Volley, Technologist Talk, & Biz Talk

6 mins read

And then there were three. 

What started out as thirteen podcasts from the various teams at CompTIA—Computing Technology Industry Association—are now three. They encompass all the layers of advocacy, training, and news from the leading global organization that promotes and supports the $5T+ technology ecosystem and the estimated 75 million tech and industry professionals who create, support, and advocate for the tech that powers the world.

Through education, training, certifications, philanthropy, and market research, CompTIA is the preeminent organization that people in the tech industry go to for training and certification, to learn the latest news, and gather several times a year to learn, share, and connect with peers. With their consolidated podcasts, industry veterans, newbies, and interested technophiles can now stay up to date on the industry.

Having thirteen podcasts was not easy for the organization to maintain and produce, so in late June of 2020, CompTIA condensed their thirteen podcasts into three: Volley, with host Seth Robinson, Technologist Talk, with host Lisa Fasold, and Biz Tech, whose hosts vary depending on which CompTIA community, council, or interest group is cued for the episode. Gary Bixler does the intros.

Volley is the flagship podcast with researcher and electrical engineer Seth Robinson and cohost and fellow researcher Carolyn April. Each episode shares research and analysis in a conversational style that makes data understandable. Their goal is to give listeners a way to connect to the research, and because they want the “room to research” as opposed to “just touching the surface and scripting each show,” they decided to release episodes biweekly. 

When he is not digging into research for his position at CompTIA or the show, Seth enjoys things like biking across Iowa, which he did “a lifetime ago.”  Now, he fills his days with his family and, no surprise, reading books about life. Currently on his nightstand is Sapiens, but he also enjoys fiction and catching up on movies and music.

Lisa Fasold, evangelist for careers in tech and host of Technologist Talk, “wants each episode to start the conversation and drive the conversation outside of I.T. and the podcast.” Saying the show couldn’t be done without her producer, Bob Dirkes, Lisa considers it a passion project, as she is “all about getting people into new jobs.” Her favorite episode is about Theo, a 2013 CompTIA class graduate who had felt lost and uncertain about a career direction before his CompTIA training. Now, he lives in Minneapolis and is a top cyber specialist. He just got married and bought a house. Telling these stories and helping others is why Lisa does the show. 

After a career as a journalist, including a stint doing PR for the Computer Electronics Show (CES), Lisa found her home at CompTIA advocating for careers in tech at high schools, community events, and more. “Every day, I tell stories that I hope make listeners care enough to take action on what they hear.” 

Biz Tech is produced by Kathleen Martin, Senior Manager Technology Interest Groups. Kathleen produces the show and ensures each host aligns with CompTIA’s vision of enhancing community, increasing knowledge, and advocating for people who want to be in tech no matter which pronoun they identify with.

A fierce advocate for women in tech, Kathleen frequently posts on social media about diversity, tech advocacy, and research. That is, when she is not working to create a cadence among the different voices that make up the eight communities, seven councils, and four technology interest groups that are a part of the Biz Tech show. The scheduling is a full-time job in itself, let alone making sure the topics are cohesive, have depth, and that every person who hosts has the right microphones, Internet connection, and space to allow for an uninterrupted segment with minimal background noise. Producing also means helping hosts who may go months between an episode have a similar rhythm to each of their episodes, so listeners get a sense of continuity. But Kathleen is energized by the work and the difference the podcasts and CompTIA is making in furthering the world of tech. 

Kathleen started her career in politics and “literally fell into technology” when a job opened that merged communications and education. The rest is history. She has five kids, one grandchild, and another on the way. When not hiking with her husband, she is reading. Voraciously. Her favorites are historical fiction and biographies. Her Zoom background hides walls of bookshelves filled to capacity, although she reserves the bottom two shelves for her granddaughter’s books. After all, it’s never too early to share a passion for books or podcasts.

Three podcasts from thirteen. Three regular hosts plus guest hosts who vary week to week and one company to hold it all together. Sounds like an idea for a movie, or better yet, a series of podcasts, each with their own unique identity, tied together with one incredible mission… 

… to educate, inform, and make technology careers accessible to anyone who wants to play.


July 2021 Issue

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