Campus and Neighborhood
Q&A on Data Technological know-how With Daren Hubbard
October 22, 2020
• Atlanta, GA
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Daren Hubbard is Tech’s main information officer and vice president for Data Engineering. (Photograph by Allison Carter)
Daren Hubbard is Ga Tech’s new chief data officer (CIO) and vice president for Data Technological know-how. He arrived from Wayne Condition University, the place he was the CIO and affiliate vice president for Computing and Information and facts.
At Tech Hubbard provides vision, leadership, and oversight in the enhancement and implementation of data technological innovation. He also is a member of the Institute’s Recovery Job Drive and he was not long ago asked to immediate all Covid-19-similar infrastructure and technologies pursuits.
At his office in the Coda Constructing, Hubbard lately sat for a discussion that ranged from how he views the function of IT at a study university to his love of Corvettes, novelty socks, and donuts.
What attracted you to Ga Tech?
The standing of the establishment, at a national and intercontinental amount, is interesting in and of itself. It’s the kind of position where you want to get your vocation.
The whole interview approach actually got me psyched about the chance. Realizing in which you might be likely to be operating and who you’re going to be working with is a lot more essential to me than some of the other environmental elements. Following speaking to Kelly Fox [executive vice president for Administration and Finance] and to President Cabrera — I do not assume there is any one who can speak to President Cabrera and not get energized about Georgia Tech — and meeting every person else on the research committee practically, it was a done deal.
I also experienced the profit of checking out Atlanta likely each summer for the final 25 several years. I have buddies right here, and my godsons attended Centennial Put Elementary School. I recall Atlantic Station currently being constructed, and I experienced a membership to the Ga Aquarium prior to shifting here. No a person had to sell me on Atlanta. Also, you can’t question anybody from the point out of Michigan if they are unhappy about leaving the Michigan winters.
You have only been at Ga Tech for about 5 weeks. Is it what you envisioned, or is it distinctive? Any early takeaways pertaining to options or troubles?
I have mirrored on this a lot. It is equally new and unusually acquainted. Some of the complications may perhaps be a little different in a scale, of course, but issues at Ga Tech are the same as at Wayne Point out — genuinely trying to align the mission of the institution with the circumstances on the floor. Folks have lots of competing tips about how to do issues. Sources could not essentially be dispersed equitably, leaving our team doing the job to equilibrium that out.
The early takeaways are the regular themes that have actually forged my profession. I have been executing this type of do the job for extra than 20 years. Throughout that time, I have developed a particular set of main values that function actually well, and I am in a position to utilize them around and around once again.
At Ga Tech I am hoping to develop excellent partnerships across campus. We are coming to the desk to assist you, not essentially to create anything which is just amazing and has a wow issue. It is about developing an excellent experience. I imagine that applies to everyone on the campus, complete communities of pupils, faculty, and team — creating certain that the perform they need to do is as effortless as achievable.
I want to make guaranteed we have a wonderful work ecosystem for our staff. If you come to feel good about what you’re doing, it reveals in your get the job done and permits you to produce an excellent knowledge for the men and women you help.
The past detail we do is to really emphasis on constant improvement. Make absolutely sure that persons never see the very same problem once again, and test to make the knowledge greater the up coming time. We want to make certain that people have the instruments to do what they do.
You commenced at Tech all through the coronavirus pandemic — when the vast majority of students, college, and staff had been functioning remotely and based on Tech’s technology infrastructure to stay linked. How was that knowledge?
Our skill to transition from getting a absolutely on-campus working experience to a distant expertise didn’t come about the day the pandemic started out. People are investments that have been created in excess of time. It was the very good do the job of people today in this division and across campus, building these decisions, investing in tools, and actually obtaining individuals up to pace just before the pandemic. We did not know everybody was likely to have to function from house. But we did know that some men and women would want to be capable to collaborate and have meetings in a distant trend, so we were being building the infrastructure just in circumstance. Tech is now looking at the dividends of investments manufactured a few or four years in the past. We have to carry on to make investments and strategically pick out applications that are going to be below today and with any luck , in this article for us tomorrow.
A single factor that we’re likely to see coming out of this pandemic is that our workforce could not require to be physically right here in Atlanta. That indicates we can compete with either coastline or globally for the finest talent. It provides a new chance for universities.
IT is normally seen as a guidance function. How do you see IT?
I do not believe it is necessarily a poor thing to be a assistance purpose. For case in point, this constructing has large pillars that guidance the floors. They have to be in this article or the setting up will slide. Having said that, an additional way to see IT is as a facilitator of some of the innovation that is coming from the issue issue professionals who we are fortuitous to function with. IT usually has the chance to aid individuals accelerate what they’re carrying out at its main. That is what all this stuff is supposed to do — to help people today to be far more effective, resourceful, and revolutionary. As lengthy as we have an opportunity to be a husband or wife with individuals, to pay attention to what they want to do and what they can do, we can convey all the distinctive tools and capabilities we have to the desk.
What retains you awake at evening?
There is normally a — and it is not even existential any more — serious and present hazard encompassing knowledge protection of the mental residence belongings that a location like Ga Tech generates on a everyday basis. I wrote a paper in graduate university about how the pretty nature of universities helps make them a focus on for poor guys. If you are seeking to steal anything, you want some thing new. Universities actually develop new concepts and chances each individual day. That knowledge has a high benefit, and it’s portion of our task to aid facilitate the safety of all those property. But, in general, the thing that keeps me up at night is the problem of whether we are performing adequate. Are we speaking perfectly ample? Are we generating a tradition that enables people to collaborate.
What do you enjoy carrying out when you’re not working?
Becoming from Detroit, I grew up next the auto sector the way some individuals observe athletics. So, there’s an automotive fanatic lurking inside of me. I generate a sensible motor vehicle now, but ideal just before I moved down right here I offered my 2017 Corvette Stingray. Whilst it was enjoyable, that motor vehicle is not just a car. It is a whole lifestyle.
I did a tiny pictures in high college and faculty, and I a short while ago started getting again into it, predominantly photographing autos and structures. I had originally long gone to college to become an architect. I nonetheless like structures and finding out the use of area, but now I just photograph them.
Explain to me a little something that most people really don’t know about you.
I have been amassing and carrying novelty socks for 30 decades. I have all kinds, for each situation. Yesterday was ‘Taco Tuesday’ so I wore my taco socks.
It began in university. I desired to convey myself outside of donning the common ‘preppy’ clothing. I bought a pair of entertaining socks, and I began saving them for a particular event. But the moment you get started saving some thing it results in being this legendary issue, so you can not just pull them out and use them any time. About three several years following I purchased the socks I nevertheless experienced not worn them. Then I satisfied anyone and had a date prepared for the weekend. I explained to my mates I was thrilled about the day, and they asked if I considered she was worthy of my socks. I stated yes. I wore my exclusive socks, and the date was wonderful. My date, Tanya, later on became my wife. We just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary in August.
A different factor most people do not know is that I actually appreciate donuts. But donuts really do not really like me, so I have built a framework for how I can enjoy them. I phone it Oktoberfest due to the fact my birthday is Oct. 3. So, for the thirty day period of October I take in as several donuts as I want, but I do not consume them the relaxation of the year. Final weekend I went to Revolution Donuts, and I also like Chic Donuts. I want to reside as long as I can, so this framework allows me to get pleasure from donuts while reducing the overall health possibility.