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August 26, 2016

Meet Andrew: Tricerat's All-Star CTO


Andrew Parlette, CTO
Andrew Parlette, CTO


Meet Andrew, Tricerat's all-star CTO who has been a technology enthusiast since before he can remember. Early on, his interests grew beyond just using a computer to understand how it worked and the art of programming, he quickly developed a passion for all things tech.

Studying computer science and going into the software industry was the obvious choice, it’s what I’m passionate about.

Andrew grew up locally and has lived in Maryland his whole life, but enjoys traveling around the country and internationally. He studied computer science at the University of Maryland (go Terps!) and joined the Tricerat team just after its formation in 1997.

My favorite places to go are to the National Parks, particularly those in the Southwest US. My family enjoys hikes through the parks and taking lots of pictures (he is a talented amateur photographer). Besides an interest in a wide variety of technology subjects, I like spending time outdoors and playing sports.

What types of things are you responsible for as Tricerat's CTO?

As CTO, I participate in most areas of the engineering operation for the company. I see this position as a bridge between the engineering efforts and the customers that we are working for. I make sure that sales and marketing have what they need from development, and we are getting the right inputs from customers and the market back into our engineering division. Some customers require special attention through professional services or other support means, and I make sure that we do everything possible to provide excellent service to our customers. For development, QA, and support I facilitate their hard work with the strategic direction, and empower those teams to do their best work possible.

Three objects on your desk...

I keep a clean desk, with most items being peripherals for my Surface Book which is my main business tool. I have a DAC to play music through the day when I’m in my office. I also keep a few things that my kids made around my desk to add a small personal touch.

The first device you reach for in the morning…

I usually go straight to my phone to check for any messages that might have come in from customers overnight.

After arriving at Tricerat in the morning, your first stop is…

I try to get to my desk to dock my computer, steep a cup of tea, and fill my bottle of water. I lately have been enjoying a really nice Darjeeling, although I enjoy many different varieties.

How long have you worked for Tricerat? What is your largest milestone with the company?

I started with the company just after it formed in 1997, and joined full-time as a software developer in 2001. Over the last 16 years I have worked with many great people including my lifelong friend, Eric, and business mentor John. We worked on innovative products and helped companies large and small in their IT initiatives. “Milestones” come frequently as I work on engineering problems with colleagues. The technical challenge and, many times, stress, followed by a successful outcome is a great feeling and drives us all to the next task.

Which Tricerat product is your personal favorite and why?

My favorite product is Simplify Printing. It strikes a perfect balance in automatic operation and control by the administrator. From the user perspective, their remote printers show up and just work, and the office printers they need are available and reliable. If only it could fill the paper tray after a “PC load letter” message…

What are you most looking forward to at this year’s VMworld?

There are two main things I look for. First, there is excitement about new technology and a vision laid out by big players like VMware and other companies in the market including our own. Second, it is a great chance to talk to a lot of others in the IT space. We can talk about our products, their environments, and what challenges they are facing. It really helps to connect us to the customer base more closely.

How have industry conferences changed since you first started attending?

You see the focus change over the years, with new topics bubbling to the surface and new answers to old problems. There are years where storage takes center stage, or virtualization techniques, management, cloud, user environment management, and others. Over the last 10 years there have been a lot of shifts in the hot topics that people are talking about.

What element of conferences do you find the most beneficial?

Having a lot of people gathered in one place is the real advantage of a conference that you can’t completely replicate online. Having a booth on the expo floor enables a lot of conversations with different people. Some of these moments are connecting with people that I have known for many years, and others are initial meetings that may have a lasting business relationship. Being able to attend sessions in-person is also a plus to a conference, where the advantage is being immersed in learning, sharing, and networking for a few days.

If you could have dinner with any three people, who would you invite and why?

The people I have dinner with almost every night top the list. My wife is a fantastic partner that supports my work, and my kids all give life a new perspective. People that aren’t physically at our table: 1) Jesus – The past, present, and future! 2) Bill Gates –One of the most influential people in technology, and always a visionary. It would also be amazing to hear his experiences and views on philanthropy. 3) Cal Ripken – My sports hero.

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