do as a child?
I was brought up on a farm so anything and everything related to that - hard work!
What was your first ever job?
I had intended to study science or engineering at University but due to family circumstances that didn't happen, so I undertook a Level 5 Apprenticeship with the RAF and then stayed in the RAF for a further 5 years.
How would you describe your current work to a 5-year old kid?
Working on very big computers to understand how weather works
How, why and when did you get into technology?
As part of a big family, there were always old TVs, radios and so on that had broken and realised that as the youngest sibling, I could get some kudos by fixing them.
Who is your biggest inspiration when it comes to work/business?
Michael Faraday - From humble and disadvantaged beginnings to become one of the world's most influential scientists
What achievement makes you most proud?
What my kids and people that I have and continue to work with have achieved
What's the best life and work advice you've ever been given?
Only you know when you have done your best
What was the first band you ever saw?
What is your favourite book / film?
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep / Bladerunner
If you could speak to your teenage self, what advice would you give him?
Give yourself a break, it will be OK in the end
What makes you laugh?
‘You're on mute'
If you could solve one major problem, what would it be?
Get on top of climate change
Think of your favourite place. Where are you thinking of?
What traits do you most like and dislike in others?
Authenticity and honesty / Positioning and Politics
Which technology of the near future are you most excited about?
Application of Machine Learning in assisted decision-making