Looking back, I don’t know how my mother convinced the TV repair shop to deliver all the defective televisions and electronics at the end of our driveway in Kamloops, but it was a good move. With great delight, I would load each television (which arrived at a frequency of about once a month for eight years) into a little red wagon and wheel it into the garage for further disassembly and investigation.
I started to collect and recreate new things with the leftover parts. An early victory was the Jacob’s Ladder, a 50,000-volt rising electrical arc between two diverging wire rods, assembled from the parts and a circuit I found in the 1978 edition of a Popular Electronics Magazine. Back then it was my only reference for technology. It was a time of discovery, mystery, and new personal technological advancements. For reference, at the time Bill Gates had recently founded Microsoft. Many things have changed since then but others have not.
I have relied on a series of principles throughout my professional career that have elevated Hedgehog Technologies to the place it resides today. These base principles included hard work, trusting the engineering process, and higher education. The journey to our 20th-anniversary milestone could not have been achieved without treating people with respect and standing up for professional integrity and values.
Reflecting over the years, I think mostly about the amazing people that have come through the business: colleagues, employees, and clients. Consulting engineering is ultimately a “people first” business and I have always viewed our team as protectors of the public who use the infrastructure or products that we design, support, and maintain. Not everyone realizes that we arrive with the perspective of protecting the best interests of the people and the companies we serve.
This formula has worked and I am so grateful that it has.
Did all those dismantled televisions teach me something important? Perhaps it was about electronics? Not exactly. It turns out, the most important lesson I learned was becoming comfortable with uncertainty, risk, and the unknown being revealed. The journey to this point has not been linear from the engineer’s point of view. The success of Hedgehog has come down to the great people who have helped along the way, taking on new challenges, and adhering to the value-set that I supported every day.
As we celebrate this two-decade milestone, we are committed to moving forward no matter what challenges lie ahead, and we are truly thankful to have you along for the ride.