I like to do jobs that are cutting edge. Really really cool stuff.
But the problem is… if you want to tell anyone about the stuff you – you can’t. Because there’s these things called "NDA" – Non-Disclosure Agreements, that you almost always have to sign when you work on anything. Now most of the time – an NDA is about as important as not telling the competition things that no one would tell the competition. But if you work ..ting edge stuff… companies tend to take them seriously. So … a lot of the best stuff I’ve done – can’t talk about until it goes public, and often – it never does. 😦
For example there was this one application that I wrote for ___________ when I was at IBM. It was the coolest thing ever. You could ______________ from any machine in the network and it would do this passive ___________ that would tell all the _________ that they needed to ______ by _______ them an _____.
And lord knows there is nothing better on a resume than having to put down on your last job "Due to an existing NDA I am at this time unable to discuss my projects at this employer post-XXXXX". Yeah – that’s always good times.
But occasionally – the stuff you do not only gets to hit the press but you can actually discuss it (somewhat) without getting into too much trouble. Such is the case with my latest project – the one I couldn’t tell anyone I knew about. Well we finally went public.
I, for the last year, have been a contracted Program Manager on the Unlimited Potential Program driving efforts to make the drivers for this happen. And it’s been one of the best experiences of my life. So although I still can’t talk about specifically what I did … I can tell you some of what I did. Some of what went into this – and mostly, I can now tell my son he can stop telling his teachers that his father sells comic books over at the Comic Stop.
So… today – I have the unique ability to for once, not endanger some deplorable security innovation no one cares about, or some hybridized project that will never see the light of day (but we were RIGHT about!!). I can… point at the little green machines… that run Windows XP and tell my kids, "Yeah I did that.".
Which … is pretty damn cool.
Now… although I am responsible. I’m not the only one. Many, many people were responsible for this. I’m not trying to take credit for all of them or their work. If anything – I’d like to draw attention to the fact that of the 40-50 people who worked long and hard on the team I was on… there were more. Songs should be sung of their heroics – and someday – someday they will I’m sure.
There was (and is) an incredible team working on this effort. Amazing people who were able to take something that most people said was impossible to do, and with massive quantities of coffee, junk food, sleep deprivation, blurry eyes do not only what everyone said could not be done – but actually go BEYOND what was asked. And the whole time always, always, remain focused on who this work was for… kids. Kids who we knew would never know our names, or what we did, but who would one day… maybe change the world for all of us.
At the begriming of the day, and at the end of the day… it was always about the kids.
Here’s some of the headlines.