5 years ago, I decided on a career change and join IBM. Working in the past as a freelance consultant, I approached the new job like a new contract. Just another gig and we'll see what comes of it. I never thought that I would become completely immersed and part of a machine that is changing the way the world does business. However, I'm grateful that I did and I am looking forward to another five years with Big Blue and the five after that.
About this time of year, I get a lot of questions on how I got into IBM as a experienced hire. I think the new year, plus time to catch up at Lotusphere peeks interest. I can say that is was not any one thing, but a great combination of work and luck that got me to the right place at the right time.
Working as an independent developer and business partner, I clearly put all my eggs in IBM's Collaborative basket. At an internship while at university, I heard the siren song of Lotus Notes and Domino. Mine came from any early Domino build for the s/390. I answered it and other's sweet sounds of rapid application development with years of LotusScript, @Formulas, Java and DXL. It was the latter two technologies that I focused on primarily as I got more into creating applications rather than databases. It was fun work that took me into the world of DHTML, well before it was known as Ajax and lead to the complexities of WebSphere and Portal server infrastructures that had me jumping between roads.
Early on, I drank from the IBM Workplace fountain. I, like others, believed that it was the new future and as a Partner, I knew that there was work to be had. I jumped in and worked on one of the few RedBooks on the product. This tied me into a world I had not yet seen at IBM. The brains and guts behind a new offering that if anything was trying to redefine how we collaborate. It was exciting to get hands in with the Loti on Workplace and it was then that I decided that working for IBM Lotus would not be a bad thing.
A couple of years later and a few more products and platforms in my toolbox, I got the opportunity to interview with IBM Software Services for Lotus. They needed a me to do what I was already doing and it was the opportunity to get back in with the brains and guts that had impressed me so much before and I'd get away from hounding clients for collections and scratching around for the next job. So, as a said, I decided to see what would come of it and I can tell you that it has been nothing but great things. As an IBMer, I've traveled the world, worked with the best people and been on great projects. It has been a fantastic ride that only looks to get better.
Working now as a Product Manager on IBM's Social Software team, I have access to the greatest minds and coolest tech out there for collaboration and smarter work. I could have never imagined that this job would be such a huge lift for me and become part of who I am, an IBMer.