Tedbilly: Not your average geek

Posted by · August 1, 2012 4:41 pm

Anyone with certifications in 26 different zones and over five million points on Experts Exchange has what folks in the tech world call “geek cred.”  But if you ask Theodore William Bouskill (known to the Experts Exchange community as tedbilly and his friends and family as Ted or Theo) whether he considers himself a geek, he’d say no.

“I’m a typical male and I’m actually not a typical geek,” Ted says. “I love sports, cars, big machines, admiring women and food.  So, hanging out with a bunch of guys, social drinking, swapping stories and teasing each other is as good as it gets.  Golfing is good, but playing darts or pool in a pub as well as watching football or hockey is even better. My best male friends and I rarely talk about computers or technology.”

In addition to grabbing beers with the boys, Ted enjoys spending time with his family. He and his wife Dawn have two sons: Max, age 8 and Daly, age 10.

Currently, Ted works as a Senior Security Manager in the global Security & Risk Management group at Electronic Arts (EA) in Vancouver, BC, Canada where his day-to-day job involves working with the company to make security part of the culture.  Prior to working at EA, however, Ted dabbled in a number of careers including bricklayer, carpenter (his personal favorite), mechanic, truck driver, surveyor, draftsman and engineering technician.

“I’m what Douglas Coupland, who was actually a neighbor of mine in the early 90s, described as the true Generation X-er,” Ted says. “Someone born right after the baby boom, namely between 1958-1962, and lost in its wake.  So I endured a recession as a young man in the 80s with 40% unemployment for people my age.  Henceforth I bounced between a variety of careers.”

Fortunately, in the late 80’s, Ted was able to turn his computer programming hobby into a career. After a brief stint as a contract Java programmer with Microsoft, Ted took a job at EA managing a team of developers who built intranet web applications and worked his way up the ranks from there.

Building roads and relationships

Given his non-geeky persona, it’s not surprising that the most interesting problem Ted has ever solved in not technology related.  While working on a highway paving project, Ted was given a fixed surplus budget to conduct ad-hoc patch repairs to nearby highways.  The real challenge? This was before computers and all he had to work with was an HP 41CX calculator.

“I worked out costs per truck of material, per paving crew per hour and per mile to haul the materials.  I then started the work and over the radio accumulated data to keep recalculating the spend and try to extrapolate when we would hit the limit and have to shut down work.  I missed the $800,000 budget I was given by about $1,000,” Ted says proudly.

His love of problem solving is what drew him to Experts Exchange.

“I joined Experts Exchange after stumbling across the site in 2003.  However, I didn’t start to participate until 2006-2007, when I was looking for answers on SharePoint. I quickly realized I knew more about the product than most people and began answering questions,” Ted says.

However, it’s the Experts Exchange community, he says, that keeps him participating.  Maintaining a sense of community both online and in real life is something that’s always been important to Ted. Ted says his uncle taught him the secret to building quality friendships at an early age:

“When I was working with my uncle as a bricklayer in a small town in Saskatchewan we used to have beers at the end of the day with a very conservative farmer.  Politically, my uncle and I were polar opposites with this man; yet he and my uncle were obviously good friends. I asked the man why he and my uncle were such good friends, despite their completely opposite lifestyles and political views.  He said that the measure of a man was his integrity, his character and his work ethic.  He pointed out that my uncle worked hard and was of impeccable character and integrity.  So to this day I judge people using the same technique, and I’ve always been happy with the results.”

Whether it’s spending time with the boys, his wife and kids or members of the Experts Exchange community, it’s clear that Ted is a man with many friends—and many talents. And average or not, the Experts Exchange community is proud to have him as one of our top geeks.