A look back on 2017

To kick things off on this site, I wanted to take a look back on 2017. 2017 was a bit of a whirlwind for me, with a huge amount of change, several trips abroad, and an award nomination. In February, I moved from my TSS ATM PM role, into a development role on secondment to IBM’s Global Markets. I felt like I’d reached what I wanted to achieve in my ATM role - I was at the point where I was PMing a full upgrade plan for the UK, which was a huge responsibilty after only 18 months in work! The project was a great success, but my new role has changed everything for me, motivating me into a firm career choice and opening several doors, not to mention the huge amount I’ve learnt.

In June, as part of my role I was able to travel to Lisbon for IBM’s Skills Academy, where I was leading an IoT workshop with Nick O’Leary (node-RED co-creator), using node-RED with Watson IoT running on Raspberry Pis in a hackathon to create Customer focussed solutions. Aside from the beautiful hotel as the location for the conference, Lisbon itself is now one of my favourite European cities. Great food, great location, and the most perfect weather (37° in the shade!). We went out for a bite to eat one night, and a member of the prototyping team recommended a restaurant… On arrival, it was the smallest, grimiest looking hole in the wall I’ve ever seen, but lo and behold it yielded the best steak of my life! Later on, in September, we repeated the same workshops in another hackathon, for the UK’s top IT Architects.

I’ve also been lucky enough to be nominated for the Government’s Apprentice of the Year Award. Applications started in March with a few thousand words written between me and my manager about my work. At this point I’d been in the prototyping team about 3 weeks, so everything was based off my PM work. I also find it incredibly difficult to write about myself, so my entry needed much doctoring! I made it through to the Regional final, which I won. There was another round of judging, where all 8 regional winners were whittled down to 3, who made it to the national final. The national final is in January (yet it’s still the 2017 competition…not sure what happened there!) so I’ll be able to find out soon enough.

So, on to 2018. I can already tell it will be a massive year, with 3rd year at QMUL already heating up, and new challenges within IBM. I’ve also earmarked a tonne of learning (mostly to do with IoT/low level hardware & programming), so it will be interesting to see where 2018 takes me!