Disney continues to use and develop cutting-edge technology!
What’s your role in keeping the company on the cutting edge?
I’m part of Disney Technology Solutions and Services (DTSS), Disney’s central technology team based in Seattle. From servers and hosting to core software capabilities like e-commerce, we support technology groups throughout the company. My team’s job is to look for technologies that are just coming on to the market, or are not yet on the market, and explore uses for those ideas (for example, one member of our team worked with ABC on a launch-day app for the iPad). Often, when we find a technology that can help us create a new product or experience, we build a prototype for testing and to help explain it to partners around the company.
Another interesting part of my job is that I’m Disney’s representative to the World Wide Web Consortium, an international body responsible for standardizing major web technologies. One of the many projects is related to web and television. With brands like ABC and ESPN, you can imagine we certainly have an interest in the topic.
On a typical day, what do you spend most of your time doing?
There is no typical day, but one thing we do almost every day is look for ways to innovate. I came from a high technology background and use a variety of sources to stay up on the latest trends. Sometimes it means going to conferences or meeting with contacts at a technology company, and other times it means following blogs or Twitter. I follow a lot of folks in the industry – many of them friends – who work on cutting-edge ideas. Also, companies often come to us with previews of new technology.
What do you like best about your job?
There are so many great things about the job – it’s a combination of things. I love that I’m paid to play with the coolest technology “toys” and then get to figure how to use them to make our guests’ experiences better. I also have the freedom to decide what technologies we’re going to investigate. So if I were to get bored, I’d only have myself to blame. It’s really amazing to work at a company with so many things going on – I can always find an interest.
So far, what’s been your most memorable experience at Disney?
I’ve had a number of bucket-list-type experiences that I didn’t know were on the list until I experienced them. I love projects that involve working backstage at Disney parks. One early morning before Disneyland opened, we were working with Microsoft. They brought a special backpack with a 360-degree camera to map the park – that was a memorable day. Also, seeing guests in the park reminds me that the products we help create are so impactful that people remember them for a lifetime.
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