Tech 25 winner Gary Todd solves complex IT challenges
Gary’s tech career began 25 years ago at Intel Corp, where he was a Level 3 Engineering Technician. His experience ranges across industries from insurance and logistics to government and e-commerce ― and most currently ― aviation. Gary moved from California to Indy in 1999 to help an Indianapolis company with a Y2K bug and has made a big impact at several Indianapolis businesses and organizations ever since.
While technology is Gary’s profession, he is also proficient in five languages and has a passion for sports cars, motorcycles, and racing. His knack for taking things apart and putting them together is valuable in his role at Republic Airways and in his hobbies. He’s a relentless problem solver, and he’s faced some of Republic’s most difficult IT challenges.
What led you to get into tech and this occupation? What was your first job in tech?
My father was, and still is, my inspiration. He instilled in me a love of science and engineering that I carry with me to this day. He encouraged me to try new things and opened my mind to what could be. While in high school, my father hired me as a part-time tech to work for him in the maintenance department of a casino. My first programming job involved adding new drink recipes to the computerized bar system the casino used. I then moved on to automate the casino’s air conditioning system. It was then that I realized the power that a simple computer could make in everyday life.
When you think of a day in your life, what are the main work activities you do or responsibilities you have?
First and foremost, I am a problem solver. The projects I work on benefit the airline by solving business needs. The airline industry is a constantly moving framework of people and machines, each needing to depart and arrive on schedule seven days a week, 365 days a year. I love the challenge of creating new ways to make our associates’ work lives better while improving the efficiency of the entire airline. I am constantly provided with new challenges, and there is never a normal day.
Which resources would you recommend to those who want to learn more or advance their skills in this occupation?
Software development is an ever-evolving stack of new and existing technology. Personally, I use Stack Overflow and Pluralsight to learn and evaluate new tech. The challenges of new technologies are two-fold. Does the new tech provide an advantage to solve the problem at hand? Will the technology still be en vogue 6 months from now, a year from now, etc.? There will always be a new “go-to” technology; however, the challenge is to step back and look forward to where the technology will be, not where it is today.
Gary Todd is a Tech 25 winner who is helping to grow and improve the tech landscape of Indiana. He was nominated by his Vice President of Information Technology, Nirav Shah.
Visit the Indianapolis Business Journal website to see the full listing and celebration of the 2020 Tech 25 honorees in the joint CTO of the Year and Tech 25 Awards supplement. You can also watch a video of the livestream from the CTO of the Year and Tech 25 Awards virtual event.