Other Worlds Austin 2019

I volunteered this year at Other Worlds Austin one and only Science Fiction Film Festival held on December 5-8, 2019. It is one of the premier SciFi Film Festivals in the US, championing filmmakers and writers and bringing the best films to the Geek Capital of the World. With a diverse and approachable team of programmers, we are building a network of SciFi fans and filmmakers, leading a loyal community, and launching SciFi films into the wider world.

As OWA Hospitality Assistants, we had a great time meeting with people and helping out and ensuring that all had a great time! We too had a great time viewing many SciFi and Horror movies and premiers! Looking forward to doing it again next year.

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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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Austin Film Festival Volunteer Transportation Manager

Transportation Manager

Austin Film Festival is an organization in Austin, Texas, that focuses on writers’ creative contributions to film. And also furthers the art and craft of storytelling by inspiring and championing the work of writers, filmmakers, and all artists who use written and visual language to tell a story, where I volunteered as a Transportation Manager and Driver for the Festival.

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Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) Certified

In addition to:
Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) 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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Join Toastmasters

After attending many an open house event and regular meetings, today I officially joined Toastmasters and now a Member of the Austin Toastmasters Club at IBM (part of District 55), which just recently celebrated their 25th Anniversary in Austin.

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WP Engine Summit 2019

WP Engine Summit 2019 The Digital Breakthrough Conference
Attended both days June 25-26 Austin, TX. And arrived on June 24th to check-in and mingle.

IBM allowed me to go and work a bit

What a great conference and feeling being surrounded by so many WordPress enthusiasts.

At IBM, I am the Project Manager of IBM Blogs. And WordPress Product Owner.

Plenty of great breakout sessions.
And even a wonderful key note speech by non-other than Emmitt Smith was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006. Smith played thirteen seasons with the Cowboys and two with the Arizona Cardinals.

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Certified Scrum Master (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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