This week we are back in the Littleton office to chat with Phil Wall. As the Rational Client Support Knowledge Management Team lead, Phil has a big hand in our KCS (knowledge centered support) program, but don't let that fool you... he's not just a techie geek, he also has a serious love for hands on work like welding and construction as you'll find below.
Tell us a little about yourself: who are you, what is your role in Rational Client Support? How long have you been working for IBM and Rational? Have you had any other roles in Rational? What project are you the most proud of?
My name is Phillip Wall and I am the Knowledge Management Team Lead within IBM Rational Software Client Support. I'm 28 years old and about to be 29 in November living and working in Easter Massachusetts. I have been with IBM Rational Software for the last almost 7 years (7 years in February 2011) and I have been in the Information Technologies field for the last 12 years in total even while still in High School and Shawsheen Valley Technical High School in Billerica, MA where I studied Electronics.
Within Rational I have worked in many teams, project teams and have held a few titles in my tenure. I started out as a Technical Support Engineer supporting Rational SoDA and Rational Project Console. This was a welcome change over the job I left in Varian Semiconductor of Gloucester, MA where I was working as a Electro Mechanical Assembler installing and calibrating Ion Implanters on the third shift.
I started in Rational one year after its acquisition by IBM and quickly progressed from a Technical Support Engineer to a Escalation Engineer working with development engineers to prioritize and rectify complex issues and defects that were reported by my client base. As I progressed into the Escalation Engineer Role Engineer. After being in the Escalation Engineer Role for a while, I think almost a year I heard of a new team starting up called the Information Development team. After putting my name into the hat I was selected as one of the members of the New Information Development Team.
Our Charter was to get knowledge into the Knowledge Base and to clean up the existing Knowledge to conform to our content standards... Fast forward three and some change years and you have the Knowledge Management Team were I am now the Team Lead.
Currently the Knowledge Management Team is tuning our Knowledge Centered Support methodology, our Social Media strategies and our Metrics Reporting vehicles.
Currently I'm working with the IBM Cognos products to develop Knowledge based reports and metrics to better guide Rationals investments in KCS and in our Knowledge Base.
Getting KCS into IBM is one of the projects I'm most proud of. It's taken almost three years to get KCS a foothold into IBM, but now Rational, Information Management, and Cognos are running KCS programs to better serve our clients with the knowledge they need and seek from support. We are getting KCS into the IBM organization but its had to start off as a grassroots effort.
What are you currently working on?
Currently I'm working on developing a new Cognos Insight Dashboard to help the Rational Organization better "see" how our investments in Knowledge, Knowledge Management and Knowledge Centered Support.
Describe a normal day for you.
HAHAHAH A Normal day? As a team lead I never have a normal day... Whether its getting tasked with a special project from my manager or its issues or opportunities presented to me by my teammates no two days are the same. Its always a craps shoot to what I'm going to be hearing or working on.
Do you have an "on the job" hero? If you could "follow" anyone for 24 hours, who would it be?
HHHmmm Stalking.... um, I don't really have the want to stalk some one but I do look up to people in Rational one of which is Dale Hobill. A mover and shaker, Dale is always working on something new, fresh, and important. Its Dale's personality that I look up to the most, he's a very straight forward and with the right company, a blunt person.
What gadget, which you currently own, can you not live without?
We live in a Gadget time I couldn't live without my BlackBerry and all the apps yes blackberry has apps just like you iPhone owners. I have too many gadgets, whether its the Ooma VOIP phone or the neatdesk scanner or the vtech direc 6 phone that links my cell phone in using bluetooth I love my gadgets.
What is your favorite part of working for Rational Client Support?
The People! I love the People! Honestly I work work with many many good people.
What are you passionate about?
My passion is all around doing the best job I'm capable of in all the random situations I'm thrown in... My second passion is learning and teaching..
What tip or trick would you like to share with the class?
Its not a necessarily a tip or trick but its a saying I try and live by: "Wisdom comes from Fools and from Sages"
What's the coolest piece of tech news you've heard lately?
New advancements in graphene
In your spare time, if you have any, what hobbies or activities interest you?
Owning and operating my own construction management and general contracting business.
I also do allot of buying and selling of equipment and tools through eBay and Craigslist I love fixing and building all sorts of things, from trailers to snowblowers to computers and java coding.
What is on your nightstand with regard to reading?
The Welders Handbook
How are you using social networking today?
I'm using it to maintain my professional network via LinkedIn and Facebook. After all, it is who you know, not always just what you know. Keeping a great network is a key to success.
If you were stuck on a technology deprived island, what single technology could you not live without?
Electricity, its a keystone to many of the technology we depend on now...
How do you define success?
Success is relative. It all depends on what you are looking to get from what you are putting into it. Achieving goals, meeting goals, or even defining new goals based on the fruits of your labors.