I mentioned in my last blog that I have been traveling in Asia quite a bit lately. On my most recent trip, I was in China again and I met an IBMer who got me thinking about working for IBM, and working with the IBM i community.
Meng Wei is 25 years old. She has worked for IBM for just about a year. When I asked her why she chose to work for IBM, rather than one of the many other companies she could have selected as a recent graduate with both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, she said that during her research into IBM, and during her job interview, it seemed like IBM would be one big family. A family of people who would care about her and help her to attain the goals she has for herself and her career. I liked that. I hadn’t thought that way when I was interviewing with IBM 29 years ago, but I liked the idea. And it started me thinking about the team of IBMers with whom I am fortunate to work.
With so many extended business trips this year, and in particular in the final three months of this year, I have had to reach out for help from many of my IBM family. Alison and Tim have taken turns covering customer briefings for me. Nancy and Jeff have done much of the Fall Plan work I could not do from afar. Scott has dealt with customer situations and questions that have been brought to my attention, but that would be difficult for me to handle from a hotel room. Even my manager, Dave Nelson, the lead executive for IBM i development, has filled in for me as I’ve been off talking to clients. And these are just a few of the many people who have teamed up to move the IBM i business forward, taking up slack when I could not be there. I hope I have done the same for them, as well.
As 2013 will soon come to a close, I’ve looked back on this year and been amazed at the number of different customers and partners I have met, the many events at which I have spoken, and the astounding amount of interaction I have had in e-mail, Twitter, Facebook, blog comments and LinkedIn. Much of this has been driven by our celebration of “IBMi25” of course, but the majority is still due to the emphasis we in IBM place on getting in touch with our users.
And you respond! It’s amazing having such a large, passionate community of people out there who care enough about the platform to engage in conversation, to argue about discuss the best ways to move it forward, to share good ideas and to educate one another.
In many ways, what makes this IBM i community so special is how much like a family we are. We have a core heritage that means a great deal to us. We don’t always get along with one another perfectly, but we do recognize that we’re all working for the good of our common goals, and many of the community are willing to go out of their way for others.
Meng Wei is 25 years old. We’re celebrating 25 years as a platform. She’s just starting out in this family. I’ve been with it a long time. It’s hard to imagine what the next 25 years will bring, but it’s great to know we’ll see it as a “family.”
I’ll be off for the rest of the year celebrating and relaxing. I will see you again, at least in the blogosphere, in 2014.