60 seconds with Tait Communications EMEA's John Gardener
Written by: Sam Fenwick | Published:

John Gardener, CTO at Tait Communications EMEA, discusses his career in the two-way radio industry

How do you spend your time at work?

Generally it is split between researching different technologies or products, writing up documents such as proposals, specifications or designs and helping out colleagues and customers with technical questions.

What’s the one gadget you can’t live without?

Sad to say, my phone. It is all my gadgets in one device – diary, camera, pedometer, timepiece, calculator, satnav, pocket encyclopaedia… sometimes I even take calls on it.

Describe your most unforgettable project.

One that sticks in my mind was a large (120-site) trunked radio migration project that had to be completed on a very tight timeline under severe penalties, and which used a newly developed gateway to support calls between our network and the legacy network. There was major pressure from high-level stakeholders, but it taught me the power of collaborative working.

What’s the most unusual thing you’ve seen while working in the radio sector?

Not so much unusual as enlightening. On my first field trip, seeing proof that lightning protection works. This was in the soot marks around the halo ground in a shelter in Brunei. The equipment was still working despite what must have been a massive lightning strike.

What advice would you give to a young engineer who’s starting their first job in the two-way radio industry?

The pace of change is increasing all the time. Take whatever opportunities you can to keep yourself current. Seek to understand your clients’ world. Finally, don’t be afraid to seek advice.

How has your role changed since you started working with Tait 25 years ago?

It has grown immensely, from software R&D to now architecting converged communications solutions.

What do you do in your free time to relax?

Boring things! I enjoy going for long walks. Getting out in the fresh air is good for clearing my head and is an opportunity to dabble in photography.

John Gardener was appointed as CTO for Tait Europe in 2015, leading early market experience for unified comms. Prior to this, he specialised in systems engineering in Tait’s Global Centre of Excellence in New Zealand.

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