WebSphere MQ Developer
Aug 2003 – Jun 2007
I worked in Test, Development and Level 3 Service teams on WebSphere MQ – “middleware” software used by enterprises for the reliable, secure and scalable transfer of data across disparate networks.
I worked on enterprise level real-time software across the full software development life cycle.
I was actively involved in user-centred design sessions with a variety of customers during the development of WMQ v6. This was an iterative process of collecting feedback, reviewing and amending WMQ design, and presenting amended implementations, within a short timescale.
I was also a developer of the WMQ Explorer – a Java-based graphical user interface tool for the administration, management and problem determination of large-scale corporate networks.
I worked as a test engineer on WMQ. This included:
Developing tests for new features – Designing, documenting, automating and scripting tests for new features in WebSphere MQ from a holistic, system-wide perspective. In particular, considering different hardware and software environments, different workloads and stress levels, and exception and startup/restart handling.
Maintaining regression tests – Maintaining, reviewing and extending the regression test suite for WebSphere MQ.
Developing test infrastructure – Developing the in-house test automation tools, including maintaining and extending the Perl-based Stress Test framework and developing a new interpreter for scripting MQ tasks written in C.
Document Reviewing – Reviewing new documents and revisions made to WebSphere MQ manuals.
“Level 3” Technical Support
I worked as a service engineer, providing advice, support, and code fixes for corporate customers using WebSphere MQ.
This was a Senior Service Engineer role, which meant that I was responsible for driving the resolution of customer technical problems, providing support for IBM customers in a 24/7 Service team, including call-out for urgent and critical situations.
This spanned technical problem investigation to the development and provision of software fixes.
I developed a number of successful applications to support WMQ as personal projects, which IBM initially released as freeware before later formally adopting them.
I started and coordinated the department blog, and wrote dozens of popular technical posts used by our customers to help administer and diagnose their systems.
Reason for leaving
I was invited to join a new team being established in my office, for the development of a different software product which I had no experience in (WebSphere Process Server) on a platform I had no experience in (z/OS mainframes). After nearly four years focusing on one product, the challenge sounded like fun.