Catch Dr. Joe Perez on the #PirateBroadcast
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Welcome to the #PirateBroadcast, where we interview #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings. Where you can expand your connections, your community, #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree. Let’s get this party started.
Russ Johns 0:20
It's a beautiful day for the #piratebroadcast and I just love the fact that we can get up in the morning and enjoy a great conversation. It's like one of those conversations, I did post the other day on this, and it's like the #piratebroadcast is like sitting in someplace and you're overhearing a conversation that's kind of interesting between a couple of people that are just enjoying life, looking forward to what's taking place around them, and thriving in the moment, because that's what it's all about, is enjoying what you're doing, and loving life to the fullest. Today, we're gonna be talking to an #interestingperson, another #interestingperson doing #interestingthings. Dr. Joe, welcome to the #piratebroadcast. Thank you so much for being here. How are you today?
Dr. Joe Perez 1:07
Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me on onboard there, Russ. I'm doing well. thank you for asking. I hope you are, too.
Russ Johns 1:14
Oh, absolutely. You know, we were talking before the show and we we came up with this idea that teaching allows people the opportunity to always venture out and learn, you're constantly learning, you can't teach without learning something. And you have this opportunity to actually generate a conversation around whatever subject it happens to be. So I encourage people to always be lifelong learners, learn something new, learn something interesting outside of your field, it doesn't matter what it is. I wanted to kind of go down the path, you started out as a teacher and, as a teacher, you're always a teacher. It's that thread and that DNA is always in you. You and I have a common thread of being in the early days of it and watching this evolve. So I kind of want to walk through from '92, when we started IT to right now. What's your journey looking like? What changes have you seen and what are you doing right now, today, to bring us up to speed?
Dr. Joe Perez 2:26
Oh, wow, from '92 to now? Well, that's what 28 years? Less gray hair back then and a little bit more of it too.
Russ Johns 2:37
When we were writing new modem scripts.
Dr. Joe Perez 2:39
That's right. That we're 28k baud. I don't even know what baud stands for anymore. I don't even know that anybody knows what baud means? You know?
Russ Johns 2:51
Some people, they weren't even born when you could hear a modem talk?
Dr. Joe Perez 2:54
Yeah, the noise (makes modem sound) right? And now they think, oh, it sounds like a scanner, you know? So yeah, it started in the early 90s. I went to work for NC State University and enjoyed it there. I started off as a computer consultant. Then I was promoted to computer training manager than analyst programmer, and finished up as business intelligence specialist. During that time, I've seen my share of things changing like crazy. The University went from a mainframe based system to a client server based system to a web and enterprise PeopleSoft based system. One system implementation after another, always having to look for ways to refactor your code, looking for ways to fit gap what the new features would be of the new software, the new reporting system, ensure that all the functionality was still there with whatever the old system used to do. You get people who are reticent to change, people who don't want to innovate, who don't want to progress. That's because they don't want to give up some of the things that they knew their old reporting system could do. So it was a matter of proving that the new system could do everything the old system could do. You might have to do it a little bit differently, you might have to get used to mouse clicks instead of typing with your fingers on the keyboard or whatnot. You might have to get used to dialog boxes and drop downs and things instead of being able to type whatever you want it, so it's different ways of doing it. But you give people what they need and you take care of their functional requirements, their technical requirements, their business requirements, then, if you can provide that in an environment that does it more quickly, more efficiently, provides some more information at their fingertips and does it in a way that's accurate and dependable. It doesn't give them too much of a headache, then why not? Help them to get over the the reticence to change. People are used to doing things in a certain way. So if you can sweeten the deal by addressing their concerns and providing something that gets them to where they want to go more quickly and more efficiently, then that's 90% of the battle right there.
Russ Johns 5:30
One of the fascinating things for me, is that I used to build infrastructure for doctors, orthopedic surgeons. There are two camps, there were the doctors saying, don't take my pencil away, and the doctors, saying, hurry up, give me a new computer to make this go faster.
