Dr Rebecca Parsons, CTO of ThoughtWorks, has just come to Australia to help with managing data. She shares her travel technology experiences and tips with us.
ThoughtWorks is an IT services company, specialising in the delivery of custom software, with 1700 employees across 22 offices in eight countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, England and the United States.
What tech do you travel with and why?
I actually travel with quite a variety. I still use an iPod and a Kindle, but I also use an iPad. I know I could combine a lot of them together, but for me there's something about the form factor. I like to put my iPod in my pocket; it's a bit harder to put my iPad in my pocket. I've got a cover on my Kindle and it feels like I'm holding a book — it doesn't feel like I'm reading a book when I'm reading on the iPad.
To me it's the form factor of the technology — I still haven't got to the point where I want to consolidate everything.
What tech do you love abroad, where and why?
I got a real kick out of when I wandered around London and saw all the electric cars parked in parking places you could only use for electric cars.
What's your favourite phone app for travelling and why?
It sounds pretty simple, but Google Maps for me, because so much can be mapped to it. You can set up your own custom maps.
Personal travel advice/tip?
Keep your currency sorted. And pack light.
What (if any) travel websites do you use?
Primarily Expedia and TripAdvisor. For Expedia it's because it's a good way to get an overview of things and it's easier to find things, particularly for hotels that are off the beaten path. And it's the reviews on TripAdvisor: I've been happy with the results.
What was your biggest travel disaster?
I was on a flight from Frankfurt to Bangalore. If you went four seats forward, back, left or right there were 12 children within that space under the age of two, maybe three. It was mathematically impossible for all the children to be silent at the same time. I was a basket case when I got back.
Is there one thing you must do before you leave home?
I check all my plants to make sure they have the right amount of water. So far they're doing really well; I think I've found a hardy bunch.
What is your dream travel tech to have on planes/in airports/at hotels?
I would love for it to be easier to roam. You can do SIM card swapping or use expensive international roaming, [but] there has to be a better way to cross borders with cellular technology. It's at least getting easy now with how common free Wi-Fi is.