Shakespeare had it right, though I’m no Juliet. Last week, after twelve years of interesting projects, roles, and adventures, BlackBerry and I amicably parted ways. I started in 2002 in the midst of a hiring freeze and was tasked to sort out the external web sites and web apps. A year later I took an opportunity to join the JavaDevApps group doing handheld (as we say) software dev and specifically tending Profiles, Alarm, LED, and a lot of media stuff. After a couple of years I got an opportunity to join the Security Research Group (hackers on the payroll!) That kicked off nine years in product security roles ranging from researcher to product manager to team manager. I went to BlackBerry looking for challenge, growth, and learning. I got all that and a lot more.
My biggest takeaway: I learned I’m not a tech guy with people skills, but rather I’m a people guy with strong tech skills. It’s important to understand your superpower.
It was an absolute privilege leading the SRG-NA team over the past three years. Their technical brilliance, work ethic, and generosity to share what they know make them a world-class operation. They’re also a helluva good bunch of people to just hang out with. They’re in good hands with my old friend Adam Boulton who now leads the consolidated group.
I was very fortunate to work for a great boss, Mike K. Brown (aka kbrown). You will rarely find such a combination of tech smarts and political savvy. Mike had my back in tough situations and always gave me the rope to define my work and tackle challenges the way I saw fit.
Now looking from the outside in, I’m still a BlackBerry fan. It is an excellent product that I’ll continue to use daily. BB10 UI rocks! I also love the audio quality on my Z30 and the SDCard expandable storage. Big shout out to the camera team for tuning the image quality on every device. I’m confident the company is going to keep rocking great product.
Parting is sweet sorrow: sorrow because I won’t be working every day with my good friends at BlackBerry on their kick-ass product and sweet because I’m looking forward to new adventures in new contexts.
Hit me up on email if you’d like to chat about how I can help your product/mission/team, or just hit me up for coffee. Everybody needs coffee.