Dr. Joe Perez 5:51
Russ Johns 5:52
Nowadays, we're actually growing up in a universe where a lot of younger people, grew up with an iPhone in their hand or an iPad in their hand.
Dr. Joe Perez 6:05
Or they learned how to type like this, instead of this, right?
Russ Johns 6:09
Yeah, and they're really, really familiar with the technology. They're not always involved in the technology, for the sake of technology. I got into technology, because I was fascinated by the fact that I could do something with a program or I could create something, or automate something, or build a system, or capture data in a certain way. You know, I was always fascinated by the process and building systems. I think that is still true today. The whole #piratebroadcast is built on the process of allowing my producer to, get the graphics, send a note out to you and the automation is, you're notified, you've sent a link to the show, and all this stuff is over years of accumulated knowledge and experience to be able to put this all together. I think a lot of people underestimate what is possible. I think we're accelerating into technology. Now you're moving into the world of speaker and talking about different subjects. You're connected with a lot of different people in the IT industry. So I kind of want to talk about future forward thinking and some of the topics that are fascinating to you. What's top of mind for you, as far as IT and technology and the internet of things. I was talking to Aman, I don't know if you caught the show yesterday, but Aman is in knowledge management. Building the help files that are created as a result of new programs and things like that, and bringing it all together in an organization. So that's some of these critical threads that we're talking about this week that seem to be important to a lot of people. So what's top of mind for Joe?
Dr. Joe Perez 8:04
Sure. A couple of things that that come to mind for me is data, okay. I mean, both in my line of work as a Senior Systems Analyst at the Department of Health and Human Services, where I'm at now and in the speaking that I do on the side, by far, the most popular topic is one that I do on actionable data, getting people to recognize data is an essential commodity. I mean, there's no shortage of it. The issue now is not so much not having enough data, it's knowing what to do with it, how's it presented? It's a look at data as a commodity, not just about producing pretty graphs, snazzy reports, jaw dropping PowerPoint presentations, okay. There are folks that need to make decisions based on the data that with which they're they're presented, and if it's not presented in the right way, or if the underlying data itself is flawed, well, then it's going to lead them to, draw the wrong conclusions, right? Wrong conclusions lead to wrong decisions, wrong decisions lead to wrong actions, wrong actions lead to wrong outcomes and wrong circumstances and consequences. Yeah, all of that, which could have been avoided from the get go by ensuring that you had your data right in the first place. So when everything is right, then you start looking at those charts with enlightened eyes,. You start knowing that your data is right. So what's going to happen? If it's done correctly, you're going to start noticing trends. You'll notice patterns that lead you to start asking questions. You do that and that makes you want to dig deeper and then you find even more patterns, notice more trends and ask even more questions and then you start analyzing the answers to those questions, then you start drawing conclusions and at that point, that's when you're able to make informed decisions that are going to get you where you want to go. That's where your data becomes actionable. As I like to say, when I'm presenting and when I'm talking to anybody, not when I'm either behind a microphone or on a stage or whatever data is actionable. Only when it helps you to make a decision, answer a question, or solve a problem. If you're not doing that, you're wasting your time. So that's what I want to do is to bring people to the point where they realize, it's not just about all the fancy schmancy stuff, the eye candy, as it were, ensure that the data that's being presented, it's being done correctly, that no wrong conclusions are being made, that people aren't being led down the primrose path as it were.
Russ Johns 11:03
Yeah, I know that I've seen this in action, personally, as a result of creating some content that I think is good content, and crickets.
Dr. Joe Perez 11:14
Of course it is.
Russ Johns 11:19
I'm not one to necessarily chase the views as much as continue to add value, because I think if I continue to add value, what I believe is valuable for my experience, it's almost therapy. I can reach out and I can talk to Dr. Joe, and probably next month, you'd probably still answer my email or direct message and I'd say, hey, I have a question about data and I have a question about whatever it happens to be, the likelihood that you would probably answer my question, or at least acknowledge my interest in talking about, it would be a high probability that I might get a response.
