I’ve gotten into a habit of using this space to record when I change jobs. It’s kind of useful – for example, a quick search here is an easy way for me to check when I left the WebSphere Process Server team.
With that fairly flimsy excuse out of the way, this is a post to say that I’m moving again!
For the last few years, I’ve been working as an Emerging Technologies Specialist. I’ve explained what that means before, but essentially we try out emerging technologies to solve customer problems, as one of the ways to inform the development of future IBM software products. My projects are typically short-term, rapid prototyping.
It’s meant that I’ve got to try out some very cool technologies including some fascinating things from our Research labs. But the most inspiring thing I’ve seen come out of Research for many years has been IBM Watson.
If you’ve been living under a stone somewhere and not heard of Watson, don’t bother reading the rest of this post – go to ibmwatson.com instead and read everything there. It’ll be much more interesting.
I’ve been fascinated by it. I must have read everything we’ve published and watched every video we’ve made about it. The potential for it to make a real difference in the world inspired me, and I’ve been banging on about it for months.
Rapid prototyping has been fun, but I didn’t want to just try this out or just talk about it and then move on to something else. So I applied (some might describe it as “begged” but I’m sticking with “applied”) to join the development team who are taking Watson forward.
I’ve been accepted, and I’ll be starting in June.
A quick digression… I’ve had the standard boilerplate “what I write here are my views not IBM’s” disclaimer on my blog since I started it. In case it’s not obvious, let me explicitly expand this to include the IBM Watson team. I don’t and wont be speaking on behalf of the team here. If you want to know what IBM might do with the technology behind Watson, I’ll point you at some of the perspectives that we’ve already published. (At any rate, I’ve not even started yet so I’m not sure exactly what I’ll working on yet, although I have a general idea of what area I’ll be working in.)
I’m really excited about this opportunity. Making prototypes and proof-of-concepts has made for a lot of variety over the last few years, but unlike when I used to work in product development, it means there isn’t much tangible stuff I’ve made that is still around for me to point at.
This job is the best of both worlds – I’m going back to being a software developer on a single software product, but on something that is still very much an emerging technology.