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! 🙂
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.
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.