Reached Unexpected EOY – Thomas Cope

Hello it’s me Tom.C back with another blog post. This post was originally planed to go out December of last year but due to complications it has been moved to this year. So first things first … Happy new Year!?! Well it is February so it’s a tad late for that but oh well the point still stands. So what’s the first thing you do in a new years blog post you may ask. Well you completely forget you’re in the new year and start rambling about last year! So lets look back on 2015 and ramble for a bit.

So last year back in my blog post “Where are they now? – Tom” I discussed how I made and met my new years resolutions for 2015 so time to set some new ones for 2016, and they are:

  • Progress from Band 6 to Band 7


  • Continue on my Oxford Degree

  • Continue to try new things on and off project.

Within IBM promotions are done via “Bands” and you have to create a “packaged case” to explain why you should be promoted. My goal this year is to have that package written and submitted before my birthday so I can hopefully (fingers crossed) go for promotion this year. Next is CISSP orCertified Information Systems Security Professional ” which is a Highly regarded security qualification which one of our SME’s has and to be honest it sounds really cool. You get to learn all about security systems and practices end to end and you gain a qualification out of it. The only own side is it’s really difficult, like super hard. You need to do tonnes on training before the exam which is three hours long. So something I want to keep in mind at attempt later in the year.

Next up is Oxford. During the wind down of last year I started a part time degree in Software and System Security at Oxford. Which so far has been going very well. I’m taking the module along side my work at IBM in Week long blocks through out the year (2/3 a year) and then in my own time completing the assignments which can be anything from Cyber Security Forensics on a memory stick to building a shipping application in Java. I plan to continue with the Modules and hopefully be half way by the end of 2016.

Finally is to continue with trying new things, not so much as a goal just a general rule of thumb. I would still like to continue with my Linux / AIX work as well as my security role. I enjoy the fusion of the two and with lots of new changes within the project there should be plenty to keep me busy for a while.

Back in my last blog post I mentioned that “I’ve also become a BCS IT Apprentice of the Year 2015 Finalist ” well as things turned out I went on to Win BCS IT Apprentice of the Year! A experience I can not express in words but was truly amazing the event had over 1,000 people and the IBM table went wild.

Another activity I took part in last year was the “Skills Show” and the NEC. An event I signed up for and completely forget about as it was months before they got back to me. Until I received an email informing me that I was in the finals and in a weeks time I needed to be at the NEC in Birmingham. Strangely enough this was the day after the BCS event. So I caught the train and tube up to the BCS then more tube and a Virgin train all the way to Birmingham. IBM is great because you can put all the expenses on your Corporate Card. Personally I was shocked at the size of the Skills show and I would highly recommend going if you get the chance. There’s activity from building robots to filming for the BBC and you get to see the competitions LIVE. Such as my Network Security, Electronics, Plastering, Metal Work and Brick Laying. You name a career and they have it there. For the Network Security competition I had to configure some Cisco switches / firewalls as well as configure a Linux server for VoIP. It was a great competition and I got to meet some interesting people and I ended up claiming the bronze for the event!

Overall 2015 was a amazing year and I can’t wait to see what 2016 has in store. I’ve been told I will be joining another project which should be interesting so here’s to the future.

That was me Tom.C see you next Post.


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