E8 - Paddy Paddison at Wildanet

James Dean
Paddy Paddison

By James Dean & Paddy Paddison

On the 7th episode of The Route to Networking, James Dean, the Director here at Hamilton Barnes invites Paddy Paddison, the CTO of Wildanet, to our podcast to talk through his career in the tech industry, where it all began and gets an insight on who he is as a person and what he’s like in the professional world.

It all started back in 1984, Paddy joined the military, working as a Radio Engineer or Radio Technician they called it back then. He was there for 12 years before deciding that he wanted to move on, he said “I was in for 12 years, it came to a point where you either choose to become there for your career and do 22 or 36 years or there’s a point where you say, yeah it’s time to go now” … And that’s exactly what he did!

After leaving the military, Paddy went straight to a company named NTL, which is better known as ‘Virgin Media’ these days. He was part of the Luton franchise where he was part of the first thousand employees to join. He did that until he decided that as the company started to grow and expand, it became more serious and harder to get things done and became more tedious and couldn’t “just get things done”, there had to be a process in place before doing so.

Paddy talks about where his career started to take off and how considers himself to have a low attention span when it comes to the world of work. He moved over to Athens where they were developing 40GHz radios… “it was really interesting because we were practically inventing something”, which lead him to get into a position where he went on to put things in place for the 2004 Olympics.

After Athens, they decided to start up a computer games company, where he worked with Computer Programmers, and 3D Designers, where he met many interesting people. He enjoyed seeing the aspect of what goes into it and the people who worked around it with the ways they worked. Coming back to Paddy’s point of having a ‘low attention span’, he moved on again when people he worked with in Ireland contacted him and asked him to help with a design system for the Docklands Light Railway, which involved taking CCTV pictures of the trains while they were moving. So, he developed that program and eventually faded from the crafting of computer games.

What would Paddy’s advice be to a 16-year-old Paddy?

Paddy gave an interesting piece of advice, not only to his 16-year-old self but also very useful to young people starting up in the industry or any career in general. “Don’t worry, don’t rush, that fascination that teachers have with, ‘what are you going to do?’, don’t worry about it. It will develop, what interests you will develop and change over time, there’s no “you must do” by a particular date”. With so much pressure on the younger generation needing to know what they want to do as soon as they leave school, this piece of advice from a successful man could be helpful.

With so much tech now out there and it being such a fast-paced, constantly expanding always-developing industry, Paddy talks us through the technologies and developments he sees being made to the industry in the future. High-frequency radio is one of the many he sees being a compliment to the corporation with data speeds being at a short range. Another industry point he made was autonomous vehicles, for example, Teslas. Paddy owns a Tesla himself so speaking from first-hand experience, he makes an excellent point here. When they are fully autonomous, they need to process the information there and then so you can’t send it far away and wait for it to come back. The mapping information needs to be downloaded to it as fast as possible, which means it needs to have very high-speed data.

Do you want to hear Paddy’s ‘best night out’ where he ended up with the Director of the BBC and some ‘very expensive wine’…? You don’t want to miss this story. Listen to the full podcast here: