Inside the AT&T Foundry: Using Ingenuity to Solve Real World Problems

June 16, 2017
By Virginia Ng

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Photo Credit: JD Irwin, Atlanta Foundry Intern

The AT&T Foundry symbolizes our continued commitment to innovation at AT&T. The team quickly produces cost-effective practical solutions – often rare for a major company. Simply put, they’re problem solvers.

 Our team members have diverse backgrounds and strengths. Get to know Carl Bedingfield, a fellow Innovation Coach at the AT&T Foundry in Atlanta below.

What are you working on now?

I’m currently evaluating possible 4G/LTE-based solutions for international IoT (Internet of Things) deployments. That means exploring how we can help our IoT customers around the world gain access to diverse IoT devices using AT&T network services.

What brought you to the Foundry?

It goes back to my graduate studies at the Georgia Institute of Technology. A class assignment involved using audio equipment, but the equipment was broken. I used a soldering iron we had to repair it. When the professor realized what I did, he asked, "Want a job?"

 At the job my professor gave me, I met someone with a strong interest in computer science. He eventually hired me to join his team. From there, my long career with BellSouth and AT&T began. And it eventually led me to the AT&T Foundry.

What do you love most about coming to work?

We use ingenuity to solve problems at the Foundry. I love getting to do this on a daily basis to make a difference in people’s lives.

Where do you see the technology you focus on going in the next few years?

I think 4G will continue to be an important part of AT&T's development of next generation data-based communications technology.

The migration of networking and services beyond 4G is an exciting and challenging task for AT&T. Whether you think of it as AT&T Network 3.0 Indigo, 5G, or all of the above – there will be a significant overlap between existing and future technologies. Our customers will expect us to accommodate the shift. And I believe 4G will be an important 'on-ramp' to make that happen.

What do you do outside of work for fun?

I enjoy all kinds of music, and it’s a big part of my life! I like to play the guitar. I've performed as an amateur musician most of my life, playing for family get-togethers and church events. I was a member of a Folk/Alternative band for 20 years, and I currently play with a local acoustic string band. We perform at a variety of venues and events.

I’m also interested in boating and woodworking. Most of my woodworking projects are small jobs at home. But, two of them actually overlapped with some of our smart home automation work: the “dog house,” a regular part of our Atlanta AT&T Foundry tours – is a miniature house that simulates timed lights and locks much like those in a smart home.

I also built out a “doll house” – basically a larger version of the dog house. The doll house made it to Las Vegas for AT&T Developer's Conference a couple of years ago.

Rather than carefully dividing "work time" and "non-work time" (family, fun, hobby, etc.), and trying to keep them in "balance," I prefer to combine them. That’s clear in how my woodworking "hobby" became a critical part of my dog house and doll house "work" projects.

Fortunately, I have been able to do this by having great support from family, friends, employers, and, yes, technology. 

 

 

Virginia Ng, AT&T Foundry Innovation Coach

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