Working in Hursley’s Emerging Technology Services (ETS) group means I get involved in all kinds of different projects. Some last a couple of days, some can last years. One of the most common things I have to do is build proof of concept systems (POCs). This is where we go to a customer with a live demo to prove that some technology can be used in the way we’ve said it can. It depends on what we’re showing, but the POCs my team work on typically take about a week to develop. They can be quite pressurised to work on as you’re always up against it with the time frame and you’re pretty much always working with new or early versions of software.
One thing that makes this different from work that other groups do is that you often have to take on lots of different tasks, for which specialists would be used for a full project. When you’re working on a demo you’re often the project manager, the architect, the developer, the tester, the graphic designer and the presenter, all rolled in to one. The people here in ETS tend to be very good generalists because of this. It’s a different way of working as you always have to pick up completely new things very quickly and then once you figure something out move on to the next thing. It doesn’t suit everyone, but I do enjoy working that way.
– Darren Shaw (Emerging Technology Services, IBM Hursley)