How I got started in Notes

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Well it’s fairly simple really…

I’ve only had one employer since graduating from UMIST (University of Manchester) with an Honours degree in Mechanical Engineering. I did a year out with Careforce, a Christian volunteer organisation for pre or post graduates. I worked in a hostel for homeless young men in Manchester for year.

It was during that year out that I applied for various graduate posts in both engineering and IT companies. I’m grateful that the opportunity came from an IT company. My observation of and contact with engineers, is that is a more static and conservative industry in which to chart a career; and can be more vulnerable to pressures within an economy.

My first experience of a Notes client was within my 1st week at work (after all that induction stuff).  I had to complete and sign-off on a number of CBTs (Danger, Danger! – Notes newbie!); before being let loose on a Notes 4.5.3a client on a Windows NT4 workstation. My first role was an NT4 (Windows) administration and support for customer of ours.

From there I went through a series of short-term placement (6 months); in VMS/Vax Administration (learnt DCL); was a business analyst for a pre-Y2K infrastructure refresh and desktop rollout.  It was during that time as a business analyst I meet my friend and colleague Stuart. My final placement was in the Notes administration team that Stuart was soon to become team lead; I was glad to be offered a permanent place on the team, and so as they say “the rest is history.”

One thing I’ve always found to be an advantage with Notes is its independence of workstation credentials (Workgroup/AD etc).  I think I’ve spent at least half my years or more working a customer  Windows domain or network; but always (apart from serious power or network outages) be able to connect to my employer’s Notes/Domino domain.  Also as an Notes administrator it was necessary to run multiple ids and domains; I wonder what the record is for the number of Notes domains managed from a single client?

I’ve worked with Stuart in various administration and project roles for around 5-6 years. Achieving Dual PCLP in both Notes 5 and Notes 6. As my career has advanced my role has been increasingly project based with a good dose of infrastructure or architectural know-how required.

Since the start of 2008, I have been in my new role as a Technical Product Manager. My particular area of ownership is team project or workspaces; so I look after solution offering from an engineering point of view for products such IBM WebSphere Portal, Microsoft SharePoint, IBM Lotus Quickr etc.



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