David's Blog | Misc ramblings about things in general, work and technical items of interest.

TAG | Work

The normal train I take, and the car I ride in (along with a co-worker I commute with) derailed this morning. I got an email from the co-worker right after it happened. I happened not to be on the train today and working from home because of an appointment.
They just showed it on TV with 3 cars off the tracks and 2 leaning up against a pole. 150 people reported on the train and no injuries. Here’s a link to the first report by ABC on their web site – NJ Transit train derails.
For a change, I was in the right place at the right time.

Jun/05

24

The first week at the new place

Work

Well week one at my new job has ended. Instead of a 4.5 mile drive, I have about a 70 min commute into NYC. Now granted the weather this past week was gorgeous, but the commute has been fine and almost relaxing at the end of the day.
I’m involved in the preliminary investigation of a large new project and I’m getting a great education across many areas of the company. The folks have all been terrific and helpful and I’m looking forward to week 2.
I’m in a great area of NYC. Lots of activity and lots to do if you want to get away for a bit. If you’re a shopaholic, you’d be in trouble.
Now to plan a nice long hike for the weekend.

Work

Jun/05

19

The end… The beginning…

My last day, after 17.5 years, was very interesting. I keep waiting to feel sad about the whole thing, but I don’t think that emotion hit me.
In the morning I was treated to bagels by my buddy Vinnie. I hung out downstairs as I went through my emails and cleaned things up. Shortly after going up to my desk, I was getting calls/IMs asking when I was going over to the other building so I went over there to say goodbye to folks. I thought it would be quick, but 1.5 hours later and I wasn’t done. Stayed over in the other building and had my last employee lunch with some friends and then had a meeting with the person replacing me that was in from California.
I returned to my office to start packing up the remainder of items and then get things in order for walking out the door. Around 4:30 I think I was done and the only thing left to do was set my Out of Office message and leave a voicemail message indicating who to contact now. Didn’t see anyone left on my floor. I walked down to see if anyone was waiting on the 1st floor, but they were in a meeting so I headed out and met up with someone heading over to the Marriot. Off I went – so long Sony.

(more…)

Jun/05

15

2 more days…

I have 2 days left at Sony before it is time to move on. The number of calls, emails and instant messages I’ve received from everyone has been overwhelming. Folks that have left Sony years ago but I had active email addresses for have emailed and called.
When folks contacted me after I sent out the email, the first thing they said falls into 1 of 3 categories:
Group 1) They wanted to offer their sincere thanks and best wishes.
Group 2) They said they were getting choked up reading the email (especially the end).
Group 3) They were disappointed I didn’t mention *them* in the email. They weren’t really serious but enough people mentioned it that they fall into their own category. Almost everyone I sent the notification to could easily have a paragraph or more written about our adventures together over the years.
2 more days!

Work

Jun/05

12

Saying Goodbye after 17.5 years

I had been thinking about what to write as my “Goodbye to Sony” after 17.5 years. Today I went on a 12 mile hike along the Appalachian Trail and thought some more about it.
I’ve come into contact with a tremendous number of people over the years that include employees, ex-employees, consultants and vendors. In some way, each and every one of these individuals affected me in some way. Here are the highlights (and sorry if I spell anyone’s name wrong as it’s been many years for some)…
I left my last company after 4 years and was hired by Bill Wolf to work along with Dan Bardzell on our EDI implementation. It was a good introduction to Sony where I met a lot of folks that, up until the move to SD, were still active employees on the business side. EDI is now managed by George Perini, and George’s expert knowledge and care & feeding of EDI will be missed when he leaves.
After a couple of years, I was lucky to be involved in our IEF Case Tool implementation. With Phil Kunz, Greg Lordi and Joe Pinto, we made sure the platform was not a cause for concern. When Stock Locator (John Larsen, Helen Simon, Jim Sarcinella, etc) went live, it was the first production IEF application that TI wasn’t personally involved in. After Stock Locator, SMART & Prompt were subsequently deployed and both had a very long life. And though I had no desire to move to Plano, TX, the TI folks never stopped asking if I wanted to work for them.
When the IEF focused on OS/2 as a deployment platform, I felt Windows would be better so I moved into Gary Fisher’s group. We brought Powerbuilder in (v1.x or 2.0 back then) and along with BJ Safdie created some tremendous Client Server applications (many against Sybase & DB2 using the MicroDecisionware gateway) to showcase the technology.
A new VP was brought in for “Planning” and I worked for Steve Charatz for a couple years. Under Steve, the most fun I had was when we had a couple years where we brought kids in right from college and trained them. Ari Schneiderman was in the first class and is still here. Others moved on after a few years, but I still think it is an excellent idea.
Eventually, I worked for Jim Furey and was involved with the implementation of the Ft Myers Call Center. Along with Rafael Orsini, Vinnie Farinaro and others from NJ, we spent a lot of time and effort implementing the platforms as well as involved in the building of the temporary & permanent facilities. I spent way too many holidays, birthdays, anniversaries and Valentines Days with Rafael, Jim and others in Ft Myers. The days were often long but the final result was beyond remarkable.
After many years working for Jim and Service Company implementing many web based systems for practically no cost but with tremendous payback, I had the opportunity to move to my current group. E-Strategy was managed by Steve Morrissey and the group had an extensive list of platforms to be deployed. While Steve was here, we deployed eWorkplace portal and LDAP, Digital Asset Management, a Content Management System, consolidated web hosting and webMethods for B2B and A2A integration. All platforms were extremely successful and still all active today.
In E-Strategy & E-Services, I had the opportunity to work with a tremendous group of folks. Most are gone now with a few still remaining (at least through this week). On top of the list is Steve Oliver. Steve is the brightest, hardest working individual I have met in the 21.5 years I’ve been in IT. Steve has been involved in almost every platform we’ve deployed and his ability to make things work is unmatched. When Steve leaves Sony, Sony will lose a talented individual they will never be able to find again.
Within the E-Services group, a few have already come and gone, like Roseann Good, John Selle and Sudhir, a terrific consultant we had for a few years. Still here through the end of this week is Kamal Panchal and Jerry Kaplan. Along with Srini, our consultant for the past couple of years who relo’ed to SD, they made sure the Intranet and Internet platforms were always up and running and spent countless hours (usually after work – why is that?) getting things going again if there was an issue.
There are many, many more folks I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the years. For those that remain at Sony (temporarily or permanently), I wish you the best. The next year or two will be tough but I hope things turn around. The relationships I’ve built with the users and other IT folks is not something you can transition. The relationships are what allowed me to do things quickly and effortlessly. For those that have already left, I hope you’ve found something you enjoy to do.
People have asked me why I’m still working so hard and still smiling. After 17.5 years of giving 100%+, I certainly wasn’t going to stop now. When I leave at the end of the week, I want everything working so no one can place any blame on those of us leaving that worked so hard in implementing and supporting all the platforms we worked on. I’ve got a job secured when I leave, which obviously helps, but when I think about it, maybe it’s that when I started at Sony I was a 24 year old kid and now when I’m leaving, I’m married to a beautiful wife and tremendous mother, have 2 gorgeous and intelligent daughters and a bright future ahead of me. How could I not be smiling!!
Best of luck to all and please stay in touch,
David

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