I have interviewed several high level tax technology specialists over the last 5 years. One question that I have tagged onto the end of my interviews has been ‘outside of tax technology, what is your favourite gadget?’
The answers provided back have been very intriguing, with a very wide range of technologies being cited, some of them not at all IT related! Yes of course, some have mentioned the more predictable devices such as iPhone and iPad. Although we have to remember that a lot of senior tax technologists are still ‘technology immigrants’ i.e. they grew up in a non-IT world (i.e. circa pre-1994) and so the functionality of an iPad / iPhone is still quite mesmerising and attractive to this population.
Of the other responses, they have provided an interesting insight into habits and lifestyles of tax technologists. Not surprisingly there are some regular coffee drinkers, with some that have invested in the latest Nespresso machines or even stove-top expresso machines.
Another common theme is that these people do a fair level of travel, and so travel-aid devices have been mentioned, such as Bose noise-cancelling headphones and the Kindle Paperwhite.
Some are sporty, with one avid tennis player investing in modern racket technology with the Head Radical racket. Other interests include photography, using a Canon 5D mark 3.
Of course there is a clear link between tax technologists and an attraction to things technological, but that more lateral response of citing products that are not even IT based shows a more intrinsic passion and interest for technology advancement.