Tag Archives: techie

What do Apprentices do? Tea and Coffee? – Josh Abrahams

Even now, with the Government putting more and more into backing Apprenticeships, many young people are still afraid that they will be condemned to a life of making tea and coffee. Whilst this may be true for some older Apprenticeships, but any one from a modern Apprenticeship scheme, such as ours here at IBM, will be more than happy to let you know this is simply not the case. I learnt this very early on in my career, my first day after induction in fact. Fifteen minutes had gone by since I had met my new colleagues; I was already in “trouble” for offering a drink to the Technical lead of the team when I went to go get one. I was just being polite, but they wanted to make it clear, Apprentices are not tea boys/girls.

Here at IBM, as with most, the Apprentice is given real responsibilities from the get go. During my brief two and a half years here I have been in three different roles which I’ll talk a little bit about now. Each had their ups and downs however in all of my roles, I have felt I have been delivering meaningful and valuable work.

For my first role in the company, I was placed as part team which supports Rational products, (Rational is brand of software IBM own,) I worked in three different locations during this time, supporting both internal and external customers. I worked on data migrations, configuration management, software upgrades and installs, user administration & general errors from users. I helped to develop bespoke changes to tools used by the customer, developing, testing & working through error codes and finally implementing. I held demonstration sessions for customers & fellow IBMers alike, this list goes on – but all of these pieces of work left me feeling like I had added value to IBM and to our customers.

The second role I took on was a progression of the first. After being in the support team for just over a year, I was promoted to Support Team Lead, taking on managerial responsibilities over our team of six, four offshore guys and two onshore. It was my responsibility to ensure the level of service we were delivering did not slip. I would hold service review meetings with the team, looking at sets of reports I created, organise shift rotas & holidays and train the team in weak areas (Which is surprisingly harder than it seems.) I was the first point of call for customer issues & quereies, I would help to work out solutions & price up any new work. I would talk through the customers first days & train them in correct tool usage. Whenever the team were going through upgrades, I would coordinate the process, design testing and be the face of the team in international calls with hosting providers and customers. All on top of my previous responsibilities – two roles down and still no tea or coffee.

My most recent and current role saw me move from being based in the South to being based in the even sunnier haven of Manchester City Centre! After my brief stint of experience management/service delivery, I decided to move away from Technical and learn other aspects of the business, with the end goal of becoming a Service Delivery Manager or work in Project Management. I am currently PMO (Programme Management Office) on one of our Financial Sector accounts. The PMO works closely with the Project Manager and Programme Governance teams and maintains various aspects of the account, such as onboarding, leavers & training. I work with the Commercial team & aid in ensuring accurate forecasting and billing and writing Statements of Work and contracts. It is my job to create a set of reports for the account which show IBM’s current status, our issues, risks, progress. I’m also aiding in ensuring our release is on track, attending meetings discussing progress, making schedules etc. Of course I haven’t left my Rational skills completely behind, I’m also Rational Administrator for the account.

These are just the three roles I have done in my time here at IBM as an Apprentice so far. Although each Apprentice will be doing different jobs and no two Apprentice experience at IBM are the same, as you find the role you want to be doing. None the less the work you will be doing will be beneficial to your career & be meaningful. I hear of so many people in office jobs complain that their life has no meaning, the work that they do has no meaning and that must be the worst, especially if that were to come from an Apprentice. At IBM I have meaning, I have purpose and I do not make tea or coffee for anyone. *

*  (Except myself)

Josh Abrahams

A day in zSeries – Nicole Covey

Another day in the life of a zSeries software support specialist… Wake up… bowl of cereal…. Depending on your mood and how hungry you are you possibly have another… if you’re really struggling you may even consider one more but you talk yourself out of it because that’s just greedy. Then comes the drive to work… sometimes you get to the office and feel lucky to be alive because you’ve had a close encounter with someone who is just way too keen to get to work. That, however, is about the only part of my day that is predictable. In my role you never know what is around the corner, it’s the thing I like most about my job, every day is different.

I am currently a zSeries Software Support Specialist here at IBM. zSeries are our big mainframe servers and It’s my job to help keep our mainframe customers up and running. This involves helping them with any queries they have with their mainframe software and also investigating any issues they experience to help get them back up and running as soon as possible. You can probably guess from the last half of that sentence that sometimes the job is very high pressured and stressful! Headache tablets are kept in the top drawer for those days that you wish you hadn’t got out of bed. (Let’s be honest it doesn’t matter how much you like your job we all have those days!)

