Time to make a change

It’s time to move on. Maybe there’s something in the air, since Roo left recently, and Dale has just written about his switch to new things.

A seven-year itch?

Almost exactly seven years ago, I was offered my current job with IBM. I left what used to be the Post Office IT Services, took a month off (during which I was supposed to visit New York and Washington… never happened, sadly), and then started consulting on WebSphere for what used to be IBM Software Group’s London Solutions Practice. When I joined the group I was young, single, and figured I could “do the consulting thing”. Looking back, I was a good techie but fairly green as a consultant… I think I’ve matured and improved! πŸ™‚

I’m still in the same role today. Working in IBM Software Services for WebSphere (ISSW) has been an absolute blast. I’ve had the opportunity to develop my industry experience across a whole range of sectors: finance, media, manufacturing, retail, public sector; deepened and broadened my technical skills; mentored newcomers to our team; and watched the group – and indeed, IBM’s WebSphere brand and Software Group – develop and grow.

I’ve also had the pleasure and privilege of working with the most talented individuals I’ve ever come across. IBM Software Services is a truly great group. Some of the ideas that my colleagues have come up with have been completely mind-blowing (hint: the simple ones are always the best), and influence software architectures I’m seeing everywhere today. Maybe it isn’t all rocket science, but several people in my team actually could be rocket scientists, and in my opinion are simply geniuses. Thank you, everyone – it’s been an honour.

I’ve spent a total of eight or nine years learning IBM’s messaging products (particularly WebSphere MQ and Message Broker) in detail and they really are fantastic pieces of technology. I’m not going to be leaving those alone any time soon.

If you follow my blog or other online presences at all you’ll know that my interests go way beyond WebSphere, connectivity, transactions, integration and messaging systems – essentially, I’m into that stuff, but my passion extends out to the bleeding edge of technology, the frontiers of the enterprise and more fundamentally, how those in the real world – users – want to use and interact with technology and new concepts.

What’s next?

So, to borrow a phrase from Roo, what’s next? Well, I have a new role – still at IBM, and starting full-time next month.

I’ve built up a lot of experience in how our products are used, and I now have the opportunity to take that back to our Development labs. I’ll be providing a direct link between product development and customers… feeding back what is out there, what our customers want, and influencing future products. Refining product usability based on real experiences, and acting as a “customer champion”. It’s a role with worldwide scope, and I’m looking forward to getting stuck into it.

One thing I don’t expect to change is my wider interests – Web 2.0, virtual worlds, and communities. I’ll still be engaging with folks in all kinds of places – part of what I do as a “social bridgebuilder” (props yet again to James Governor for that description). It’s in my online DNA, I guess.

I’m not going far from my roots, but this is a significant change for me.

38 thoughts on “Time to make a change”

  1. Congratulations Andy, glad to hear you are staying at IBM. Sounds like a great opportunity and look forward to learning and hearing what you take back to the labs. I am also very keen on understanding how people (including our clients) want to use technology and the importance of understanding the behaviour changes required to get the most from it.

  2. Is that role a new one? If so, it’s a very good thing – the more channels we have back into Development from the real world, the better. I think we sometimes suffer from a lack of that sort of thing at the moment.

  3. Congratulation Andy and all the best with you new job in IBM .. glad to see you still part of the family. If you need any input in your new job just shout since we are daily using the Websphere products in delivering solutions to customers and what they need.

  4. Congratulations making it in to fortress Hursley! Looking forward to finding out how you get on.

  5. Well done, Andy. Caught us all a little off kilter with the rooparture, the recent posts about recruiters needing to pay better attention to linked in profiles, Luis’ interesting Tweets…

    Glad to know you’ll be in Hursley with the team. best wishes as you start your new role!

  6. Congratulations Andy! Sounds like a lot of fun. Will you be working with the consumability team? This sounds similar to what they have been doing. I have some feedback on WMQ security for you. Let’s chat sometime. πŸ™‚

  7. Obviously I’d love to echo the glowing shouts of congratulations spilling forth above, but an inbuilt personality flaw (unable to see the positive in anything), tinged with sadness at losing a(nother) valued member of our team, and polished off with a healthy whiff of jealousy at your fantastic new role, forces me to smile through gritted teeth and restrict my cordiality to “wishing you well with your future ventures” :o)

    Though, seriously dude. Hope it works out – All the best.

  8. no more late nights debugging messaging code, staying in hotels miles away from anywhere? whatever possessed you to move? πŸ˜‰

    This is really cool- hope to see you soon.

  9. Whoooaaaahhh! Exciting! Congrats, Andy! Well done! It’s funny when I’m catching up on the great news and see all of the comments and know most of the folks over here. It clearly shows the impact you have been having in this company & really glad you are taking that into a new level! Well done!! Congrats again and look forward to reading further in the blogs, Twitter and whatever else how the new job goes!
    Keep going at it! (We’ll follow!)

  10. Good luck, mate. Another sad loss for ISSW…

    We must meet up sometime soon for a beer and a chat!

  11. Congratulations, man. This is GREAT. Seems we need more people who are clued in to be closer to the development cycle.

  12. Congratulations. Getting core developers to join services and service consultants to join developments is one of IBM’s smartest moves.
    You will have fun!

    πŸ™‚ stw

  13. bravo andy! thank you for staying with the big blue monolith we call home.

    please do come see us in CIO soon and be a bridge for us too?

  14. Folks, I’m completely bowled over by this response – thank you all for the good wishes. I’m looking forward to the move.

    I’ll be keeping all channels open! πŸ™‚

  15. Hi Andy, Congratulations on your new role!

    Software Services won’t be the same without you (and curiously, without your support as my mentor, I wouldn’t have stayed this long in Software Services!)…but at least we know where you live πŸ˜‰

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