Q&A: Stephen Brooks, DC Thomson
In the second interview of our special series talking to IT and business leaders who are taking part in this year's Byte Night event, we speak to Stephen Brooks, group head of IT at DC Thomson.
Why are you taking part in Byte Night this year and have you participated before?
It's a fantastic charity for an incredibly worthwhile cause. Action for Children helps kids all over the UK and that means it's a national charity that has a very local feel. This will be year number two of taking part for us [in the Edinburgh sleep-out].
Do you think it's important for the tech industry/business world to support such good causes?
I think it's absolutely vital that the technology industry and the business world support causes like this. Thankfully the vast majority of us are in a slightly more fortunate position that those Action for Children support and I think it's a great opportunity to come together as a united industry to raise funds and give something back to young people especially in our local communities. [Some of these children] really do need a really strong helping hand.
What one gadget will you be taking with you on the night and is there anything else you're bringing along to help wile away the hours?
Being in IT I would hope I'd be able to leave all my gadgets at home for one night. But I will be bringing along my iPhone and will be tweeting and sharing updates on Facebook.
What will you do if it rains?
I don't think it will dampen our enthusiasm. On the night we're equipped with umbrellas and plastic covers and suchlike.
What do you hope to take away with you after Byte Night?
Last year I was really moved by the young people that spoke on the stage. That had a lasting impact on me and I look forward to hearing about how more lives are being transformed.
Moving forward I'd like to be more involved in an ongoing basis rather than the one event in the year.
What words of encouragement would you give to fellow Byte Nighters?
Come along with a very open mind and be prepared to take part. Everybody is quite excited by the event and everyone has a bit of fun. There's clearly a message behind all of that we shouldn't lose sight of and this is the support that Action for Children as a charity is giving to young people.
People won't fail to be impressed by the great work that Action for Children does. I would encourage people to come along, participate fully and really enjoy the event. Don't forget there are many young people who are sleeping out on a frequent basis.
I see this event as a reminder to us all there are many people who do this every night. The money you raise goes towards helping someone. Everyone has a common purpose for that evening. It's a chance to be part of something very special.
And what would you say to those unsure about taking part?
Action for Children is a first-class charity and if you haven't done anything like this before, then come along with a few of your colleagues, support an amazing cause. If nothing else, sponsor someone you know because it will transform the life of someone you don't know.
Turn the page to read more about Stephen's role as group head of IT of DC Thomson