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One thing I have noticed over the years of reviewing many resume's that have passed through my laptop, some directly into the recycle basket, is that many - apparently - moved metaphorical mountains or turned whole departments or projects or organisations about-face.

The validation of the various claims usually became clear upon digging further to discover that they maybe participated on the fringe, or were part of a large series of teams, rather than they actually led the activity or carried it out single handed.

I mention these amplifications because, I've actually done what my resume says.  I've been there at 2am fixing software updates into backroom servers, or investigated transmission logs to find out why Reuters, Telerate or JiJiNews won't talk to a trading room system that is due to go live in 48 hours. I've drawn, in Spark Enterprise Architect, the System Interaction Diagrams (SID's) for the NBN gateway interfacing for a large telco solution. And upended an integration meeting with middleware "experts" arguing detail when they clearly haven't read the brief before the meeting.  I've done the hard yards. So if I say I've led it, or been a supporter of, or a contributor to, or plain and simple done it, then that's the case.

I've never believed that having three or ten years experience qualifies you to be best at the role.  What beats this hands-down is Enthusiasm.  Of course, getting a sagger-makers-bottom-knocker (it's a real job - look it up) to handle a Consulting gig for a Telecommunications BSS system clearly isn't going to work, but take someone with almost enough experience and add to it their enthusiasm - you're looking at a winning combination.  I have been lucky to have had some great managers with the same foresight.

Which brings me to my list.  The more I have moved through my career, I've found that the second most important criteria are co-operation and teamwork. Creating personal relationships built upon trust, delivering on promises, and that having the open and honest debates reaches the quickest and optimal solutions.  Trusting your and gut-feel of your chosen small tight-knitted team is so often the right thing to do - and then of course go and verify it.  Much as; If  it looks like a duck and quacks like a....... you know the rest.

Looking back my most proud achievements, apart from my boys (which I only had a small part in) they are to see people happy. Happy they have a working system, happy they have what seemed like a monumental problem solved quickly, happy that we came up with a proposal that works for them and is appropriately priced and met their needs, and happy that we did what we promised.  I say we, because most time it takes a team, sometimes led by me, but in the majority a tight knit team of enthusiastic, keen, dedicated colleagues.

I can happily say that I'm proud of .....

  • building one of the first micro-computer boards based on the Z80 CPU and made it work and debugged it, even with circuit board track errors, bad components and some bad boot ROMs (pre-Apple 1)
  • taking a series of pre-IBM micro-computers from a single manufacturer for a customer that all seemed to have incompatible floppy disk drives, bad at reading disks, found the common fault series and repaired them
  • designing and building test equipment unavailable from manufacturers to put line-printers, dot matrix, daisy wheel and various terminals through their physical & communications trials after workshop repairs.
  • setting up a micro-computer workshop and all the supporting processes and administration for handling +70 equipment defect repairs per day
  • successfully designed, building and installing the first cable-based network technology into a Equities Trading Room in London (when all others were dedicated terminals from data providers)
  • successfully installing networked Trading Room software into multiple Forex, Equities & Treasury trading rooms around the world - many times with just cash for expenses, a plane ticket and a box of diskettes
  • designing and implementing a major Telco network performance reporting system, integrating with O2A systems and Fault Management - whilst managing multiple SME's and contractors to deliver
  • project managing the design of the OSS system that now runs a major telco's customer networks and IP-VPN networks
  • project managing system defect corrections, saving over $16 million to ensure contractual penalties were not applied
  • being a member of a team that created, wrote, compiled and published the six-folder NBN system bid for my last employer - sleepless work-through nights, huge pressure and no weekends
  • successfully leading and guiding VP's and Leading Directors of key teams including call-centres through an implementation for a major upgrade of an APAC Satellite providers' new BSS solution
  • managing an integration and implementation of +350 complex interfaces, some across middleware, as part of a major BSS systems upgrade within a mobile operator of 250 million customers
  • creating a telco BSS Solution Architecture supporting functionality for OSS integration, Billing management, Bill payment, portal integration and ticket management for Business customers
  • designing and implementing a Tier 1 APAC Telco brand new orchestration handling and process solution for activating +360 existing products and services from idea to first order in 10 months - and then for it to later save 68% in average order processing times
  • guiding, teaching and mentoring many young (and some older) people in the approaches, methods and complexities in Enterprise customer solutions that need special attention and focus

This is a reasonable list for a career, but woven within these achievements the most important aspect of them all can be traced to one thing. That is; making my customer at the time, happy.