Dr. Joe Perez 12:07
Russ Johns 12:08
So the relationship that we have and we build is also important in our relationship with data. I think one of the things that we're going into, in this era of more knowledge and information, and big data, as they call it, we're in this period of growth and expansion, and it's really accelerating. It's like, AI, they're building computers that now can beat people in the games. I bet you could teach computers how to do these things and the reason why it's important with that data, is that if you know what the data is telling us, and we have systems that we can build to eliminate the mundane, the redundant tasks that don't necessarily need to be done by a person, then we can start teaching people how to react and respond to coming back.
Dr. Joe Perez 13:19
Russ Johns 13:19
That's where I think we're really going to see transition in the workforce and how things are being managed, and how things are being taught and how things are being completed, in what we're doing around us. Because I think we're in the infancy of learning how to really understand what all of the information is telling us.
Dr. Joe Perez 13:42
Russ Johns 13:43
I think there's a layer of management that needs to go out and we need to really dig in, and start to understand what that means and what that should look like to be meaningful.
Dr. Joe Perez 13:58
Absolutely, you have to start drawing insight, that's the thing that people do best. You've got competing interests, you've got the computer that knows how to do repetitive tasks. It can do it so much quicker, so much more accurately, so much more consistently than a human ever possibly could do. What I think we should capitalize on is understanding the relationship between the human factor and the AI factor? Rather than being scared of AI and thinking that it's going to be like Arnold, who says, I'll be back, you know, SkyNet is going to get you or whatever. No, it's drawing the best from both. Let the computer do what the computer does best. What does it do best? Boom, boom, boom, boom, instructions. 500 million instructions. Bam, bam, bam, one right after the other, repetitively consistently, correct every single time, the same way, every single time. We are the ones who are in control, because we're the ones that give the computer the instruction. So if the computer is doing what it does best, reducing the amount of time that it takes for all these repetitive things to be done to crunch through all the numbers to make all the calculations, then we as humans are free to do what we do best, which is to make inferences from the data that we see, to make decisions, to draw conclusions, to see those patterns that I was talking about earlier, to move the chess pieces that need to be moved in order to take advantage of whatever it is that's going on. The trends that we see, we need to shift our manufacturing or whatever it is that needs to be done, regardless of the industry.
Russ Johns 15:58
Yeah. Hey, Dr. Joe, I want to give a shout out to a couple of people that are in the room today. Janet is here and says, hi. Thank you so much, Janet. Angie says, good morning from Wisconsin. Thank you. She's in IT, as well. She has an IT background. Punit says, good morning. Thank you so much for being here. Nick Gemmell, up north in Canada says, good morning, fellas. Thank you so much, Nick, for being here, dropping by and seeing the pirates today. Steve says, great energy, gentlemen! Thank you so much, Steve. I appreciate that. You can't teach without learning something. That is such a truth. I love that. I really love that. So Hiett Ives is is going to drop by for awhile. He's a pirate. Thank you just here for a short time. And Gabriel, this is awesome. He says, I am simulcasting the #piratebroadcast to all my streaming platforms.
Dr. Joe Perez 16:59
Oh, that's cool. Thank you, Gabriel.
Russ Johns 17:01
Are using MDI, Gabriel or just restream.io? or which one are you doing? Good morning, fellow pirates and everyone else watching. Dr. Joe, the #piratebroadcast is broadcast live to Facebook, Twitter through Periscope, YouTube and #LinkedInLive all at the same time. Then I break it down and create a podcast, a transcript and a blog post. It's up by the afternoon. So using technology and data and systems and things like that, it's fascinating to me to see how this has actually evolved. Cathi Spooner says, good morning from YouTube!! LinkedIn stream not working. That's unfortunate. I know that LinkedIn will continue to evolve and improve and we have connections,,,you have a few connections, Dr. Joe on LinkedIn, I know. SlapTagz says, good morning, Russ and Dr. Joe. Thank you so much. Kenyatta is here, good morning to ya! This is so piratey!
