Carolyn Terry, 48, defines the category of the hands-on engineer: She’s developed, integrated and deployed all sorts of things, from wiring hubs to launching highspeed data, digital video and on-demand. At press time, she was slamming to prepare for a weekend final for the MBA she’s pursuing at University of Phoenix; when that’s done, she wants to do more volunteer work with youth.
MCN: First job in cable or first job out of college?
Carolyn Terry: First job in cable and out of college was as a cable installer for Comcast in 1986.
MCN: First job in technology?
CT: I’d say that my first deep dive in technology was in 1997, as an engineer for Comcast, working on one of the first launches of digital cable services.
MCN: Kids, cats, dogs?
CT: Dog. Riley, golden retriever, 5.
MCN: Tech people you look up to, and why?
CT: Wayne Hall [regional VP of engineering at Comcast] is a great mentor and straightforward leader. He has a wonderful sense of humor and always knows just the right thing to say, at the right time, to anyone seeking advice. Plus he’s a great engineer — one of those people who can break anything down to its simplest form.
Jim Ludington, because of his pragmatic approach to decision-making and his strong sense of technology. And he understands operations and what it takes to deploy and deliver new services to the customers.
MCN: When did you know for sure you were destined to be in tech?
CT: In 1989. I had only been in the business a few years. I had a thirst for knowledge and an imagination for what we could be as an industry. I just knew there was a reason that I wound up in cable.
MCN: Stuff you’ve built or rebuilt?
CT: Oh, I’ve built and rebuilt many things over the years. Several hub and headend facilities. I’ve spliced fiber, and rebuilt HFC plant and strand after major wind and fire storms. VOD, switched digital video, DOCSIS 3.0, an ITV test lab — all are things I’ve built and deployed. I’m most proud, however, of the teams I’ve built and developed over the years. There’s no greater reward than watching someone you’ve mentored reach their highest potential.
MCN: Top three things on your work to-do list for the rest of 2012?
CT: Complete the buildout of four new hubs and relocate customers to the new hubs. We’re also completing the expansion of the switching pool to 24 QAMs in the Southern California area, and we’re activating A-DSG (Advanced DOCSIS Services Gateway) on our Cisco DNCSs (Digital Network Control Systems). How’s that for some tech talk?