Five years at IBM, and a new start

Five years ago today: 6 August 2003, 9am. I turned up at main reception in IBM Hursley Park for my first day. I was excited, dressed far smarter than I have for work since, and had absolutely no idea what I was going to be doing.

Five years later, today is the (official!) start of my new job in IBM, and a shift in my career: I’ve joined the “Emerging Technology Services” team.

I tried to find a good description of ETS on the interwebs that I could link to, but not had any luck. I found a description on a few intranet pages, which I’ve managed to mangle below:

Part of IBM Software Group’s Strategy and Technology Division, ETS focuses on emerging technologies and how they can be used to meet business needs. They work on customer problems to create innovative, bespoke technical solutions, which can include “architectural consultancy, technical solutions, demos, proof of concepts, pilot systems, and reference architectures” combining experience of working with customers with first-of-a-kind technologies.

This is my first job doing Services rather than product development. It’ll mean creating stuff with a specific customer in mind, rather than something to suit hundreds or thousands. From idea to delivery will be months for a proof of concept, rather than the year-or-two release cycles that I’m used to.

It’s not my first job move internally. I’ve bounced around a bit over the last five years, mainly because of my magpie-like inability to focus on something for very long.

WebSphere MQ (WMQ) was my first home, and I had a few different jobs in development for WMQ:

job 1 – WMQ – Development – 10 months
My first job was as a Java programmer developing new extensions for the admin interface for WMQ.

job 2 – WMQ – System Test – 21 months
WMQ is ‘middleware’ and it’s users are the applications which use it’s APIs. Testing meant designing and writing apps to test it’s APIs, with code like Perl and C, and learning the subtleties of some complex areas of WMQ.

job 3 – WMQ – “Level 3” Service – 13 months
The Level 3 team provide advice, code fixes and support for the many corporate customers who use WebSphere MQ. I’d work with customers to diagnose problems, and develop fixes if problems were caused by our code. WMQ is a complex beast, with code in various languages like C, C++, and Java. The role meant diagnosing and fixing problems in all of these.

After a few years focusing on a single product, I felt like a change and made the move to WebSphere Process Server (WPS) on z/OS.

job 4 – WPS – development – 17 months
A new product to learn, a new platform to learn – and a very different style of team. I joined a new team at Hursley, where I got to do a variety of work, including Test, Development and Service. Since last Christmas, I’ve been responsible for Level 3 Service for WPS on z/OS.

Which brings me to today – job 5: “Emerging Technologies Specialist”.

I’m very excited about the new job. Those who know me will probably be aware of how many times I’ve applied for it! Good things come to he who waits, eh? 🙂

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10 Responses to “Five years at IBM, and a new start”

  1. m@ says:

    Congratulations Dale – sounds like your going to have an exciting time with this new challenge.

  2. Graham White says:

    Welcome aboard Dale, good to have you along for the ride in ETS.

  3. […] August 7, 2008 · No Comments 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. […]

  4. very cool dale. first task- help write a decent findable description of what ETS does. 😉

  5. James Taylor says:

    Good luck with the new job. Sounds like a bit of a change- should be great!

  6. dale says:

    Thanks very much everyone!

  7. […] dale lane fan of all things mobile, father of small girls, IBM code monkey, youth charity trustee… « Five years at IBM, and a new start […]

  8. Roo says:

    Congratulations Dale.

    Re James’ exhortation to “help write a decent findable description of what ETS does”, that’s a really really good idea and something the ETS crowd (myself included, until recently) should have done a long time ago. The early days of Eightbar looked like such a vehicle, but I wonder what the right answer looks like today. I look forward to finding out from the outside.

  9. […] been an Emerging Technologies Specialist for about a year and a half now. As I mentioned when I got the job, I don’t know of anywhere that I can point people at that explains what my team […]

  10. […] 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. […]