Posts Tagged ‘career’

(nearly) 18 years in IBM

Monday, July 12th, 2021

I started working at IBM on 6th August 2003. I’m feeling nostalgic as my eighteenth anniversary approaches, so wanted to write about what I’ve been doing all this time.

I’ve been a back-end developer, a support engineer, a tester, a consultant, a (terrible) front-end developer, and much more.

I’ve worked on proprietary software, and I’ve worked on open-source software.

I’ve worked in a large open plan floor, I’ve worked in cubicle bays with half-a-dozen people, and I’ve had my own office. 

I’ve had roles that were fully based at Hursley. I’ve worked from other IBM offices in the UK. I’ve been based at customer sites for months. I’ve had overseas assignments. I’ve had roles that meant travelling to somewhere different every month.

I’ve worked in teams so small they all fit around my dining table for dinner. I’ve worked in teams so large that we needed several coaches for the team social trip to London.

I’ve worked in distributed teams with team members around the world in four different time zones. I’ve worked in teams where we were all in the same office together.

I’ve worked on software that was first released in the 1990s, and I’ve worked on the first releases of brand new products.

The point I’m making… it hasn’t felt like the same job for eighteen years.


Why am I still at IBM?

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Ten years ago.

6 August 2003.

I was a recent University graduate, arriving at IBM’s R&D site in Hursley for the first time. I remember arriving in Reception.

Reception – the view that greeted me when I arrived

Ten years.

It was a Wednesday.

I’m still at the same company. I’m still at the same site. I still do the same drive to work, more or less.

For a *decade*.

How did that happen?

It was never The Plan. The Plan (as cynical as it sounds in hindsight) was that I’d stay for two or three years. I figured that would be long enough to get experience, and then I’d leave to work at a small nimble start-up which was where all the “cool” work was.

The Plan never happened. A few years passed, and then another few… I kept saying that I’d leave “later” and before I knew it a ten year milestone has kind of snuck up on me.

I think I’m more surprised than anyone. I’ve never been at any place this long. I was at Uni for five years. The longest I was at any school was four years.

It’s a serious commitment, and one I never realised that I had made. I’ve not even been married for as long as I’ve been with IBM.

So why? Why am I still here?

I live here.


Joining Watson

Friday, May 27th, 2011

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.


Seven years at Hursley

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

Seven years ago this week, I started at IBM. Two years ago this week, I started my current job. Thought those were worth noting.

ETS cake

I joined IBM thinking it’d be for a couple of years to get training and experience before going to do something more fun at a start-up.

But seven years (four changes of jobs, three promotions, six changes of office and nine changes of manager) later, I’m still here and still loving what I do.

What do I do at work?

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

I’ve 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 do.

I’ve been wary of filling this gap myself, partly because the work that the team does is so diverse that I’m not going to do us justice. But, allowing for the fact that I’ll miss a ton of cool stuff that my colleagues do, I figure that I should try and describe what I do.

I work in the Emerging Technology Services team.

How to explain this?


Five years at IBM, and a new start

Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

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.



Tuesday, June 5th, 2007

This is going to be an entirely self-indulgent (and probably very long) ramble – a chance for me to work out what I want to do next in my career, my life, that sorta thing.

It’s not really meant for anyone else – in fact, I’d frankly be amazed if anyone found it remotely interesting – but I hope that writing it might help me to get some thoughts clear. And as none of it is really secret I figure that this is as good a place as any.

With that disclaimer out of the way, here comes my unbroken stream of thoughts…