I had an opportunity to sit down with one of our ATM Insiders, Blake Krone, a mobility consultant and instructor, to get the inside scoop on what he does, what he’s looking forward to at the conference and the future of technology. Be sure to follow Blake on Twitter at @BlakeKrone and check out his NoStringsAttached podcast and his blog.
PK: When you’re not hanging out at ATM18, what’s your day job?
BK: I have two jobs. I am the lead mobility solutions architect for Velaspan, a services-only wireless LAN implementation organization out of the East Coast. I also do technical training on Ekahau and teach wireless design courses.
It’s a nice mix of teaching and doing. It’s better than sitting in a cube all day. I get to see the real-world issues and use cases and they can tell people how to design and deploy wireless networks that are reinforced with the real world.
I also do the No Strings Attached Show podcast. I started podcasting because I wanted to give back to the community since I had learned so much from other people. When we started, there was only one other podcast on wireless.
PK: What motivates you to do what you do?
BK: I want to understand how people are using the solutions. The networking industry is switching to a focus on programmability and APIs, and strong integration with other products. I’m intrigued to learn how you tie these products together. That’s a tinker’s world, and I like tinkering. I want to see if I can make something cool happen.
PK: What is the first thing you’ll do when you get to Vegas for ATM18?
BK: I want to see who else is there whom I don’t see often. I like to figure out who’s there from the Aruba team, so we can talk before the conference gets busy.
Once the conference starts, you really lose track of time, and then all of a sudden, you’re on the airplane home.
PK: What’s the coolest part about ATM?
BK: The best part of any conference is being able to get together with like-minded folks. You can join any circle, and the conversation will be about something that interests you. If not, you can walk over and find another group who are talking about a different topic that interests you.
My favorite activity is to walk the entire length of the Strip and back at 1am or 2am with the other Aruba Insiders.
PK: What part of ATM do you dread the most?
BK: I am an introverted person who plays an extrovert on TV. When I go to conferences, people recognize me because of my persona as a blogger and podcaster. I’ll ride the high for the week but then hit the wall and crash.
PK: What technology are you wearing right now?
BK: Apple Watch and iPhone are the two staples that stay by my side. I’m participating in the Apple Heart Study with my watch.
PK: If you weren’t in technology, what would your life be like?
BK: I’d probably fall back to my retirement plan – mow lawns in the summer and plow snow in the winter. I’d sit on a tractor, go in a straight line, and return. So much of what we do is indoors, and I would be outside where I could enjoy the seasons.
PK: Who do you see as the undisputed guru of technology innovation?
BK: There are too many innovators to list. I look back at the Steve Jobs and Bill Gates era, which redefined how we think about computers – from room-size devices to portable devices.
Right now, it’s Elon Musk and SpaceX. Elon and the team have mastered the art of launching a rocket into space, orbiting, and bringing components back to the ground. It’s epic.
PK: Who would you want to have dinner with?
BK: Before his death, it would have been Steve Jobs. Now, it would be Elon Musk. Can you imagine the napkin scribbles and conversation we’d have?
PK: What will be the most life-changing technology in our lifetime?
BK: I’ve already seen one of the most life-changing technologies – that’s the mobile device.
I love mobile devices, and I build networks to support them. But mobile technology is changing our lives in ways that are not necessarily for the better. They completely change how we communicate – or don’t communicate. Like when you leave someone unread in Snapchat. The addictions created by mobile devices are impacting a lot of folks in the real world.
PK: In what market segment will we see the next big disruption?
BK: The next big disruption will be to the power grid and how we provide power to our homes. I’d like to see someone create a housing development area with its own self-contained infrastructure.
We’re ripe to find a more efficient way of doing solar energy for the masses. If people’s houses have solar panels and are connected to a shared system, then they’re not reliant on an archaic power grid.
PK: What is your current favorite meme/GIF?
BK: I’m too busy teaching and training to look for memes.
Blake is a delegate at the Mobility Field Day on Wed, March 28 at ATM18. Watch the live stream here: http://techfieldday.com/event/atm18/