Ember Crooks: IBM Gold Consultant
I am proud to announce that IBM has named me as an IBM Gold Consultant!!
What is a Gold Consultant? IBM’s mission statement for the Gold Consultant program:
The IBM Gold Consultant Program is for Independent Consultants who deliver superior consulting services to IBM clients, with demonstrated technical leadership, vast industry experience, market knowledge and digital presence. IBM and The Gold Consultants will align on strategy, priorities and initiatives to contribute to the collective benefit of IBM Clients.
One year ago, I was competing in DB2’s Got Talent and preparing for my first IDUG presentation. As of the North American IDUG technical conference in 2013, I had not even made IBM Champion yet. And here I am at Gold Consultant. Whee, what a ride!
I did not get here by sitting around. I’ve been participating the IBM DB2 community to the tune of hundreds of hours. I won’t go through last year again, but you can read about it in my year end blog entry. Unless I want to add a “navel gazing” category for posts, I have to be careful about how many of these kinds of posts I do!
I also did not get here by myself. I met Jim Reed thanks to Ian Bjorhovde, and I believe that Scott Hayes and Klaas Brant also helped to advance my cause in the IBM Gold Consultant arena behind the scenes. I know several other Gold Consultants who I suspect might have said nice things or helped me out without me knowing it. And that doesn’t even count the people who have given me opportunities or helped me be the best I can be – Susan Visser, Melanie Stopfer, and so many others.
Even with this new honor, I still don’t consider my current career goal of becoming an “internationally recognized db2 guru” completed. For every blog entry I write there are probably dozens of DBAs out there who know more than I do on that specific topic. I’m just the one writing it down. I ask questions and pull on a network of contacts. I have some idea of the size of knowledge I do not have, and it is vast. Also, there’s no such thing as achieving such a goal and just resting. My skills would quickly get out of date. And I’m not much for resting for very long anyway.
I have carved my own career path. The typical path to promotion at my company involves heavy involvement with either management or business development to move up, and I have made my own by deciding to blog and keep up with it. Establishing myself as a recognized and published expert in my field is my differentiator. For any aspiring bloggers out there, I won’t kid you, it is a LOT of work to keep up with. I have nearly given up on hobbies, and have been trying to get a good start in reading the same Sci-fi novel for several weeks now. Most of my non-work, non-family time is dedicated to blogging. I have seen at least a dozen promising bloggers start out, and then give up in weeks or months. But if you do keep up with it, and you do look for and take full advantage of other opportunities along the way – writing for developerWorks, presenting for users groups and conferences, presenting on the DB2Night show, and so on, then it will get you further than you imagined when you started out. The primary qualifications for blogging are curiosity, ability to ask questions, persistence, very basic writing skills (which improve with time), and a willingness to mess with the technical details of a blog.
I did not start blogging with the goal of getting accolades or IBM Champion or IBM Gold Consultant. I started blogging because when I searched the internet on things, I didn’t find what I was looking for. I knew that people out there knew it, but that knowledge wasn’t generally available, or was buried in some nonsensical location in the Info Center. I wanted to share what I knew and develop my own repository of knowledge. I didn’t even think when I started that it would help much towards my goal of being more like Melanie Stopfer, or towards promotions at work, but it has. I never dreamed blogging would take me this far.
Thank you, readers, for your support. It is a good day in my world.