Steve Atwal was born in India. He immigrated to Rochester, Kent, England, where his British education and cultural metamorphosis began. His passion in secondary school and college was mathematics. However, while in college in the late 1970s his thoughts turned to computers when he had his first taste of programming with BASIC and Fortran on the college mainframe.
He decided to pursue further studies in the computer sciences by entering into the first year of university at the University of Kent in Canterbury, England. He then immigrated to Cambridge, Ontario, Canada, and started his second year of university at the University of Waterloo (a hot bed of talent for Microsoft). He graduated with an honours degree in computer science in 1985. After graduating from university, Steve had one interview at the Toronto Dominion Bank at their head office in Toronto and was immediately accepted before he had finished his interview. Steve worked as a mainframe software engineer for six years in Toronto, for several large well known financial companies like Royal Bank, before moving to Vancouver, Canada. He then moved away from the mainframe world and into the client server and desktop world, where he worked as a consultant for five years for many companies in Vancouver, such as the Vancouver Stock Exchange.
Since 1997, Steve has been helping the University of British Columbia improve the information technology infrastructure for two large departments. To this end, he has been developing IT policies and procedures, capacity planning, chairing and participating in various committees for IT initiatives, preparing for disaster recovery using virtualization technologies, and ensuring that high security of all servers, desktops, and networks is enforced.