Dr. Joe Perez 18:20
Russ Johns 18:20
Just a heads up. Kenyatta, Art Jones and myself are going to be hosting a remix of the #LinkedInLive pop up Wednesday afternoon.
Dr. Joe Perez 18:24
Russ Johns 18:35
So if you have a moment and you want to jump in and meet a few new people, it'd be a great opportunity. So we're here for SkyNet. Everything's taken care of. Don't worry.
Pay no attention to the guy behind the curtain.
Right. Good morning. I want to break into this idea because...algorithms. I had an opportunity and maybe some of you have seen this social dilemma, and how slight incremental changes have developed and evolved our behaviors. I used to be on the other side of IT and technology and project management and managing these things and developing websites. Now I'm more on the broadcast side, making and creating content. So we're relying on data more and more every single day. These algorithms that allow us to be seen or be evaporated in the feed are always changing, always evolving. Incrementally, they're kind of causing us to do some things. So I want to talk about what your thoughts are on how our behavior is being impacted and how we can maybe adjust our behavior or stay healthy in these changes. As we get more connected and more in tune and more turned on by the devices and the information and also the technology around us, what are your thoughts and expand on that a little bit? Because I know it's your work.
Dr. Joe Perez 20:39
I think people's behavior is influenced when they know they're being watched. Like Bugs Bunny used to tell his friend Daffy, does anybody get the feeling that they've just been watched? He says that every time, I guess. When you know somebody else is watching you, it's going to dictate, in certain cases, how are you going to react to things you know? Whether or not you shave, you comb your hair, you wear a shirt, or whatever? Is your webcam on? Or, if you leave the lights on and make sure your curtain is straight and all that kind of thing, so your background looks good.
Russ Johns 21:26
World Zoom. 2020
Dr. Joe Perez 21:27
That's right and even moreso since...we're gregarious creatures, okay, even those that are introverts, we thrive on human contact and now with this global pandemic and in person meetings having gone out the window and even the handshake...I saw an article the other day that was called Requiem for the Handshake. Now, it's the elbow bump or whatever. We call it social distancing, but I would prefer to call it physical distancing, for the sake of health and safety or whatever because we are social creatures, and interacting on a screen is not exactly the same as interacting when you're live in the flesh, but I think with the technology that is available to us, and how we can have these face to face ineractions a couple of thousand miles away from each other. Yet, we can talk face to face. So, having the technology kind of helps to bridge the gap and allows us to express ourselves a little more socially. We can see the inflection in someone else's face. When I smile at you and say, boy, you're a moron, you know that we're both smiling at each other. I mean, if I typed that you are a moron, you might want to slug me, right? So we can tell we're looking at each other and you're not a moron.
As a speaker, I thrive on that, and knowing how to adjust what I'm going to say, based on my audience, based on the feedback I get, the chemistry of the crowd, at least with a camera, you know, like on a zoom like platform, Citrix or whatever, Microsoft Teams or whatever platform, a platform that makes a bunch of people look like they're The Brady Bunch, you know, with the little squares everywhere, right? At least you can see each other's faces, you can look into each other's eyes, you can see, as you're talking to them, how they're responding, at least a little bit of their body language, or at least head language, you know, this part of their body and, and you can get cues from that that help you in your communication to know how to react, how to respond, and how to receive yourself, what's being said to you.
Russ Johns 24:13
It's interesting to me that...and I know that this is a challenging time for many people and early on, one of my bits of advice that I always positioned people for mentally is, take this time to learn a new skill, take the opportunity to learn something that you would not normally take time to do. If you have time. I've been a remote worker for a decade. From my lifestyle and for what I do, and how I work, my life really wasn't interrupted too much, really. I don't go to the movies now and I don't go out to dinner as often or meet friends in person as often. It was more of the event idea. I didn't go physically to a #LinkedInLocal and see people and greet people and I've spent enough time in Texas that I'm a hugger.
Dr. Joe Perez 24:15
Yeah, me too.
