This week we bring the spotlight back into Massachusetts for Aaron Cohen. Aaron is a code-slinger by trade and works to ensure Rational Client Support has the tools necessary to effectively and efficiently get the job done, be it in a technical support role, or in client self assist initiatives. One special editor's call out here to say that Aaron's twitter account, serving as his personal "Notes to Self", proves to be as amusing as it is useful.... you'll likely want to check it out. Now, without further ado, I present Aaron Cohen:
Tell us a little about yourself: who are you, what is your role in Rational Client Support?
As a serviceability and tool developer, I am responsible for creating/maintaining a wide variety of tools that are both internal and external to IBM.
How long have you been working for IBM and Rational?
I first joined Rational after graduating back in 2003.
Have you had any other roles in Rational?
When I first joined Rational, I worked as a software engineer supporting Rational's Testing Tools. It was an outstanding team to work with and I learned a lot about working with customers. After 2 years, I moved to our Global Support Enablement in my current role.
However about 2 years ago I took a break from my current role and worked as the Jazz Support Team lead. It was a truly unique experience. The Jazz platform was in an open beta and open to everyone's feedback on how it should be molded into a flagship product.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on several project but only 2 of them are externally visible at the moment. The first is The IBM Software Support Toolbar. We built this solution in order to help clients better find the information they need on IBM.COM. The second solution is the IBM Rational Web Serviceability Tool. This is a web based tool which launches autonomic computing scripts in a minimal interface.
Describe a normal day for you.
Normal? What's that?
What project are you the most proud of?
A few years ago I created a tool called RDTE (Rational Diagnostic Tool For Eclipse). It would scan the filesystem and find/diagnose Eclipse configurations that had previously been run. It was a fun project that gave me insight into the internals of how Eclipse worked.
Are you a gadget person? What type of gadgets do you use?
I am a gadget guy! There is no way I can deny it. I currently have an iPhone 4 and have been bringing myself up to speed on iPhone application development.
What is your favorite part of working for Rational Client Support?
It has to be the RCS Community. There are a lot of outstanding people who work here.
What inspires you in your work?
I am consistently, pleasantly surprised with new problems to solve.
What are you passionate about?
I enjoy working with most shiny happy technologies and solving problems.
What tip or trick would you like to share with the class?
If at any point the problem you are solving looks fuzzy, talk to the customer or your stakeholders.
In your spare time, if you have any, what hobbies or activities interest you?
In my free time I enjoy scuba diving, cycling, and hiking.
If you were stuck on a technology deprived island, what single technology could you not live without?
Too scary... not thinking about it.
How do you grow your technical skills?
I am consistently curious. This drives me to read articles, forums, and books to keep my skill sup to date. I often attend presentations and listen to how others are solving problems. Recently I have gained a lot of value out of presenting deep dives into how I solve problems and listen to feedback of how others believe I could do it better.
How do you prefer to find answers to your questions?
Google first and reach out to a community if that fails.
How are you using social networking today?
I am on twitter (@aaronmcohen).