With over a decade of experience in all things IT and software, Richard Thornton is also known for being a
- solutions architect,
- executive, analyst,
- public speaker,
- streamer, and
- content creator.
Leading with passion and empathy, as Quartek’s General Manager of Software, Richard plays an essential role in developing and growing Quartek’s software and data services capability with a focus on defence as a primary client.
We recently sat down for a quick Q and A with Richard to learn more about him, his passion for IT/software, and what brought him to Quartek.
Q. Tell us a little bit about yourself
While studying for a Bachelor of Music, I discovered my passion for and affinity with technology. While I have continued writing and playing music professionally, I have made a career in solving critical business challenges. Initially as a software architect and developer, before taking on senior leadership roles.
I worked in road safety, building an analytics and reporting platform used by the World Health Organisation, multinational banks, and local road engineers to prioritise investments in developing countries.
I developed real-time music ingestion and analytics platform for Australia’s first commercially-licensed music streaming service. Most recently, I built and lead a team to deliver a software platform supporting the world’s first virtual fencing solution for cattle. And while I love what I do, it’s my wife and our three young kids who inspire me the most every day.
Q. What is it about IT/software that attracted you to this line of work and excites you?
I am excited by the problems that software can solve. Whether it’s automation providing consistent, repeatable outcomes or real-time data solutions providing teams actionable insights. My passion is making people more productive and businesses more profitable.
Q. What does a working day entail for a general manager of software?
I work to ensure my teams have the resources and capabilities they need to deliver well-architected solutions. A usual day will include everything from checking in with team members and project updates to planning and meeting with clients and stakeholders. Good time management and coffee are necessities.
Q. How integral is IT/software to defence and how do you envision future developments in this area?
Software is a critical component of a vast array of defence solutions. From onboard firmware control systems to large-scale analytics and information security. To the protection of physical assets and more. The modern defence force, from its capabilities to threats, is heavily reliant on software systems. A core focus area will be cybersecurity, including penetration testing and risk mitigation.
Q. How did you hear about Quartek and what about them attracted you?
I have known Steven Karakostas, the Operations Director, for several years. Being aware Quartek was looking to bring software development capabilities in-house, I was keen to meet the team.
I am passionate about culture and fostering healthy and happy employees. So, when I met Matthew, the MD, I was confident Quartek’s commitment to its team made it a company I would be proud to work for.
Q. Tell us one thing nobody knows about you.
I once broke my foot playing the trumpet. It’s a terribly dull story, but one that’s great for breaking the ice.
Turn your passion into a career
If you’re looking to turn your passion into a career, get in touch today and discover the world of opportunities that lie ahead at Quartek.