Hi, I’m Matt Comer

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.

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Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) Certified

In addition to:
Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) Certified
http://www.matthewcomer.com/certified-scrumm…er-csm-certified
http://www.matthewcomer.com/certified-product-owner-cspo-certified

Although, I bought all of the PMP books for the Project Management Professional Certification | PMP – Project Management Institute (PMI) As the PMP® is recognized the world over as the gold standard in project management. The Project Management Professional (PMP). And I attended and participated in several IBM PMP Study Groups, I decided in 2019 to change my focus to Agile.

Currently, I am also working on various stretch projects for the MSC. While studying for my PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® certification.

In 2019, I have joined an IBM PMI-ACP Study Group, to take an exam for my certification. Th MSC awarded me a prize to study towards a Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®) Scrum Alliance certification.

But someday, just someday, you never know:

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Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) Certified

In addition to recently taking the course and achieving the following Scrum Master Certification, I have now completed the Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) Certification.

Although, I bought all of the PMP books for the Project Management Professional Certification | PMP – Project Management Institute (PMI) As the PMP® is recognized the world over as the gold standard in project management. The Project Management Professional (PMP). And I attended and participated in several IBM PMP Study Groups, I decided in 2019 to change my focus to Agile.

Currently, I am also working on various stretch projects for the MSC. While studying for my PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® certification.

In 2019, I have joined an IBM PMI-ACP Study Group, to take an exam for my certification. Th MSC awarded me a prize to study towards a Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®) Scrum Alliance certification.

But someday, just someday, you never know:

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WP Engine Summit 2019 Attendance

IBM allowed me to take off and go to the following this week: WP Engine Summit 2019
WP Engine Summit 2019 – June 24 – 26 – The Digital Breakthrough Conference Photos
Agenda

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Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) Certified

Although, I bought all of the PMP books for the Project Management Professional Certification | PMP – Project Management Institute (PMI) As the PMP® is recognized the world over as the gold standard in project management. The Project Management Professional (PMP). And I attended and participated in several IBM PMP Study Groups, I decided in 2019 to change my focus to Agile.

Currently, I am also working on various stretch projects for the MSC. While studying for my PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® certification.

In 2019, I have joined an IBM PMI-ACP Study Group, to take an exam for my certification. Th MSC awarded me a prize to study towards a Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®) Scrum Alliance certification.

But someday, just someday, you never know:

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Matt Comer IBM Originals

Meet the Originals

Matt Comer


“When you meet someone from Austin, you realize how rare it is.”
WordPress Product Owner
(AUSTIN, TX)

Austin is such a music city, and really it always has been. My father would take me to shows when I was younger and even though I don’t play, I really developed an appreciation for the arts. Austin has a film community too. I belong to the Austin Film Society, founded by Richard Linklater. It’s really big. I recently saw the 20th anniversary of Office Space. It still stands up, and it’s probably even better now! Anyhow, I think a lot of us from here can really relate to artists.

SXSW just happened here. For me, it officially kicked off when my friends and I got up on stage with Rage Against the Machine. Which was almost as cool attending Willie Nelson’s Luck Reunion. It’s 2,000 people that get together at his movie studio, which is a ghost town, and people just take over. There’s a jail, a saloon, a chapel that only holds about 60 people. You have to get really lucky to get in. We’ve gotten in for the past several years. Maybe that’s one of the benefits of being born and raised here. You know exactly where to go, and what to do.

Talk to me about:

Korean thrillers, How I met my wife (hint: it includes my lack of insurance and tooth pain), Kayaking, canoeing, boating, Armadillo Day, Living on the Colorado River

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Deep Dives w/ Matt Comer & tiny curations

Formerly known as Darkest Before Dawn Radio Show – Relaunched on IBM Radio

Darkest Before DawnDeep Dives w/ Matt Comer

Deep Dives w/ Matt Comer – started in the Spring of 2019, where I host a one hour episode spotlighting an artist or genre. This show features songs that rarely if ever get any airplay; these type of songs are typically known as Deep Cuts or Deep Tracks. The songs that you may not know unless you have really dug into an artist or band and listened to albums and a discography in its entirety. Rather than focusing on the hits that we all know and love, we will hear alternate recordings, rare recordings, live recordings, alternate takes, cover versions from other artists, along with vintage advertisements and interviews. Along with our own guest hosts and interviews. This is my favorite music and I am happy to curate this music for you! Please listen and I hope that you enjoy these songs as much as I do, so please join me and let’s go on a Deep Dive!

Also, please check out Antonio Banda and I’s Valentines Day show – “Valentine’s Day love songs that you didn’t know were actually stalker and creeper songs”.

