16 Jun 2017

Last September, as I marked my 15 years with IBM, I ended a post wondering what the next 5 years would hold in store. Perhaps a bit sooner than I had planned, it’s time to find out.

I’ve been in IBM’s Emerging Technologies Services group for close to 6 years now. In that time I’ve worked on a host of projects, including:

  • writing embedded MQTT code for smart energy meters
  • connecting a Scalextric to a mind-reading headset
  • 6 weeks spent in a 7th floor conference room writing custom Dojo UI widgets (not a highlight, but you’ve got to pay the bills)
  • wiring up some Arduinos and Pis in an Ice Cream factory (a highlight)

And of course, the main thing I’ve focused on for the last 3 years, Node-RED.

The client-funded nature of the work ETS does has meant I’ve only been able to work on Node-RED because someone has been willing to pay me to do so. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have been in that position; being able to turn a side-project into a job.

I’ve enjoyed my time in ETS, but the time has come to make a change.

I have now moved over to IBM Digital Business Group to be a Developer Advocate, focussing on IoT. This is a new part of IBM where all of our work around developer advocacy is being brought together in one place.

Making our products, APIs and services attractive to developers is vital to the future of the business. Long gone are the days that software is sold to the CIO. Developers are far more empowered than they ever were to make their own technology choices. Go read Stephen O’Grady’s The New Kingmakers for a far more insightful take on how this has been the trend for quite some time now.

In my new role I’ll be working to help developers engage with our technology. Whether that’s through hackathons, conferences, blog posts, stack overflow questions, videos, Coursera courses – really anything and anywhere that developers are.

So what does this mean for my time on Node-RED?

Well, truth be told, the group I now work for is the group who was previously funding my time on Node-RED. So whilst I have changed departments, the primary focus of my work stays exactly what it has been: leading the Node-RED project and working hard to grow the community and eco-system around it.

Everything changes. Nothing changes. On to the next 5 years.


Also published on Medium.

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