Darren Adams is still cool

by Volker Weber

It's old news already, but I can confirm that I have resigned from IBM and departed.
— Darren Adams

Looks like he did not get a raise.

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Darren tells personal things, you write "he did not get a raise".

Let me share my personal feelings 3,5 years after leaving what was left of Lotus inside IBM to Microsoft : the devil empire as most of IBMers are daily advertised internaly.

Well, I find in Microsoft many things I knew inside Lotus once it was still Lotus : entrepreneurship, working with enthousiastic people (that are challenging the brand internaly), with collegues that are also shareholders. I missed all of this during my last days with IBM.

So to me what we used to call Loti between us is something very rare inside IBM, just because inside Lotus we were a family and thought about the people and the brand before the share value and the buzz. Yes, this does not exist anymore these days, but I personaly think Microsoft is closer to what we knew as the Lotus spirit than many other large companies are today. So I don't regret the choice I made...
I won't go into further details but many of Loti can understand what I say without these details.

Francois Cornely, 2011-05-31

Francois, I do understand. I don't really mean a raise.

Volker Weber, 2011-05-31

Volker - I know - sorry for the quote

Francois Cornely, 2011-05-31

MS has for the past few years tried very hard to woo talent into it's organisation by encouraging people with thought leadership and seem to back it up with the infrastructure and management style to support it. IBM seem to be alot of talk. Perhaps too much "social business", and not enough delivery ? :p

And looking at MS' developer oriented products, they get more kudo's than boo's in my books. I am not emotionally committed to any vendor, but have seen MS evolve and respond to the community needs and demands far more effectively.

MS may have peculiar strategies, and may not obtain market leadership in all cases, (but neither is IBM from where I am standing). But it sure looks like a more invigorating place to work than with a company that resorts to removing coffee and biscuits from it's tea rooms to save a few bucks for shareholders. Perhaps the key to all this is to listen, and respond....

Giulio Campobassi, 2011-06-01

Common guys, people move-on all the time, it's just life, I hear it even happens at MS from time to time. And the fact that Darren has worked for over 20 years at IBM means that it was probably not such an horrible place to work at.

I for one find IBM a great place to work, I work with super talented professionals with very diverse backgrounds. We work on exciting technologies that have a direct impact on the way people work everyday. IBM also gives me an opportunity to get exposed to so many different cultures, customers, technologies. It's also a place that does reward and value out of the box thinking, that gives employees a great level of empowerment, and flexibility in terms of work/life balance. Over the past couple of years I have had the chance to meet wonderful colleagues, great partners and work on super interesting projects in the US, Western Europe, Central Europe, SouthAfrica, the Middle East, and Africa.

Is there room for improvement ? I guess so, but like any large organization there is a need to have a few processes inplace, but in any case IBM is very much walking the walk in terms of being a social business, and has a lot to offer as an employer. Being able to attend a Teacher-Parent conference at 2pm on a weekday: Priceless. Cookies in the tearoom hummm no so much ;-)

Joel Demay, 2011-06-01

@Joel. I am usually overly critical of IBM. I should now be used to IBM consistently missing the mark and it shouldn't surprise me any more, nor should I antagonise myself into these little web-rants. The grumpy ol bugger in me (aka Mr Hyde) surfaces from time to time and IBM seems to be the potion/trigger that does it. I'll up my medication in the meantime.

I would have thought that it's a "given" for personal leave in any professional workplace to attend a Teacher/Parent meeting during work hours.

Perhaps this demonstrates our personal priorities cookies vs personal leave. IBM the mega-corp has reported consistent improving earnings, so it looks like denying the people cookies has paid off handsomely. Nice one Sam. (whoops there I go again!)

Giulio Campobassi, 2011-06-01

@Giulio you perhaps miss Joel's point on this. My work/life balance is so much better in the IBM environment then it would be in others, including what I hear from people who work at Microsoft. True, there might be differences in culture of expectations, bureaucracy, decision-making..some of those are better and some are worse at IBM. It's like anywhere.

Where IBM shines is the empowerment piece. We don't track employee vacation time. We don't punch time clocks (except consultants who bill by the hour). To Joel's example, I am the only father who has volunteered time in my daughter's classroom this year and last year. This is because I work at home, and I *don't have to ask* to take an hour to step away to help out somewhere down the street. I don't spend 2.5 hours a day commuting to the nearest IBM office, which would cost around US$9 out of pocket plus lunch costs, and I have that time with my family. I can change a diaper during a conference call (no doesn't happen often) or sit on my deck (should happen more often).

I am sad to see Darren and the others that have departed from the original Lotus crew. My team continues to have more than TWO centuries of combined experience working on Notes/Domino. But like any organization, we have change. We have hired in from Microsoft in several spots worldwide (UK, Brazil, China, US, etc) and we have seen some that went to Microsoft already depart. There is transition everywhere. One of the side effects of being a social business is it is a bit more out in the open.

Ed Brill, 2011-06-01

I guess Darran was tired of being empowered and winning.

Volker Weber, 2011-06-01

@Vowe I guessed he just moved on, If IBM was such an horrible employer, and Darren being the smart, talented, driven, entrepreneurial and overall highly employable individual that he is, we wouldn't have waited 20 years to do so ;-)

Joel Demay, 2011-06-02


Yes and No. I've heard and felt that the IBM of the past was a different beast than it is now. It is still a place where people are more empowered and free to try new things.

At the same time, it is realistic to assume that people will get poached, bored, tired and/or any combition of. Salaries at IBM are rarely negotiated again (unless some exec is dying to save you to save his or her butt).

I am also told by many seniors that IBM is becoming a commodity employer . I surely hope that this 'social business' movement will fix that since their top talent is more visible to the world.

But given the investment in the GMU's (Growth Markets -- India/Brazil), I see a future with few seniors in NA and everyone else being outsourced to India.

Seniors or anyone who isn't drinking the kool-aid will see that. With record profits, and lowest salaries and bonuses across the board, people will start seeing the picture.

Notice the number people leaving IBM on their choice. Not RA'd.

Mike Walker, 2011-06-02

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