If you're like me, you're facing a very different world these days as the holiday shopping quickly flies by. That's right if you're like me you're on a budget this year. First let me be the first to admit that I've never been very good with my personal budgeting. Although I am proud to say that I've done a pretty good job of managing millions and millions and millions (I just like to say millions) of dollars over the years here at IBM, somehow my professional skills in budget planning, tracking, adjusting and praying (yes, I'll admit the occasional Hail Mary never hurt the quarter close in my books) never quite made their way into my personal life. However, this year with a still recovering worldwide economy and one daughter in college and another one headed to college next year, I am finally trying to develop some much needed personal budget constraint. So I've quickly learned a really great holiday shopping tip that I'd like to share with all of you.... finding stuff marked "take an additional 50% off" of already drastically reduced low, low prices is a really good start but finding FREE STUFF that people really want is the REAL SECRET to successful holiday shopping. So hold on here a minute, is it just me, or don't you think that if something is marked 50% off and then the sign says "take an additional 50% off" that what they really meant to say is "IT'S FREE!!??" Well, I'll let you know after my upcoming 4 am Black Friday shopping expedition if I manage to convince a few retailers that they really meant to give away the big screen TV and the blu-ray player. This year, I'd even settle for a few free iphones.
In order to meet your holiday shopping needs, I am pleased to say that here at IBM we recognize the value of really great, world class FREE STUFF. Riding very high on our list of truly remarkable bargains is developerWorks and the ever growing My developerWorks professional network and community. I know it's hard to believe, but everything that we offer here is absolutely FREE! So this year, may I suggest you give the gift of My developerWorks to your millions of IT colleagues around the world. They'll be thanking your for this gift for years to come!