Twenty years!


It hardly seems possible but I celebrated 20 years at IBM today! Here’s me foolishly thinking that I’d be staying for up to four years while I work out what I really want to do…

…and now I work just up the stairs from where that photo was taken. I’ve gone far!

Twenty years is a long time but I’ve done a few things on the way, so it hasn’t been at all dull!

MQSeries

I started out in technical support on a machine/OS I’d never heard of, asking such questions as, ‘Where is the design that describes what this command should do?’ Much mirth!
Later I worked in test when I discovered that ‘temporary’ generally means several years… maybe decades… probably still there actually… sorry!

Message Broker

…or whatever it happened to be called in any particular week.

Here I learned that a solution can take on a life of its own, becoming only tenuously related to, or even completely detached from, the problem it was meant to be solving. (If only someone had come up with design thinking sooner!)

Master Data Management

Lots of Master Data Management- almost 10 years of that alone!

Product information management, user interface generators (still gutted this one didn’t make it), model driven development, sketchy thingy, the MDM Developers community and probably more. There was definitely some virtual universe community in there as well.

Plus a really nice office with a window seat! And rats, and floods…

Watson

A tiny amount of Watson! Despite being barely a year, most of that time seemed to involve moving desks! Also the only time I really didn’t want to move on but serendipity led to…

Blockchain

An actual open source project this time, which is something completely new for me! And blockchain which I still think is one of the most interesting technologies to come along in… well, in the last 20 years!

And then

I doubt I’ll be in Hursley for another 20 years, so who knows. Having said that, I never intended to be there by now either!

It has been a privilege to have worked with so many amazing people who together made most of those 20 years an absolute pleasure. There really are too many to list without an Oscar speech but I will just mention two: Mark Phillips, who was a bit of a role model right from the start, and Patrick Wagstrom who you should jump at the chance to work with if you ever get the opportunity!

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Second anniversary!


Unbelievably we’ve been married two years already! We’ve had a nice chilled weekend to celebrate and yesterday ended up in Selborne, where there just happened to be cream teas available in the tea parlour at Gilbert White’s house:

Note the excellent jam:cream ratio and the correct cream-on-top arrangement. Tasty. We seem to be developing a distinct food theme to our wedding anniversaries, and there’s just twelve months to think up what comes next!

Year Gift
0.5 Hot chocolate
1 Cake
2 Cream tea

Instead of a honeymoon to look forward to this year, we should finally be moving house this month, if all goes well! The results of the survey arrived on Saturday and at least there were no surprises there.

Actual wedding anniversary


After a year of weekly Friday anniversaries and a six month hot chocolate anniversary, we’ve made it to our first real anniversary! After an inspired mini wedding cake from Jo I think the new symbol for first anniversaries should definitely be cake!

Big wedding cake:

Mini anniversary cake (genius!):

Very much looking forward to elevenses… and of course another year with Jo!

Hot Chocolate Anniversary


This weekend was our six month wedding anniversary, unfortunately Schott’s Almanac was no help at all working out what the traditional six month wedding anniversary symbol is, only starting after a whole year with cotton. Since there doesn’t seem to be an agreed upon six month symbol, I choose hot chocolate after we enjoyed one at the end of a very relaxing afternoon retracing part of our wedding tour of Hampshire. If you’re in the area, I thoroughly recommend The Old House Hotel and the Marriott Meon Valley; they were both superb on our wedding day.

(I was pretty pleased with the results of tinkering with Open Street Map for our wedding invitations although, after stories of some of the detours our guests took, it may not have been worth it!!)

It’s been a mad six months which seem to have flown past with a brilliant honeymoon in Canada, (unsuccessfully) trying to move house and playing in the snow!

Niagara Falls

Looking forward to the next six months!

First Century


Almost by coincidence (i.e. only slightly contrived after I noticed how close it was) this is the first anniversary of Notes from a small field and the 100th post! If you don’t like blog posts about blog stats, look away now!

  • First post: Hello world! on 19 September 2007, and I didn’t even write it!
  • Least popular post (not including this one!): Perranporth, Cornwall with 3 hits, which is a shame because the Ordnance Survey still do nice wallpaper pics
  • Most popular search term: “low power home server” 112 times
  • Busiest day: Thursday, July 31, 2008 with 306 hits
  • Total views: 8,994
  • Spam: 2,763 (all caught thanks to Akismet)

Luckily it’s not all numbers. Here’s my roundup from the past year/99 posts:

  • Favourite comment: if I’d have started this blog sooner, there would have been a lot of posts about fitting the kitchen!
  • Most useless post: iPhone accessibility (nobody seems interested, which is a shame- must try and catch up with Andy about trying it out on the touch screen kiosk in the ETS lab instead)

If you got this far, well done! If all goes to plan, I’ll have some cakes at my desk in Hursley to celebrate.

P.S. Aarrr!

Update: If you were working at home today/don’t work in Hursley, you missed out… yum…

Cake

Cake

IBM Hursley Golden Anniversary


I’ve been reminded why I’ve worked in the same place as long as I have a few times recently. The July edition of Computer Business Review (CBR) includes a supplement on ‘50 years of Innovation at IBM Hursley’ covers the work aspect pretty well. Good to see an advert for Information Management on the inside cover even if we don’t appear in the main article- we are one of the newest teams in Hursley.

John McLean, our lab director, says, “It’s all about the people….” which is absolutely right. The people who work at Hursley are astounding, from new students to ‘heritage’ IBMers, and I get to work with them all the time.

As a bonus, the place itself makes for a pretty nice working environment. We celebrated with an open day recently, which was a great chance to bore entertain Jo and my mum with a tour of work- I don’t suppose many offices get their own air show.

It’s interesting that NASA are also celebrating 50 years. I wonder which has had the biggest impact on peoples lives over the last 50 years. I expect more people have heard of NASA but CICS alone makes it a close race.