May 2016
Talk: "Positioning for Success" by Dr. Tony West, CEO of Ectalent

09:30-11:30 / Location: İdris Yamantürk-1302
14:00-15:30 / Location: MED-A32

ITU Computer Engineering students (and graduates) are invited to attend a talk by Dr. Tony West, CEO of ectalent, inc. based in Silicon Valley, California.
Tony's talk will be entitled “*Positioning for Success*”
Tony has an interesting/varied career history, initially as a computer science researcher at IBM Research (Zürich) and at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center before entering industry in a (then) tiny startup — Sun Microsystems — where he was responsible for managing the team that produced Sun’s first workstations. Sun grew /very/ quickly, and Tony has experienced many challenges and opportunities as a result.
Over the following 35 years, Tony has held many executive leadership roles in engineering, marketing, international sales, IT, services, and corporate business strategy and planning at Sun, then several more startups, then back to research — as head of global research for Cisco Engineering. Tony left Cisco in 2013 to found ectalent.
In 1997, Tony began offering non-US students the opportunity to gain industry experience in Silicon Valley via 1-year placements. His programs were extremely successful, and, in the last 18 years, over 600 students have been through his programs at Sun, Cisco and now ectalent. Tony has extensive experience in working with and mentoring young talent in computer science, engineering and business, and ectalent’s mission is to offer a placement service to excellent international students and graduates who would like to improve their experience and employability.
This talk is designed to provide information and context to ITU Computer Engineering students who might be interested in the idea of doing a US placement as part of their career development strategy. ectalent places students and graduates with high-tech firms in Silicon Valley to gain experience in industry and get an inside view of US culture. ectalent’s clients include multinationals, such as IBM Research, SAP Labs, HP Labs as well as smaller companies, right down to early-stage startups.
The talk will have three components:
* Learnings from Tony's own career in Silicon Valley, highlighting some of the cultural differences about how engineering is done there. Silicon Valley is a unique place with interesting dynamics, and Tony will share some of those and offer some tips about how to boost your employability.
* A survey the major CS technology themes in the industry at the moment, ranging from the transition to mobile computing in the cloud, the “internet of things”, to the (re)emergence of cognitive computing, and talk about the employment opportunities these represent.
 * Finally, a short overview of ectalent’s placement program for students interested in considering it. Students who are interested are invited to talk to Tony in person afterwards or visit ectalent’s website at
Tony holds a B. Sc. in Computing and Cybernetics (Kent, UK) and a Ph. D. in Local Network Technology (Queen Mary, UK). In 2015, Tony was awarded an Honorary D.Sc. by the University of Kent, UK, for his services to the industry and the university.