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Q&A: JP Rangaswami, Salesforce

We speak to the company's chief scientist about his involvement in Byte Night and where he sees the industry moving.

I've been involved with Byte Night for nearly a decade now. Whenever I think about youth homeless, I have this sense of "there but for the grace of God". It makes me want to do something about it. And when you meet the people that have been helped and hear their stories, it makes you want to do more. So I'll keep coming back, health permitting. 

Do you think it's important for the tech industry/business world to support such good causes?  

Absolutely. I'm very lucky, I work in an organisation that has encouraged its people to be involved in such causes from the day the company was set up. Philanthropy is part of our DNA, the founders understood that and made it one of our core values. 

What one gadget will you be taking with you on the night?

(After the torrential rain last year) a very large umbrella. 

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

Colleagues. Hordes of them. We are turning up in force. 

What will you do if it rains (like last year!)?

Learn to swim (I can't).

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

A tiny, tiny reminder of what it really feels like to be homeless. 

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

When you're cold and wet and tired just remember you only do this once a year; the people you are here to help face this every day.

And what would you say to those unsure about taking part?

Just do it. There is an amazing feeling the morning after the night before, especially the first time.

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

If you get the chance, meet some of the people helped, they are there on the night to share their stories. That's what drives me on every year. 

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