This week we turn the spotlight on Andy Farmery, our Operations Manager for the AP region based out of Sydney, Australia. Andy is a subject matter expert on "Problem Solving and Decision Making" and has some wonderful perspectives on gadgets, technology, and learning.
Tell us a little about yourself: who are you, what is your role in Rational Client Support?
My official role is "Operations Manager" for RCS AP, which seems to loosely translate into "Jack of all trades".
On a personal level, I am married with one child and a Golden Retriever that firmly believes 'she' is the leader of the pack and we are just around to serve her needs.
How long have you been working for IBM and Rational?
I started with Rational Software in March 1998 and I have been here ever since.
Have you had any other roles in Rational?
I have fulfilled a number of roles within RCS AP, but nothing outside.
What are you currently working on?
This questionnaire ... boom-boom !!
Describe a normal day for you.
I think a 'Normal' day for me is helping the engineers here in AP to think through the challenges they have. Basically being a second (or third, or fourth) set of eyes to look at issues from a different perspective.
What project are you the most proud of?
An easy one ... RCS's adoption of KT (Kepner-Tregoe) is definitely the project I am most proud of. Of course it is not (and never will be) finished, but we are making consistent progress toward 'rational thinking' being a part of RCS's DNA.
Do you have an "on the job" hero? If you could "follow" anyone for 24 hours, who would it be?
Hero? No. However I would love to follow Sam Palmisano around for 24hrs, as I am intrigued to know what someone at that level actually does.
Are you a gadget person?
I am absolutely a gadget person.
What type of gadgets do you use?
The ones my wife let's me buy !
What gadget, which you currently own, can you not live without?
None. Any 'gadget' that becomes essential is by my definition no longer a gadget
What is your favorite part of working for Rational Client Support?
Over the past few years it has definitely been teaching KT Resolve to our engineers ... and getting to do that in both India and China as well as Oz.
What inspires you in your work?
Learning. I get bored easily, so the ever present opportunity to learn new things in RCS is what has kept me going.
What are you passionate about?
I think those that know me would say I seem to be able to get fairly passionate about anything I am engaged in 'discussion' on :-)
What tip or trick would you like to share with the class?
"Don't just do something ... stand there!!" -- It's OK to stop and think, especially in our job. Too often I see engineers getting clients to 'do stuff' just to be seen to be doing something.
Tell me about the biggest problem you've solved?
Convincing RCS to adopt KT was a pretty big one.
Tell me about the biggest problem ahead for you?
My son growing up. He's eight now, and he's already got teenage-angst down to an art form ... I'm scared to think of what's coming.
In your spare time, if you have any, what hobbies or activities interest you?
I like to play computer games, strategy mostly as I don't have the reflexes for the action based stuff. Also this year I plan on getting back to playing football (soccer) after a long hiatus.
If you were stuck on a technology deprived island, what single technology could you not live without?
I think the wheel might be pretty handy
What is on your nightstand with regard to reading?
Alpha Beta -- a book about the history of our alphabet and it's impact on our culture
What future technology would make your life easier?
Superconductivity (at 'normal' temperatures ) would change our lives
How do you grow your technical skills?
More reading and listening ... less talking
How do you prefer to find answers to your questions?
Quickly and easily
How are you using social networking today?
Poorly. Actually, that is probably an over-optimistic assessment ... not at all is closer to the truth
How could you see yourself using it in 5 years?
I don't see a lot changing here. This is where my generational-gap shows.