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IDG News Service - Name: Scott Morrison
Time with company: 10 years; Morrison was the first employee hired
Education: Honors degree from Simon Fraser University in Computer Science, with a minor in English literature and a concentration in mathematics
Company headquarters: Washington, D.C.
Countries of operation: U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia
Number of employees total: About 165
Number of employees the CTO oversees: About 75
About the company: Layer 7 Technologies provides security and management products for API-driven integrations. Its products are aimed at management of open API (application programming interface) for developers, partner and cross-divisional integration using SOA (service-oriented architecture), cloud connectivity and enterprise mobile enablement for BYOD (bring-your-own-device) initiatives. Its customers include insurance, banking, telecom and government organizations.
1. Where did you start your career and what experiences led you to the job you have today?
I started in a pure research program, a medical research program out of the University of British Columbia, working with a technology called positron emission technology, or PET. We were applying that specifically to look at neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease. I spent a number of years as a researcher there before deciding to make the move into the private sector.
I moved to IBM. Obviously, there were different focuses in terms of priorities, customers and technologies. I spent a number of years at IBM as senior architect traveling the world working with what at the time were some of the new cutting-edge technologies, applied to interesting problems.
I was working in a group specifically outside of the regular profit and loss centers that could be deployed in unusual projects that were either highly risky because of the nature of the domain or risky in the sense of technical risk or required application of the latest and greatest cutting-edge technologies.
The idea was that it could be very much contained in one group whose goal it was to see if it could come up with new assets that could be used by the regular consulting organization or spun off into permanent products.
From there, I went to a wireless company called Infowave Software. That was a startup founded during the tech boom that was basically about creating a secure but highly optimized channel between a wireless device. Back then, a wireless device was like a big Palm Pilot with a radio receiver strapped to the back of it. The idea was to secure email, calendar -- all the usual productivity information.
From there, I moved directly to my current role.
2. Who was an influential boss for you and what lessons did they teach you about management and leadership?
I had a few stints with IBM and the very first one was as an intern, actually a co-op student at a lab back in Toronto. I had one boss I'll always remember and the interesting lesson I learned from him. I didn't have a lot of experience. I ended up in a QA lab, which was one of those places that sort of trudged along. It was a place where they'd start people out. They weren't just testing technologies, they were testing employees.