We use PMR’s which are Problem Management Records to manage client queries/issues, these hold all the data on the client contact and the reason the PMR was raised, including product and release levels, any diagnostic data and times and dates of the incident. PMR’s also contain all the communication between us and the customer as well as all our findings during our investigations.

When talking about a day in my role, typical is probably not the best word to use. The process is the same, I look at PMR’s, talk to customers and look through diagnostic data such as system memory dumps and trace data, but each PMR is unique and different. Z is such as massive product, I’m constantly coming across new things and sometimes things that I’ve never heard of! Even my colleagues, some of whom have been working on Z for longer than I have been alive (which they love me reminding them of) are coming across new things every day.

Looking through system memory dumps is where all the fun lies, we use a tool called IPCS and it looks like the Matrix, just a mass of green HEX code on a black screen. The feeling of satisfaction you get when you solve a problem has got to be one of the perks of the job. You get a great sense of achievement when you see a problem all the way through from gathering the problem description, investigating (the fun part) and providing the customer with a solution.

Z has a bit of a reputation for being a ‘Dinosaur’ product, it’s been around for a very long time – I kind of like that though, dinosaurs are awesome. This does mean however that a large number of our z people are retiring which means it has become challenging with there being only three of us in Front Office UK support, but it is also a great opportunity for me to continue to grow my skills and become more competent. It’s like how my mum taught me to swim; chuck me in the deep end and I’ll learn quickly. Personally I think she’s lucky I’m not now terrified of water and will never trust her again (it took a while).

The funny thing is I never planned for a career in technology. In fact, before I came to IBM I had very limited technical knowledge (OK – I’ll be honest, I had absolutely none!). Five years on, I wake up every morning and drive into the office knowing that I have a challenge ahead, it keeps me on my toes and keeps me developing. As an added bonus I don’t hate Mondays. Well, I don’t love them, I wouldn’t even say I like them because no one likes Mondays, but I enjoy what I do and that’s all you can ask for.

A Day In The Life – William Spiers

Since my fist blog in February I’ve been mulling over creating my second, considering various different topics I could write about. I came to the conclusion to open the doors to my actual day job by creating a ‘Day in the life of’ post. Let me explain the rationale behind this decision – IBM’s a great company, and one of the things I think makes it great are the endless job roles and career paths available. Highlighting this is the fact that ever since I started at IBM, I’ve spoken to so many people (be it Apprentices, Graduates or regular employees) and I’ve never met two people who do exactly the same job. Ok, so that may sound like an exaggeration but, even if people have been doing the same role, it’s always been for a different client, in a different location or had some other variation making it unique. Now whether this is actually the case, or merely my experience being relatively new, we shall see, but one thing for sure: IBM’s got opportunities. Now I’ve digressed slightly, but I thought it was an important point to make. So back to why this influenced me to describe my daily role. This uniqueness, often for me at least, causes a slight haze over what people do; what does Technical Consultant or Test Analyst actually equate to on a day-to-day basis? As such, I thought it interesting to explore my first role in “Application Support and Configuration”.

So my role… since I joined IBM in February 2015 I have been part of a small 3rd line team who support and develop a business critical work flow application. Now I feel the key point in my description there is “small”, the reason I highlight this factor is because this is what has made my role so varied – with few resources available everyone pitches into most different aspects. First though let’s go through what I would consider my “core responsibilities”. My days generally start the same, checking access requests and doing proactive maintenance of the application and its surrounding infrastructure. This sounds mundane and don’t get me wrong it often can be, however it’s the “bread and butter” of the service my team offers, and by working in a proactive manner it ensures a good experience for the client. I then move on to dealing with incidents. When the client raises an issue with the application it gets assigned to our team for investigation. Resolving these issues entails contacting users, carrying out Route Cause Analysis of issues and occasionally creating problem and change records. Truthfully this is what takes up most of my time, as well as being the part of the role that can be challenging and by the same token incredibly rewarding. These incidents vary from single user problems to large scale high priority issues – single user problems are unsurprisingly what we deal with mostly and again can be very interesting. However for me where it really gets interesting is in high priority issues. The Service Level Agreements on these can be tight, and upon one arriving it’s a drop everything kind of scenario. Although these can be stressful, I’ve found I learn incredible amounts in very small spaces of time by just getting involved – I also always seem to come out of these with a genuine enthusiasm to find out even more, and the day flies by!

