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From Coding to BioTech to CTO with Dael Williamson

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Dael Williamson

From Coding to BioTech to CTO

If you had to chart the probable career path of someone in the biotech industry — someone who spent their time amplifying DNA, experimenting with proteins, and spending their time in data science — it’s likely that CTO wouldn’t be on the top of that list

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  • But that’s exactly where our guest on this episode of The Agile CTO, Dael Williamson found himself. Dael is the European CTO of Data & AI at Avanade

    Avanade is a global professional services company providing IT consulting and services focused on the Microsoft platform with artificial intelligence, business analytics, cloud, application services, digital transformation, modern workplace, security services, technology and managed services offerings. 

    We talked all about: 

    • How writing his first program on a Texas Instruments at the age of 4 cemented his love for coding
    • The challenges of working in the biotech space in the early 2000’s
    • How the biotech industry has changed in the last 20 years
    • The frustration of watching the global response to COVID-19 through the lens of a former biotech professional

Key Insights

Coding for Kids

"I wrote my first piece of code on a Texas Instruments machine in the bash command tool, and then ran it, and it worked. And I started tweaking it and just got massive enjoyment from it. I’ve been coding ever since.” — Dael Williamson

From Y2K to BioTech

“I’d say a lot of my interest in biotech was inspired by the things going on in South Africa at the time with HIV, Tuberculosis, and really wanting to understand those things on a much more detailed level.” — Dael Williamson

A New Landscape

“I’ve been incredibly impressed with the velocity of vaccine development, but I think there were probably a lot of things that could’ve been done to get to an outcome a lot earlier.” — Dael Williamson

Episode Highlights

  • “I wrote my first piece of code on a Texas Instruments machine in the bash command tool, and then ran it, and it worked. And I started tweaking it and just got massive enjoyment from it. I’ve been coding ever since.” — Dael Williamson
  • “We kept running out of space. We couldn’t do parallel runs. We didn’t have an abundance of computer power or storage space like we do now. It would sometimes take thirty to forty days to run a DNA model.” — Dael Williamson
  • “I’ve been incredibly impressed with the velocity of vaccine development, but I think there were probably a lot of things that could’ve been done to get to an outcome a lot earlier.” — Dael Williamson

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