Sunday, July 23, 2006

Trippin' down memory lane

So I went to a meeting at IBM Westford last Friday, to talk about 64-bit Domino stuff with Bob Bertolini and "Fast" Eddy Bell. It was a pretty good meeting, there were no surprises, but I got the opportunity to roam around my old stomping grounds for a bit (escorted, of course)!

The first big surprise was when we bopped up to the front desk to announce ourselves for the meeting. "May I see your driver's licenses?", said the young lady behind the counter queried.
"Wow! Where's the metal detector?", I replied as I dug the license out of my wallet. She did not seem amused. Heck, when I started at Iris the rule was the last one to go home was supposed to lock the glass doors in front, on the way out. Back then, unlike most software engineers (then and now) I was a bit of an early bird and was on any number of occasions, the first one in, to sail into a completely unlocked facility..

The morning was a bit surreal. The overall physical plant was very familiar, but I had trouble remembering the details. I saw plenty of familiar names on the nameplates outside the offices (often 2 to a single door!), and also plenty of unfamiliar ones. I managed to meet the father of my good buddy David Pitkin (purely by chance) and I bumped into a few old-timers and chewed the fat for a while.

All in all, it was an interesting experience. It made me reflect on the 8 years I spent working on Lotus Notes, the best gig of my career. To this day, I like many of my ex-colleagues, make my living, at least tangentally from the work we did in those years. It is gratifying to see Notes and Domino continue to make hay, and to see guys like Ed Brill continue to fight the good fight.

I left feeling strangely dislocated and with a vauge desire to write an @Formula or some LotusScript (or at least get Slappy or Damien to do it, which is in truth what I used to do...)

I guess you can't go home again, but it's kinda cool to visit


At 12:06 PM, Blogger Andrew said...

Hey Kudla, glad you are back. I haven't gone back to the old stompin' grounds, but I always wanted to.

At 7:38 PM, Blogger Chris Reckling said...

I don't know if you remember, but back when I started in product management (part of Lotus at the time), we had to go thru the same routine at the front desk just to go visit one of our developers! But that was in Westford Bldg 1, not the early, early days, and it was Cindy at the front desk, not some anonymous guard.

(We're still out there playing hoops on Tuesdays - that part hasn't changed, except Damien isn't there to get squished.)


At 11:52 AM, Blogger Dan Schwarz said...


I know what you mean. I went back to Westford in 2001, I think. Saw a few of the old timers. Nice to go back, but it really is a different place now...

Since leaving Iris I've had some good jobs and some bad ones, but working at Iris was definitely the best overall experience of my career.

I wonder if anyone (other than Ray) has consciously tried to (forgive me) "replicate" the best aspects of the Iris Associates environment elsewhere when setting up a development shop?


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