Here at IBM and elsewhere. We consider ourselves grown-ups and what grown-ups tend to do when meeting new people, once they’ve exhausted discussions about the weather. Is ask, “what do you do”? And they say, ‘I’m a “fill in the blank with job title”‘, “I work for ‘blank'”, and if they work for IBM, they also say ‘I work for “whatever Business Unit”‘.
Well, this being my ice breaker speech, I want to introduce myself…
by telling you a little bit about myself,
then what I do,
and end with what I want to do.
Ready? Alright, here goes.
Hello, my name is Matt Comer.
I have worked at IBM for 15 years.
The large majority of that time as a Contractor. I thought that I would get my foot in the door, but it ended up taking 12.35 years to do so. But who’s counting?
This past Summer, I celebrated my 3rd year as an IBMer.
Due to co-location and my proximity to Austin (albeit we had just recently built a house on land, outside of the city, deep past South Austin in Dripping Springs)…
it was my proximity to the Austin offices, that had finally won IBM… over… on my talents and skills. But my Manager had a lot to do with it. He is one of only 2 Managers in my professional career that really went to bat for me and believed in me. He was a true advocate for me. And… he’s leaving at the end of the year, retiring after over 40 years with IBM. (Co-location’s what finally got him…)
But it’s not like I didn’t get anything out of it.
I got paid all those years as a Contractor, not as much, but I got paid. Which we all like. Let’s not kid ourselves, were doing it for the money… Or… I’m doing it for the money. I got kids to feed. And to put through college!
No really, I do like what I do.
But my trade-off was a good 10 years working remotely. That time was wonderful! Working from home.
As my wife, Jenny, and I had small children; Garrett who just turned 1.
And my daughter Grace who is 14 months behind him, she’ll be 10 on the Winter Solstice.
Getting to spend that extra time each day with my family, that was a true blessing.
And per that trade-off, my career growth has lagged, now I’m playing catch up.
I used to be a Web Developer for PartnerWorld. But now I’m in the MSC, it’s our internal type of agency; The Marketing Services Center. There I’m a Project Manager for IBM Blogs.
Our tiny team creates and maintains our own custom WordPress themes and hosts 150 blogs with over 10,000 active Contributors, Authors, and Users and our metrics average 1.5 million Page Views, per month.
Now, that I am in the office and co-located, I am actively seeking to take advantage of all f the opportunities that are presented to me. I have joined many groups, Toastmasters, Mentoring mentees, volunteering, taking on stretch projects, patent groups, I listen in on many random calls, and attend all sorts of presentations and parties, as I search for free food.
I want to expand my skills and prove myself and move around in IBM and acquire new skills. I got 2 Agile certifications this year and I’m working on my PMP.
But I plan on obtaining more certifications. And, I want to invent.
I’m on several patent groups. And I have defended 1 patent.
And this afternoon will be going before a board to defend another patent, wish me luck!
I would like a Mentor.
Now, I do have the very best, Ricardo, as my Toastmasters Mentor, and I am very excited about that.
However, I mentioned earlier that I Mentor others in IBM; interns, and hires, transitioning military… But I myself don’t have a Mentor. Please let me know If anybody wants to take me on…
Anyhow, that is who I am and what I do. And what I want to do.
I want to thank you all for bearing with me today and now I am nervous, but excited to hear your feedback.
Thank you very much.