Q&A: Ian Metcalfe, IT director, Brother

In the first of our special series talking to IT and business leaders who are taking part in this year's Byte Night event, we speak to Brother's IT director, Ian Metcalfe.

Anything else you're bringing along to help wile away the hours?

I am sure I will be sleeping, I can get eight hours in on a long haul flight with all the commotion that goes on, so a few hundred people out in the night won't stop me from getting a good night's sleep.

It is one night out of around 30,000 other nights you will have, surely you can put up with a bit of cold and rain for that.

What will you do if it rains?

I live in Manchester, what other weather is there? After my experience up Kilimanjaro, ranging from trying to sleep in a rain forest at 30+ degrees, followed two nights later in howling wind and rain at -30 I am not overly worried. My sleeping bag is waterproof, I have a very good water proof jacket, and it won't be the first time I have slept with my head zipped up inside my bag.

What do you hope to take away with you after Byte Night?

I find these type of events are great for meeting new people and building strong relationships. At the same time I am taking my own team along too so it will be great to be with them outside of the work environment.

Finally, I hope that we will have raised a decent amount of money for Action for Children. If I get a good night's sleep, that will be a bonus.

What words of encouragement would you give to fellow Byte Nighters?

Whenever I am doing something that may be a little uncomfortable, out of the norm, or unnerving I always tell myself that it is just a fraction of the time that I am here on this planet, so even if it is not pleasant it won't last for long. It is one night out of around 30,000 other nights you will have, surely you can put up with a bit of cold and rain for that.

Secondly, despite what you may feel, you will enjoy it, you will meet new people; all of them are there with the same objective as you and many probably with the same doubts. Remember that what you are doing is helping others who are less fortunate, so forget the negatives, think how elated you will feel in the morning, or when you get back home having made a positive contribution to someone else's life.

Anything else you'd like to say about the event/cause?

I am really looking forward to it. I'm sure that with all the work that is going into the event behind the scenes, it will be a great success. So if you haven't got your name down, do it now. Grab your colleagues, form a team, it will be a different night out. If you can't get your colleagues to join you and you're worried about being on your own, you're welcome to snore alongside me!

Byte night is a fantastic opportunity for the IT industry to get involved and help make a substantial impact on the lives of young people across the UK. It is not about who you are, but what you are willing to do. So make a difference, it will benefit many and will benefit you.

The IT Pro/Cloud Pro team is taking part in this year's Byte Night. You can sponsor us here and read more about the event here.

Turn the page to read more about Ian's role as IT director of Brother

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