I work for a large information technology company called IBM.

I’ve worked in IBM since 1995, which sounds like a terribly long time ago now. My role has changed in ways I couldn’t really imagine, or certainly plan for. I started as a developer on the mainframe coding in something called PL/1. Its very possible that stands for Programming Language 1.

It wasnt long before I developed an interest in messaging and became a consultant in the WebSphere brand of products, WebSphere MQ and Broker as well as our BPM stack. I spent a lot of time  helping customers in the banking and insurance industry but occasionally had the opportunity to visit military installations and had the interesting experience of having one person check my ID, while another looked on with an assault rifle.

Now, I work as an Information Architect with WebSphere MQ, in the Hursley Labs near Winchester.  Having the opportunity to work in the Labs rather than from it, its difficult not to be influenced by the ethos of innovation.

As a result, something that I pursue during my lunchbreak is the creation of ‘interesting’ patents (inventions!).

Its probably fair to say that my invention ideas have provided family, friends and colleagues a constant source of  wonder and joy over the past year, which is roughly when I started playing in the patent process.

Its been an interesting experience. Sometimes frustrating. Often rewarding. Always hilarious. And that I believe is just the right balance.

I came to the conclusion fairly early on, that if it was no fun, it wasn’t something I was going to persevere at for any length of time.

And so, I managed to surround myself with lovely, funny and supportive people, who  were  keen to explore ideas, no matter how crazy they sounded and let the conversation steer the thought to something potentially novel and worthwhile.

After a year I was rewarded with a 1st plateau invention award.  A milestone which meant  I had a number of ideas which IBM felt could be taken forward successfully as patents.

Here it is…


Always nice to get a plaque!