Moving on to my other responsibilities – this is where the “configuration” aspect of my job role comes in. Within the team we not only support but also develop the application and, as such, I frequently get involved with different aspects of this. Generally it starts with the client raising requirements for changes they would like. As a team we then analyse these and pass back a solution. From here the build begins, starting with development work in most cases, and this is the one aspect of the team I have not got involved in due to having specific people dedicated to the role. As such my input begins with the configuration of the front end of the application, by creating flows and inputting information to support the build etc. Onwards from here, I then get involved with raising the necessary change requests to progress the builds through from Development environments into Production. Whilst this is not the most stimulating job, for me it really cements my understanding of the changes when I have to explain and document them. As well as this, it really imprints the importance of change processes and procedures – a bit of a necessary evil shall we say.

So in a nutshell that’s my role, although there are other bits and pieces I do, there’s certainly not enough space to list them all out! I’ve enjoyed this role immensely, as it has brought me on in virtually every aspect – from presenting to problem solving, it’s had snippets of everything. I’ve developed a small amount of understanding in all these different areas, and it’s this attribute that I feel has made it the perfect first position. In turn, this has allowed me to understand what I like and what I’m not so keen on, which is invaluable considering I came into IBM with very little specific direction. Despite enjoying this role, I have now come to a point where for personal development, I want to move on to something new, and with my new-found understanding for my likes and dislikes, this decision has been made much easier! As such, I am now moving into a “Service Management Consultancy” role – a more hazy job description than “Application Support and Configuration” that’s for sure, but let’s save that explanation for another day, when I’ve explored it more myself perhaps!

Year 1 Reflections – Richard Cure

Hi! I’m Richard and I’d like to share with you in my first blog post on how I got to IBM, my current role right now, and what I have learnt so far from my experiences with IBM.

My journey so far:

Having finished A-Levels with grades in Computing, Maths and Spanish in summer 2014 I knew I wanted to pursue a career in IT or Spanish. I ended up applying to Bristol University to study Computer Science with a year abroad and was lucky enough to receive an offer.

I also looked at apprenticeships as I knew they were viable alternatives to university. So in addition to my university application I applied to a handful of IT companies for their apprenticeship schemes, IBM being one of them.

After passing some online tests I was sent to Reading, for an assessment centre for another company’s apprenticeship scheme and naturally I was rather nervous. I did my best in the group activities and received an offer, but first I wanted to see what IBM could offer me. After a phone interview with an IBM employee and more online tests I travelled to Portsmouth for my second assessment centre. The day went well and a presentation from existing IBM apprentices affirmed what I already knew about the benefits of the scheme and what would happen for the duration of the apprenticeship.

A few months later I was contacted again to set up a final interview for the role I am doing now. This time however I felt relaxed and confident going into it because I knew what to expect having experienced interviews in my previous assessment centres. I think this showed in the interview and I was ecstatic to receive confirmation that I would start at IBM shortly after, so long as onboarding checks and associated paperwork etc. went well, which they did.

So overall it was a long process, but well worth it in the end.

Before joining IBM I had to make the difficult decision to defer my university offer but half a year later, I ultimately rejected my offer – this wasn’t too difficult after having worked as an apprentice for a while.

Now I’ve spent the last year and a bit on an IBM Programme mainly made up of application development projects aiming to develop, support and maintain a number of applications for an interesting customer and it’s been great!

What I’m doing now:

To explain a bit more about my main role – I’m working as a Build Specialist in the Server Build team, which entails looking after 200+ servers being used by my colleagues for project work (for those reading who aren’t sure what a “server” is, think of a server being like a powerful desktop computer without a monitor which performs a specific task). Our main responsibilities in the Build team are to make sure the servers are up to date software-wise and fixing any issues related to the computer environment which come our way before we hand over the servers to the test team. If testing is successful then whatever we have installed on our systems ends up in the hands of the customer to install on their systems, so it’s important we get it right first time and don’t miss anything! All these servers perform different roles and have different hardware and software requirements and specifications, so there’s been a lot learnt over the last year and for sure more to come.

In this role I’ve applied a variety of different skills, ranging from technical skills – understanding and operating the systems running on the servers (we’ve got at least 3: Windows, Linux and AIX – IBM’s own version of Linux) to personal skills – dealing with the customer, and speaking to them to arrange hardware fixes as the physical side of the servers are managed by the customer, to practical hands on skills – looking after the hardware devices physically in the office such as printers and taking responsibility for them.