Short attention span? Check out Tiny Curations! Where you can get the skinny on some great music in around 15 minutes. Come on, you’ve got the time!

tiny curations

This shows are distilled into only the very best and mostly rare tracks that represent an artist to me. Attention spans are short and so are these shows. We try to keep these shows to around 15 or so minutes. That might mean 2-4 songs, so hope you enjoy and thanks for listening!Like it a bit longer? Well check out a full artist spotlight and Deep Dive into the music with Deep Dives w/ Matt Comer!

Listen to Episodes.

New IBM Radio Show – Deep Dives w/ Matt Comer

Deep Dives and Tiny Curations Episodes
Listen at ibmradio.net and on the interwebs

More Places to Listen

Anchor FM

Apple Podcasts
Breaker
Google Podcasts
Overcast
Pocket Casts
RadioPublic
Stitcher

An hour episode spotlighting an artist or genre, featuring songs that rarely if ever get any airplay; these type of songs are typically known as Deep Cuts or Deep Tracks. The songs that you may not know unless you have really dug into an artist or band and listened to albums and a discography in its entirety. Rather than focusing on the hits that we all know and love, we will hear alternate recordings, rare recordings, live recordings, alternate takes, cover versions from other artists, along with vintage advertisements and interviews.

Or have a short attention span, tiny curations is for you

Based out of Austin, Texas, near the hill country town of Cedar Valley, just short of Dripping Springs. Brought to you by your host Matthew Comer. Now featured on IBM Community Radio – ibmradio.net.

Here is one of my favorites playlists on my Sansa® SanDisk Clip+ 8GB with expandable memory MP3 Player, via Last.fm.

[lastfmplaylist:mcomer:a975414d32bba582f47ad3ae74aedc39:Favorites]
[lastfmplaylist:mcomer:a975414d32bba582f47ad3ae74aedc39:Willie]

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Valentine’s Day love songs that you didn’t know were actually stalker and creeper songs

Check out Antonio Banda and I’s Valentines Day show – “Valentine’s Day love songs that you didn’t know were actually stalker and creeper songs”.

Short attention span? Check out Tiny Curations! Where you can get the skinny on some great music in around 15 minutes. Come on, you’ve got the time!

Deep Dives and Tiny Curations Episodes
Listen at ibmradio.net and on the interwebs

More Places to Listen

Anchor FM

Apple Podcasts
Breaker
Google Podcasts
Overcast
Pocket Casts
RadioPublic
Stitcher

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Statesman – Forget Groundhog Day: It’s Armadillo Day in Texas

Forget Groundhog Day: It’s Armadillo Day in Texas

https://www.statesman.com/news/20190202/forget-groundhog-day-its-armadillo-day-in-texas

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Phillip Lee Houlton, Jr. Memorial

In Memory of
Phillip Lee Houlton, Jr
August 28, 1973 – January 20, 2019

Listen to playlist on Deep Dives w/ Matt Comer:

I am saddened to inform you of the sudden passing of a great young Club Member, Phillip Lee Houlton, Jr on Sunday 01/20/2019, after spending the day with his wife and son at the CRGC.
I will defer to his wife Kathryn for more details or if she wants an email announcement or inclusion in the minutes about arrangements for this coming Saturday. She is on CC.
Or rather, will send you an email when the obituary is ready, so then if you could please send out an email blast to all Club Members about the Celebration of Life Saturday 01/26/2019 at Harrell Funeral Home 4435 Frontier Trail, Austin, TX 78745.

Obituary

Phillip Lee Houlton, Jr, 45, was born on August 28, 1973 in St. Clair, Michigan. He passed away unexpectedly Sunday, January 20, 2019, in Austin, Texas. He is survived by Kathryn Buck Houlton, wife, Phillip Lee Houlton, III, son, and sisters Shelrie Houlton and Shannon Hungerford.

Phillips early childhood was spent traveling the world with his family, accompanying his father on international construction projects. He lived the majority of his life in Texas, graduating from high school in Burnet. He then entered the United States Air Force and served six active duty years. He attended Southwest Texas State University, while being a reservist in the U.S. Air Force, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science. He worked for the City of Austin for fourteen years. While working for the City, Phillip enlisted in the United States Coast Guard Reserves and later attended Officer Training School. During his time in the U.S. Coast Guard, Phillip took part in Deep Water Horizon and Hurricane Sandy Relief. Phillip retired from the U.S. Coast Guard with twenty years combined service, as a Lieutenant. Phillip continued serving the City of Austin until his passing.

Phillip was a member of the Masonic Lodge of Texas being a Master Mason. He was a member of the Capitol Rod and Gun Club and spent many years volunteering on the Youth Committee. Phillip was an avid outdoorsmen enjoying kayaking, hunting, camping and simply spending time with friends, family and enjoying life.

A visitation with family will be held at 1pm Saturday, January 26, 2019 and the Celebration of Life will begin at 2pm. Reception to follow.

In lieu of flowers, we ask that you consider a donation to Veteran Outdoors, an organization that Phillip dearly supported.

