From Draftsman to Management
People say it’s good to start your career young and that’s exactly what Brian did. At the age of 12, he taught himself how to program computers at a time when the personal computer market was booming. By the age of 16, Brian was working as a draftsman at a local land surveying company—a job that many don’t attain until later in life as the job requirements include a college education. At the same company, he also assisted in an IT capacity to help them build their first database.
Right out of high school, Brian joined an international engineering firm as both a draftsman and IT contributor. With such a prolific start to his career, Brian went on to college and earned a BS in Computer Science, an MBA in IT Management, as well as certifications in PMP, ITIL Foundations, and AWS Cloud Practitioner Essentials.
In his final two years of college, IBM offered an internship that led Brian to not only become a team lead in 3 months’ time, but a global senior manager by the age of 26, and an executive by his 30th birthday.
Having spent a lot of time in management at such an early age, Brian describes his leadership style as one geared towards helping develop future leaders. To him there is “no greater satisfaction than seeing someone grow and thrive into roles that they previously thought were off-limits.”
From the US to the UK and Back Again
Though he was born in Texas, Brian spent the early years of his childhood in London where he developed a British accent. Having spent his teen years navigating around the US, he picked up an amalgamation of word pronunciations, giving him a notable mix of Texan and New England from his time residing on the east coast. Brian has since returned to his roots, living in Texas with his wife and daughter where he enjoys running with his local running club and coaching the club’s elite team.
A Career in AI
Intellectually stimulating work that offers diverse experiences is what drew Brian to the AI industry and to Appen. Our leadership in the AI industry and ability to help clients solve problems that were once unsolvable is what led to an exciting next step in his career.
Since joining Appen, Brian has appreciated the insight into how specific each client’s project requirements are and how we’re able to attain the right data to meet that criteria.
When asked about the one thing he would want everyone to know about Appen, it’s that we’ve been involved (behind the scenes) in some highly visible AI projects across the high-tech industry. These are projects that get highlighted in the press and, oftentimes, people don’t realize Appen was involved in bringing these brilliant innovations to life.
Thoughts on the Future of AI
Brian is greatly looking forward to seeing the impact augmented reality (AR) and generative AI have on advancing technology. For AR, he predicts we will soon be able to layer a virtual world on top of real-world views to experience historic depictions of landscapes, architecture, geography. Another use case he imagines is for DIY enthusiasts to be able to layer how-to videos on top of the projects they’re working on to ensure every step is done correctly. He passionately believes that generative AI has the potential to help content creators create greater volumes of content more efficiently than ever.
To that extent, Brian considers technologies in their early stages of development overhyped. There’s initial excitement at the potential new tech holds, but that quickly shifts once real, current use cases are identified.
For some fun, Brian suggests the following exercise: type “Gartner hype cycle” plus a past year (like 2010) into your favorite search engine.
We’re excited to have you as our VP of Global Accounts, Brian Haskett. You’ve led an exciting career and we’re looking forward to the positive impact you’ll have here.