The project likes to test us in different areas too, so in addition to my primary job role I’m also doing a Measurements Analyst role. It’s a natural fit for me because in this role I have free reign to look at the all data produced from the Programme which is held from a wide range of sources – databases, project logs, etc. and collate it to make sense of it, which I really enjoy. This means I get to build on my programming skills acquired from A-Level study and create informative graphs and charts which I present regularly to management. Recently I’ve been challenged with developing the estimation tool for faults used by the Project Managers to create estimates which feed in to the scheduling of their projects. This meant researching, understanding, and implementing linear regression and other statistical concepts such as Cook’s Distance into the existing tool, so I had to dig out my old statistics revision notes to help me out – who says you’ll never use Maths in your day job!

Thirdly, another role I’ve been assigned is Software Quality Analyst where I get to learn about the different software projects by interviewing the Project Managers and personnel involved and at the end of it, produce a report on whether they’ve been following best practices and procedures to ensure the quality of the project and its deliverables (by deliverables I mean work produced like software packages and project documentation to be given to the customer).

Overall it’s a lot of work, and really tests me as an early professional day in day out, but as a consequence I’ve grown in confidence, widened my knowledge and gained vital experience which you could argue university students and graduates lack to a degree (excuse the pun).

The main things I’ve learnt:

Qualifications aren’t everything. Sure they help to set a bench mark for knowledge, but it really is about the skills you can offer, and how you perform within a team to a) get things done b) add value to the business c) grow yourself, skills and career.

What things I was strong at, and what things I thought I was good at but actually wasn’t and need to work on more.

About independent living – I’ve had to move away from home and orientate myself in a new city, which has been really exciting but daunting at the same time.

How to navigate IBM. IBM is huge and have offices across the world, therefore you can’t avoid the news about what the company is doing. When I started I did find it difficult to work out which parts to pay attention to and which parts to filter out because everything was exciting and new to me. The structure and organisation side of IBM such as the employee’s homepage has improved a lot recently so it’s easier to find your way around and also now I have a feeling of the topics which interest me more than others, so I can channel my efforts and energy into what’s most important at the time. Also there’s a whole network of people you can ask to point you in the right direction.

Make the most of your time off – when you compare a full time job to studying the difference in free time is light years – so I’ve learnt to appreciate how valuable your spare time is. IBM supports you with this in the fact you can buy or sell holiday days in addition to the 25 days each year plus bank holidays. I really enjoyed having the opportunity to go on holiday to see Australia and New Zealand a few weeks ago which was amazing. I certainly would not have had been able to do this had I been at University!

Hard work pays off – I was recognised by the Programme Manager in the form of a Project Award only a few months after I joined. This really surprised me but definitely made me feel valued as part of the team even though I was only there for a short period of time.

 

Thanks for taking the time to read my first post, and I’m looking forward to what’s ahead – summer, training courses, the eventual completion of my apprenticeship qualification, and more posts of course!

Richard

Oliver Pope-Mostowicz on ‘An Introduction to Education Opportunities @ IBM’

Hello again.

So far we’ve had a number of great posts from a number of the IBM Apprentice community, introducing themselves and giving you a taste as to why they decided to bold decision to commit to an apprenticeship rather than take the more traditional route of attending University (and there will be a couple more in the next few weeks, introducing you to the last members of the full time blogging team so make sure you keep an eye out for those).

I thought however that it was about time that we gave you more of an insight into the benefits that we have already gained from choosing this route in furthering our education, and in this post I will be focussing specifically on that – how I have furthered my education by joining IBM.

Now, as I am sure you are fully aware – having seen the huge variety of personalities and experiences already documented in this blog – the education path that I have taken in the nearly two years that I have been with IBM will be completely different to that of any other apprentice so bear in mind: if the below doesn’t directly appeal to you – you can do pretty much anything in the IBM Apprenticeship in terms of education (as I suspect future posts will show). But back to me …

