May 5th, 2010

Look Up, #5

I'm already feeling the pressure of adhering to the “Look Up” theme this month. Fortunately, one can succeed at NaBloMoPo without ever once creating a post that relates to the monthly theme. But, today, I'm going to branch out and add one more word to “Look Up” to get “Look Up To”.

look up to: to admire.

As I posted earlier, I'm attending IBM's Impact Conference this week. It's a chaotic environment with 6,000 people all going many directions. There are demos, meetings, and technical sessions. (There are also social gatherings, tweets, PDAs, cell phones, laptops, podcasts, and every other thing you might think of when geeks and techies gather.) Among all this, I have the opportunity to talk with many individuals that I look up to.

You might think that these are people who have risen to positions of influence—people with years of experience and expertise—and some of them are indeed. But some of the people I'm looking up to are mere “younglings”. They're young IT professionals with most of their work life out in front of them, and they're bringing the enthusiasm and energy which I remember from the early days of my career, but which I find it hard to generate very often these days.

Here's a shout-out to some of the youthful IBMers I'm privileged to work with: Will Yates, Fatima Otori, Chris Backhouse, Jennifer Foley, Sean Waldo , and Shalawn Freeman. I know I've failed to mention by name quite a few of these spectacularly talented young people. My apologies if you feel slighted—I appreciate every one of you and I'm going to be one of your biggest cheerleaders as you proceed along this career path.