For the 4th year in a row I have been named an IBM Champion. It was extremely unexpected and I thoroughly believed my 1,000th blog post would be a farewell post. For the record this is post #997 of this blog.
It seems the judges have other ideas and intended to keep me going for another year. This is not something you win by being voted on by your friends or ballot stuffing on Facebook, it is a process in which, I hear, over 25 IBMers have votes. 300,000+ people in company and 25 or so vote on us!
Ecstatically pleased some of my friends who are Champions were renewed including some one I nominated was accepted this year.
Some great friends are also now included, as are many of the people who organize some of the world wide user group conferences. I don't want to single any of them out because honestly, I feel bad I did not think to nominate some of them. Thank God other people were not so forgetful.
There are probably dozens of Champions, past and present, I would love to be with at every event, listening to their wisdom, sharing stories over drinks or just helping with problems they get stuck on and I hope many feel the same way about me.
My recent trips to Social Connections 9 and SUTOL brought me to meetup in person many Champions (and some we didn't know yet would be announced today) and friends I so rarely get to hang out with that it is like a family reunion when we do get to hang out. I got to know some people a little better than prior years. It helps to have an open mind and be respectful of each other to appreciate them even more because maybe at one time I, or they, were not in a good place or state of mind and life is too short to not be happy for everyone.
We work hard, some of us travel non stop, some of us work with multiple clients and projects, some of us are dedicated to one client or employer, some of us are not able to get to too many events or even one, some of us even find time for our families too. Some have hobbies, some do not, some brew their own beer, the rest of us just drink it, some prefer the cold, others the heat, some are artists, some play musical instruments, some run, some bike, some hike, some are administrators, some are developers, some are business partners, some are IBM Customers, and some are in sales or marketing for their organizations.
Our aim is for a better and more collaborative world for all of our current and future customers.
Sadly, this is also the end of my three years as an IBM Champion for Websphere and I appreciate all the WAS Champions I met over the years, some of whom I wish I could see more often.
Here's to the Class of 2016!
May we all enjoy the fruits of our labors and share a drink some time this coming year.