One of the great things about the IBM Apprenticeship scheme is no assumptions are made of your previous experience or knowledge, whilst at the same time any lack of experience or direct knowledge does not mean you will be excluded from doing exciting work. I have a basic background knowledge of IT and technical fundamentals (I studied Computer Science at college and for a year at University – see https://ibmapprentice.wordpress.com/2014/03/31/oliver-pope-tivoli-storage-manager-support-specialist-sept-2012-present-2/ for more on this), but I joined the Tivoli Storage Manager support team with precisely zero knowledge in the product or in formal problem determination techniques. In the first week, I spent a number of hours with my team leader going through the product’s fundamental concepts and how the IBM support ticket process worked. I also spent a couple of days working in a virtual lab environment on my work laptop, working on the product and getting to grips with how it worked. Within the first two weeks, I was asked to start picking up real support tickets, talk to real client and resolve real problems! Although I had the support of my team sitting next to me, the introduction to the product was delivered, the expectations of my team in terms of my client interaction were explained and I was asked to start working. It was great! This was exactly what I had wanted from education and precisely the reason I had chosen an apprenticeship over the University experience. Crucially however, my education didn’t stop there.

One of the words synonymous with IBM since it’s early days under Thomas J. Watson sr is THINK. Out of this has come the THINK40 campaign – every IBMer, no matter who they are, or what role they perform, should do 40 hours of education every year. We are a company focussed on ‘restlessly reinventing’ ourselves and the company. These fundamental beliefs has led to a company that spends a huge amount of time and money on its’ employees to develop each IBMer to be the best they can be. What these ideals mean to me is that, although the informal education from my team meant that I was perfectly capable of performing my job, IBM wanted me to learn more. In real terms, this meant 2 weeks in London, attending formal education on Tivoli Storage Manager (the product I support) that resulted in me now being certified as an IBM Tivoli Storage Manager administrator with further qualifications in advanced administration, tuning and troubleshooting. Oh, and in case you were wondering, those 2 weeks were all paid for by IBM (travel, hotel, meals etc)!

But wait … there’s more! On top of a culture that pushes you to develop your skills in areas that directly affect your day job, IBM also understands that you may not work in one role for your entire career. Foundation (the part of IBM that covers all Apprentices’, Graduates’, Interns etc) understands that this is even more pertinent for IBMers at the start of their career. You are therefore, as an Apprentice, able to attend education that has no direct relation to your current role, but will help you develop your knowledge and skillset for your career aspirations and future roles. For this reason, I will be attending a four day course on IT architecture (specifically the thinking processes/framework used in IT architecture – the design of high level solutions to business problems/requirements) – again, being covered for travel, hotels and meals by IBM. Oh, and this time it’s not in London …. I’ll be going to Vienna, Austria for this education! I’m sure I’ll be able to write a fair amount on this opportunity in a later post.

Outside of the technical education that I have detailed above (and I do appreciate that I have listed very technical courses – that’s just in line with the career I am aspiring to) there is a huge amount of formal education within the Foundation development path that focusses specifically on your ‘soft’, business skills like the understanding of a project and it’s lifecycle, how to communicate to your peers, managers and clients’ and more. We will get more in-depth posts about these courses when some of the team attend them, but having attended all of them myself, I cannot say enough about them. The courses are hugely informative, delivered in an exciting and engaging way, they teach critical (and timeless) business skills, and are all residential stays in nice hotels with the other apprentices’ in your intake – so are a great opportunity to network and start building your list of contacts.

We’ll be diving deeper into education opportunities in future posts on this blog, but hopefully the above has given you a good taste of the opportunities available to you when you become an IBM Apprentice, and really does show that an apprenticeship is a viable alternative to University. By the time you graduate from the Apprenticeship you will have a full toolkit of skills and education, plus the 2-3 years of industry training to kickstart your career. The education possibilities are pretty limitless and are tailored to developing you in the way that want in line with the career you aspire to. And with the correct education, there really is no limit to what you can achieve!

Nirjeet Gorvara on ‘Why to do a Technical Role’?

This is my second post for this blog and I want to keep this post around “Why is there a need for Apprentices’ to do a Technical Role?” and expand into the opportunities for learning/developing technical skills alongside the recommended courses with IBM.

Why is there a need for technical Apprentices?

In personal development books or strategies, I have rarely seen anything mentioned on how to develop and maintain strong technical skills.

I believe having solid technical skills is becoming increasingly important and I don’t see this changing any time soon. This is because computers (and indeed most other technologies) are becoming easier to use but cutting edge technology is more complicated than ever. I think it is this complexity that can intimidate people and they therefore don’t consider learning or developing their technical skills.

For Example: Why Do We See Technical Skills in Business Analyst roles?

Most Business Analyst roles now involve working on IT projects meaning that a large part of the solution they are working on is implemented in software. Importantly however, to perform BA work you don’t have to be technical or have a technical background.

