For the past 14 years I live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and love my city. I can go on for hours describing beautiful landscape, the outdoor fun, great and educated people, rivers, parks, architecture, very low crime rate, museums and last, not least, the relatively low cost of living (yes, I like weather too 🙂 ). Before I moved from Russia to US back in 1999 during the dot com bubble, I had plenty of job offers from all over US. I did my home work, researched future places to live and compared them based on multiple criteria, including things listed above. Out of several different job offers I took one in Pittsburgh because (1) the city came out on the top of my list and because (2) the best job and (3) best offer came from (4) the best company that happen to be in Pittsburgh (Transarc at the time, later acquired by IBM). Those four things were pure luck and I still feel lucky until this day. It was the right choice.
Having said all this, Pittsburgh does have its fare share of problems, one of them being traffic (and who does not have this problem, hah?).
IBM to the rescue (read announcement).
Pittsburgh was one of only 100 cities chosen from a pool of more than 400 applicants over the past three years to receive an IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grant, which funded the work last year of top IBM experts who studied local transportation opportunities. The full IBM report was released yesterday and can be viewed here.
What does this all have to do with this blog, which name is “Why WebSphere”?
Nobody needs software for the sake of software (well, most people don’t). Having bits is one thing, but having the expertise to apply those bits to solve practical problems is a completely different skill set and a unique differentiation for IBM. Not to mention the goodwill of the IBM company to do the kind of consulting work for free via the grant system. This is one of those things that make me proud to be an IBMer.