10 years at Big Blue (and how it feels)

This week marks my tenth year working for IBM. That means I’ve been working at IBM for 35% of my life, and a whole 12% of IBM’s existence, or 10%  if you include the time it was called CTR. (This feels like a lot, and more than I realised.)

I started ten years ago this week as an undergraduate on the Integrated Degree Scheme, the IBM sponsored programme at Portsmouth University. (Sadly this course was closed a few years after I completed it.)

The first few (six? nine?) months of my working life were pure training, learning programming skills, presentation skills, and generally how to be an IBMer. (In subsequent years, that first chunk of training was reduced and then dropped altogether.)

Although most of my time has been spent in Hursley, I first started in the ground floor of F-block in North Harbour, IBM’s UK headquarters. (That building no longer belongs to IBM. It was sold off, and most of the buildings leased back.)

In ten years I have had ten different first-line managers (and fifteen different desk locations).

I’ve worked in test, service and development for big (and small) messaging middleware products. I was invited to work on a couple of prototype innovation projects including something from 2003 called Business Integration for Games. I joined Emerging Technology Services, and am currently on assignment to the CIO’s office as a metaverse evangelist. Each role seems more satisfying, and more fun, than the last. (In the meantime, many of my friends and colleagues from those 10 years have moved on to other companies.)

Will I still be here in another ten years? (I’m not sure.)

8 replies on “10 years at Big Blue (and how it feels)”

  1. I think FGB is still my favourite office. All IBM offices should be setup in classroom formation. You can tell how young we were then as the grads and IT students seemed to be really grown up and mature. :-)

  2. Congratulations! I’m 20-years October 7th but gradually resigning self to the fact I’ll be gone at the end of October.

    This year marks five years on assignment, it’s doing my head in, I have nothing to come back to in the UK, literally, not even a car and the company just thinks it’s ok to keep me in some form of permanent suspended animation. I feel like one of those amoebas in the Matrix.

    If anyone ever offers you an assignment, make sure you have a defined get out clause and a good exit strategy.

  3. Hi Mark. Having seen you present on what it’s like to be a Distinguished Engineer, and your insights into the corporate bosom of HQ, I’m particularly fascinated by your comment. Thanks. I appreciate the advice.

  4. Roo,
    I celebrated my eleventh year in IBM in November – 7.5 of them in the UK and 4.5 in the USA. I love working for IBM. Congratulations. I left IBM and came back and I don’t plan on leaving for a while. I am glad that Mark is still around, having seen his post above and having seen he is still in Blue Pages!

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