This week, our “Under the Hood” interview is with Robert Jackson, Lotame’s IT Administrator. Bringing his previous experience in aerospace to the AdTech world at Lotame, Rob is a very handy person to have around when “turning it on and off again” hasn’t worked. Let’s learn more about Robert Jackson.
What is a typical day on the job like for you?
One of the best things about my position is that I do not have a typical day. Every day is something different. I could be preparing for the arrival of a new employee, troubleshooting a variety of PC & Mac related problems, assisting our network operations team, as well as a variety of other projects throughout MD & NY.
What do you enjoy most about working at Lotame?
There are many enjoyable things about working at Lotame when I start thinking about it. I most enjoy the culture, the atmosphere, and the ethics that Lotame provides because it fits with the values my family and I live by. I also enjoy working with the various types of technology, as well as getting involved in project management. And I must say, I really enjoy traveling to the NY office.
What is the most important lesson you have learned about how to be successful?
Building strong working relationships at Lotame has helped me succeed. Creating a bond of trust and respect that others know is genuine.
If you had to give one piece of advice to someone on their first day of work, what would it be?
Never stop working hard and respect everyone, because we all bring something to the table.
What is the most challenging project you have worked on?
The most interesting project I have had the pleasure to work on in my field was working with aerospace software/system upgrades. I was tasked to work with the current wireless network and perform upgrades to the pilots windows laptop in a Bombardier, Challenger Business Jet, as well as test the equipment in flight.
The flight crew and co-pilots laptops were a little more challenging than the pilots; their monitoring software wasn’t quite ready for windows 7. I was able to work with the jet’s manufacturer to coordinate a fix. The flight mechanic and I verified and tested that all systems were working properly during takeoff, in flight, and landing.
How does the aerospace industry compare to AdTech?
Aerospace is a lot more dangerous, I can tell you that. You have to trust that a stranger is flying, maintaining, and navigating an object being propelled by basically rockets, with a max cruising speed of around 540 mph or Mach 0.82; four times faster than the Northeast Regional train to NYC. Private jets have no parachutes, leaving the side door at that speed wouldn’t work anyway!
This is my first experience working in Ad Tech and aerospace is surprisingly much slower. Data is transferred by light in most cases through fiber optic cables. In our NY Office, for example, packets of data are constantly being uploaded and downloaded from the server room, down 16 floors to the building’s basement, then out to the internet before finally reaching its intended destination. This happens all before a plane could get clearance to take off. The best thing is that there are “parachutes” here; if things happen we can move on, fix it in flight, most of the time without a catastrophic outcome.
Tell us something we don’t already know about you
I enjoy nature and everything about it. My family and I volunteer for various local groups to plants trees in Maryland and help the environment. Growing and taking care of plants are my specialty, especially trees! I would rather not climb 100’ in the air anymore, so I now create Bonsai trees in my spare time. Most of my trees only grow a few inches over a long period of time and I can trim them from my desk chair without a chainsaw.