My Words for My Friend

“Phillip was a good man. Father. Husband. Son, Brother. Friend, a great friend to all, just look around. He had a huge heart and touched so many lives. Philip had so many friends and he was good at making ’em and just meeting good people. Some of my closest friends now, I met through him.

But, Phillip was my best friend.We did so many things together. We got married around the same time, we started our families at the same time. We vacationed together, and celebrated holidays. We did everything together.

We lived together as roommates in 3 different houses. We have cabins next to each other on Lake Travis at the Capitol Rod & Gun Club.

I got him into Club and the Delta Tau Delta Fraternity. He got me into the Masons.When he went off to be deployed for his Coast Guard duties, I would go and live with him for a week wherever he was… from New Orleans to New York. And then our wives would come down and spend the weekend with us.

Yes, Phillip loved and served his Country. Yes, Phillip was as good of a Texan as any Texan could strive to be. But Phillip also loved Mexico. I don’t know how many times he and I went there together. No clue. The little town of Acuna, across the river from Del Rio, that was his favorite. PJ and Colt even wrote a song together about their trips to Acuna.

Philip loved country music. And Texas Country, Willie, Robert Earl Keen the greats, as you will hear piped in here today. And lucky for him… he as a good dancer. He and I went around this entire state going to dancehalls and small town Summer Night festivals.

And yes, Phillip Sr was a Master storyteller, but Phillip had also been passed this skill and he too was certainly a Master of this oral tradition. He had a great memory and attention to details. He had his stories. He loved his stories. And he shared them as often as he could to whomever he could. And these stories showed what a great life that he lived… And how much he loved life and cherished his friends and family.Unfortunately, I am not near as good of telling stores. But I will tell you the story of how I met Phillip.

I met Phillip in when I was at Southwest Texas State University. My roommate, Ryan,was going to ACC and they had met Phil in a class together. Phil would call our apartment and I would take messages for my roomate. My roommate was very busy with work and school life and don’t think that he ever returned any of those calls. So one day, when he called, I answered the phone, I was like “Hey we are going to Dance Across on Thursday, why don’t you meet us there, Ryan might even be there, but we will be there with a big group of guys, you should come. We will be at this certain corner by the dancefloor”.Well, he came that night and we have been friends ever since. That was probably 95.

Anyhow, eventually, he replaced that roommate and he became my new roommate.

His mom and dad, sisters, family brought me in as one of their own. As did my family for him.

Phillip Lee Houlton, Jr, the second, United States Air Force Red Horse Division and on and on is what I sometimes called him. He wanted to belong and be a part of something. Something bigger than himself. He was involved in so many groups and organizations. He was always willing to help anybody anytime. He helped me so much and was a good builder and carpenter, skills that he honed in the Air Force Red Horse unit.

But above all Philip knew and loved God. He had immense faith. A relationship with the Lord. He was a good ole boy, small town… a country boy with good values and he was raised right. He is the only person that I have ever met that would pray before every single meal, before every offering of food before him. He always tended to do the right thing and make good decisions. On our adventures together and with buddies, he would make sure that we all got where we were going and were safe. All of that being said, I never got into more fights because of anybody. What’s right is right. He always stood his ground and never backed down.

Last Saturday night, we had dinner together, right across Ben White from here. My wife Jenny, had set up a surprise dinner With us, the Houltons, and the Malones. As for Jenny, this was a celebration of the anniversary of 20 years of her knowing both Phillip and Brian Malone.As it were at the time 20 years ago, when I showed up on my first date with my future wife, I brought along Phillip and Brian and 3 girls in tow that we had met on 6th St. on our way to my date. That made for an interesting date, but she stuck with me. But as we had this dinner last week, it was so good to talk and share stories and laugh. To just be together with our life long friends. Philip leaned over to Jenny and told her how he met Kat and Matt at the same corner of the dancefloor at Dance Across Texas. And Jenny said, “Well Phillip, then that’s your lucky spot!” Maybe so, but I too was lucky to have met him that night way back when.

Phillips passing last Sunday was so sudden and tragic that he was so young. Of course we all wish that we could have said goodbye (make things right, finalize things). But I had that night before with him that was so great, but not it is so much more special and I will always cherish that memory and all of our good times together.

Dear Kathryn and his fine young man of a son, Phillip Lee Houlton, the Third, you family means so much to us. All of us here are your extended family. Let us all keep the Houltons in our lives and in our prayers. And help them any way that you can. And help Lee know and grow and remember what a great man his Daddy really was.

Phillip is in a better place. He is with his Mom and Dad, whom he loved soo soo much. But he is here with us today.I know this because I have been talking to him this week. I have been doing all of the talking, but I know he can hear me.Let today be about remembering. And sharing and swapping stories. This is how my friend can be honored. Here among all of the people that he brought together today.I love you Phillip. Thank you.”

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