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IBMer Spotlight: Meet Holly Cummins

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HOLLYWe grab a coffee with IBMers from around the world, and share our chat in this weekly spotlight series. This week you can meet Holly, from IBM UK.

In the morning, I like my coffee…
Always espresso. 🙂  

When I get up to go to work, I look forward to…
trying out ideas I’ve had overnight. Writing code is a series of challenges – how do we make the computer do this? How do we express this idea in a way that will be maintainable? If I leave work with a problem left unsolved, I’ll often come up with an solution overnight, and then I’m itching to get into work, tell my colleagues about it to see if they like the plan, and then try it out to see if it actually works. 

I am responsible for..
talking to customers about if their ideas are even possible, then figuring out how to use technology do achieve what they need, and then actually making it real.  

My typical day…
is really varied. Some weeks I’ll be working on a project, pair programming with a colleague or client. Other weeks I’ll be meeting with potential clients to explain what we do or doing exploration of new technologies are so that my team stays up to date with the latest innovations. 

The coolest part of my job is…
meeting clients from all industries and hearing about how their business works. I’ve worked with doctors trying to reduce childbirth mortality in Africa, fashion retailers, individuals trying to break records, truck drivers – and they’re all so interesting. Every customer I meet teaches me things I didn’t know about the world I live in.  

The biggest challenge I have….
is time! There’s so much I want to do and I hate saying no, but I’m learning that I can’t fit in everything.  

Most memorable moment in my career…
was giving my first international talk. I thought I might be sick, I was so nervous, but as soon as I started talking and realised that two hundred Scandinavians really wanted to hear what I knew about Java Garbage Collection (which had seemed like a pretty obscure subject), it felt amazing.  

Top piece of career advice…
Follow what you love. If it doesn’t feel good doing it, odds are you’re not doing a great job, either. 


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