Having said that, I believe it is important to have some general understanding of software systems. A basic knowledge of servers, databases and client side technology is definitely helpful as this will help to lead more effective communication with the implementation team to understand how long a particular piece of work will take.

As a Technical Solution Specialist and having been an IBM apprentice for just over 16 months now, I believe it is important to have some understanding and skills on the technical side of IT.

My Current Role: Functional Tester

As a Functional Tester my role is revolved around “BASE24”.

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BASE24 performs a number of functions, all of which are designed to support payment systems. “It is used to acquire, authenticate, route, switch, and authorize financial transactions across multiple channels” and supports transactions over other ‘interchanges’ such as VISA LINK and MasterCard. One of its main functions is to operate as “an EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) processing and switching system that provides ATM support and management including transaction routing and authorization, Electronic Data Interchange, settlement, reporting, network control, and stored-value card functionality.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BASE24

BASE24 can run on high availability servers to ensure that businesses are provided with resilient and high performance payment processing solutions to ensure they can process the required level of consumer transactions.

This is my fourth role in 16 months so you can see that within IBM there’s nothing stopping you from developing and moving on in the organisation.

Opportunities with IBM

Being on this particular role for over 4 months now I have decided to specialise and do one of the recommended courses – ISTQB® (International Software Testing Qualifications Board) – within IBM. As a ‘Functional Tester’ it is a good opportunity for me to develop and have this qualification for my growth so I can progress in future. Now that I have written this post you can see there isn’t anything stopping you to do what you enjoy.

Apply for the IBM Apprenticeship and develop yourself into what you enjoy.

http://www-05.ibm.com/employment/uk/school-leavers/apply_now.shtml

Thomas Cope – An introduction…

Hello it’s me, Tom.C!

I am an Apprentice working as an “AIX and Infrastructure and Security specialist” at IBM. Now you’re probably thinking to yourself; what on earth is AIX? Well AIX is IBM’s UNIX operating system – it’s like Linux (but I prefer AIX!). You can read about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_AIX or http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/power/software/aix/about.html . So what do I do exactly? Well one of the great things about the IBM Apprenticeship is that you can do a lot of different things; I help to support, maintain and upgrade 300 servers on my project, I help with project security and writing scripts / programs. I have also worked as a design architect and performance analyst.pbox

So that’s what I do in a nut shell. What about me? So my name is Thomas Cope. I’m a gaming / inventing / programming enthusiast. I enjoy Team Fortress 2 , Minecraft and Garry’s Mod. I spend my free time tinkering with my IBM P-series server (shown below) or creating Java, C, C# applications.

I have created my own programming language using C++ and recreated HACMP (an IBM product) for Minecraft. This means you can share a server with a friend and when one of you goes offline the server will move off their computer and on to yours so your Minecraft server will always stay online. I have created my own command line computer using my Arduino which is attached to the printer and willarduinoOS print off my to-do list everyday so I know what I need to do that day.

As you might have guessed I’m a bit of a techie and that’s the reason why I decided to go for the IBM apprenticeship – it is the one place knew I could get a hands on experience. It was recommended to me both by my college and by my parents, So I decided to give it a go. I filled out the online form, sent it off and hoped for the best. Lo and behold I got to the next stage where I performed an aptitude test online. After that I went to an Assessment centre at IBM Southbank (London) where I had to give a personal presentation, partake in a business interview and attend some group activity’s. In the group activities we had to work as a team to solve logic problems.

After a couple of weeks I received a phone call to say I had been accepted into IBM!

So where am I now? Well due to the diversity of IBM I have tried a lot of new things; I have performed hardware maintenance at multiple data centres, installing IBM P-series / Linux Blades / Disk arrays. I have built an entire operating environment, architect a solution for a new project, performed performance analytics and created a document for the client. I have programmed in different languages, creating innovative applications to help both myself and the project to perform better and complete tasks quicker. Examples of this are ASP which can search 1,000 of log files to find error codes for faster debugging, AIXadmin which can perform LDAP and local account administration tasks to help users login more easily and an automatic “Build Compliance” checker to make sure servers are kept within strict guidelines.

Last and definitely not least thanks to the apprenticeship I have been able to attend multiple programming courses in C, C++,C# and Java as well as IBM products such as TDS (Tivoli Directory Server), along with gaining massive amounts of hands on experience.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post and I look forward to posting more in the future.

—That was me Tom.C.