Russ Johns 24:44
It's like, that's just gratifying and it's very satisfying to people to meet in public in groups, and you'll have conversations about what's going on in their world and, like you said, the body language and some of the feedback that you get in person is not the same as a digital connection. As a result, I think we just need to have a little more empathy for what people are going through because this is a real struggle for some individuals. People that are really gregarious and outgoing and love the event, being on stage or as a performer. I'm a musician, so...
Dr. Joe Perez 26:13
And I'm a ham!
Russ Johns 26:13
Yeah, it's like, okay, where's my audience? I don't know what's going on. How long am I going to have to go without? So I just encourage everybody to have a little empathy and compassion for what's going on. Do some outreach and do what you can, with what you have, where you are, as that one famous quote, says. I just think that there's a lot of room for growth in a number of areas. I think that we really have to come together and find the common thread rather than the thing that polarizes us.
Dr. Joe Perez 26:56
Absolutely, absolutely. Yeah, it's all where's your focus? What is it that you're dwelling on? I can choose to focus on what I'm missing out on. I was supposed to have gone to about 12 different cities this year. I could mope about all those in person events, or, I could say, you know what? I'm getting to reach a much larger audience, invited to a lot more different events to speak at, and I'm gonna wind up speaking in 27 different events, by the time we get to the end of 2020. That would not have been possible. I would not be able to be in Nashville, San Diego, Honolulu, London and Chicago, within a three week period of time, but via electronic, digital means, you can, so what do you do? Do you focus on what you're missing out on? I can choose to dwell on the negative. I can choose to project that sorry state of mind to other people around me and potentially ruin their day when they're going through all kinds of stuff, too. Or, instead, I can choose to focus on the blessings of life, health, family, the things that are so much more important than anything else, dwell on how much better off I am than I would otherwise be. I can choose to be grateful, rather than bitter. As a result, I'm going to project confidence, grace and encouragement to people who need it. The circumstances didn't change, my health didn't change. What did change was my outlook on it, right? I may not be able to control what happens to me, but I can certainly control how I'm going to deal with it. Do that and I might just live a little bit longer and help brighten somebody else's day.
Russ Johns 28:58
I know the days are much brighter when you're looking at the opportunities rather than the obstacles.
Dr. Joe Perez 29:02
Yes, that's exactly right. That's exactly right. See the obstacle as an opportunity? See the adversity as an advantage. What was it that Winston Churchill said, success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. So focus on that rather than moping about what you're missing out on. I mean, you can't help it. You're not gonna change anything by moping around about it.
Russ Johns 29:39
Yeah. Well, this has been fabulous. I know that there's a lot of opportunity out there. I know that the data tells us that life will continue in the future. We will be doing some different things next year and the year after and I just encourage everyone to adapt and be resilient and to have a little empathy along the way. As to where to find you, Dr. Joe, where's the best place for them to track you down and connect and make sure that... now that your pirate, there's many connections.
Dr. Joe Perez 30:19
Yeah, I'm still waiting for my honorary eyepatch.
Russ Johns 30:24
Yeah, Sheri Lally over at SlapTagz design, she was she was creating some of that stuff. Good morning, Russ and Dr. Joe. Thank you so much for being here, Sheri. It's awesome to think that we're going to be able to connect in the future and some of the things that can take place, the opportunity will be presented as a result of disruption. So we could talk about that, and then entirely different programs.
Dr. Joe Perez 30:54
Yeah, that's a whole nother subject unto itself. But to answer your question about the connection, so on LinkedIn, I'm at https://www.linkedin.com/in/jwperez. I have a Sessionize page https://sessionize.com/joe-perez. Myy website is https://DrJoePerez.com.
Russ Johns 31:20
Fantastic, fantastic. Well, I appreciate you and I appreciate you stopping by and sharing with us your gifts and your message.
Dr. Joe Perez 31:31
Absolutely, it was an honor to be here.
Russ Johns 31:32
As always, #kindnessiscool, #smilesarefree and you #enjoytheday. Thank you, everyone. #Enjoytheday.
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