David Wells is my friend of many years. I admire David who is Senior Partner at Wells Counsulting, LLC for so many reasons: being a father who came out when it was right to do so, marrying Scott when the opportunity was there in California, moving from Milwaukee and starting a married life in DC, having a work ethic like I’ve never seen and understanding tech stuff which boggles my mind.
At Wells Consulting, David specializes in data development with a focus on Microsoft technologies. Clients include GE, Johnson Controls and Harley Davidson. He is a specialist in Oracle and Java. Personally, David is a huge Mac fan and the loss of Steve Jobs affected him and his world greatly.
RR: Humor is often based in reality. I love this joke:
“A while back, I got a call at about 10:45 PM. It was my mother and she had a very worried tone of voice. ‘Bob’, she said, ’we have a problem here. I don’t think it’s serious but I thought I’d better call you.’ My parents are in their 80’s and their health is not the best, so when I get a call like that at that hour, I start reaching for my car keys and a phone to call 911. Then my Mom said, ‘It’s this damn printer.’
Ah, age. I once was better at learning new things, but having changed to the new Microsoft, I don’t even want to deal with it. David, can an old dog learn new tricks?
DW: You definitely can teach an old dog new tricks, and good developers will take the old dog into account and make sure the system/tool/whatever is accessible to the intended audience!
DW: It is admittedly very hard. It is a “change management” issue having not only to do with fear of change but also fear of the new/complicated/unknown. I don’t have the answer at this time.
RR: How do you as a creator, stay fresh and motivated to learn more, change with the times?
DW: Network, listen, read, conferences…
RR: Did Al Gore invent the worldwide web?
DW: LOL. No.
RR: You posted a black apple on FB as did so many the day Steve Jobs died. Why the fascination with this man? Is he an icon? Rightly deified?
DW: He is rightly deified though had shortcomings as well. But he was a rare visionary, and it’ll be a long time, perhaps never, before his equal comes around again.
RR: lgbtSr’s have lots of stories and experiences to share. How does one easily go about setting up a cost-free, effective blog to tell those stories?
DW: This isn’t my area of expertise but Facebook, the various free/shareware blog options, etc. are all out there and relatively easily accessed.
RR: Barry Diller is credited as launching the first senior-oriented social networking site called Proust.com which serves to connect seniors with young family members and close friends. What do you think of it?
DW: Haven’t heard of it.
LIVING OUT LOUD
RR: You lived your life as a straight married man with two wonderful children for a long time. What was the catalyst to come out? Once out, you really came out; what do you credit for that momentum? Did you come out and/or conversely stay in the closet, more for you or more for your kids?
DW: I was afraid to be myself, didn’t love/accept myself as I should and was only ready to come out after therapy. The goal of the therapy was conversion but, though that (thankfully and obviously) failed, I learned an enormous amount about myself and don’t regret it at all. It allowed me to be who I am and, once I was ready to do that, I did it wholeheartedly! I held myself back for a few years in order to be with the kids though I still don’t know if that was the right choice or not. But I did my best.
RR: Are you “out” as a man married to another man in the world of your clients?
DW: Absolutely… I’m a pretty easy call as a gay man, and I assume they all know. I rarely announce it, but I think it’s obvious. And I make NO effort to hide it so I’ll use pronouns and/or my partner’s (Scott) name in conversation. If clients don’t accept me for who I am then they can find another consultant.
RR: What are your feelings as someone who survived Proposition 8? You were legally married, then it was denied, then it was grandfathered? What were your feelings during that journey? Do you feel awkward knowing you are part of a minority group of LGBT people who have marriage rights in CA?
DW: I am proud to have “seized the moment” and gotten married. Scott and I love each other, are STRONG supporters and political advocates for LGBT equality and wanted to make a public statement. I don’t feel awkward about it though I am sad that the right was taken away. I believe and expect it to be restored soon in CA and I hope to see federal marriage equality soon as well!
A JOB WELL DONE
RR: Do you face discrimination when being hired to do a job that most seem to look for young, smart, up and coming techies to do? Can you hold your own against the youngsters?
DW: I haven’t faced any negatives yet at all with regard to being out and gay or being older. I’m pretty good at what I do so my customers have no reason to leave me behind. On top of that, the less quantifiable things about running a business come with time and experience. I am really good about making my customers feel cared for, listened to, etc.
RR: You work harder than most folks I know, David. I have found in our age set, many of us are choosing to work lighter and do more of the non-work oriented things we enjoy or have even left careers to follow our “real dreams.” Can you speak to that?
DW: I still love what I do and am a total work-a-holic. No slowing down or plans to do so! I’m having too much fun.
RR: You are a nice looking man who still takes great care of your body…and you are smart. Which is more important to you these days? Which quality do you think people find more attractive in you: beauty, brain or braun?
DW: I think the most important thing is myself, my soul, me. Admittedly, I do try to look good (I’m a vain gay man LOL), and I try to keep myself sharp intellectually… but the most important thing is who I *am*, not my body or my brain. And I think and hope that people are drawn to me for that, my personality and my soul, and neither my brain nor my looks or body.
You travel so much for work. Do you find it harder as you age or more enjoyable?
DW: I had a LOT of travel over the last year+ due to a project with one client. I was in Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Australia, but generally I now work at home. The travel was a blast and I loved it, and I saw lots of new parts of the world, but it did get hard. Not the travel itself (I have a LOT of energy) but being away from home and Scott.