Education Extreme Blue inspiration Reflections

I am an IBMer

cate sam palmisano
Credit: ShaoWei Png

Tomorrow is the last day of Extreme Blue. At the US Expo in New York last week, I stood 6ft from Sam Palmisano, and listened to him talk about IBM’s vision for a smarter planet. He spoke about why we need to build a smarter planet and how IBM is trying to engineer this vision.

That was the day that I “got it”. Earlier the same day, Nick Donofrio had talked to us about the origin of Extreme Blue, the importance of focusing on the problem and how IBM almost died in 1993 and how, since the reinvention, the company approaches innovation.

Numerous IBMers have talked to me about how great it is to work for a company that has reinvented itself multiple times. Finally, I understand the magnitude of the change – I get it. I am proud to be an IBMer – even if it has only been temporary.

However, here’s the most awesome thing. It doesn’t feel temporary. Wherever happens – wherever I go next, whatever I end up doing – I’m taking these values with me.

Focus on the Problem.


Act with Integrity.

2 replies on “I am an IBMer”

Extreme Blue is certainly the experience of a lifetime. It’s unfortunate that the gulf between being an Extreme Blue intern and being a full-timer at IBM is so … vast.

[…] Started grad school. Got offered a job developing programming curriculum. Realized I still didn’t know enough, and grad school wasn’t the place to learn it. Felt lost. Read a lot of books. Resuscitated WISE. Started blogging. Took control of my research and loved it. Got offered a summer job teaching programming in Shanghai. Took it. Read more books. Came back and continued researching. Had something I wrote go viral. TA’d in French and my students liked me. Started doing public speaking. Kept reading books. Developed another curriculum. Got offered a place on Extreme Blue. Instigated Awesome Ottawa. Had an amazing summer at IBM… […]

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