Top Three Lessons From a 25-Year Journey

This final quarter of 2020 marks 25 years of dedication to development, innovation and service here at Central Park Data Systems. The journey through the infinitely progressive technology landscape has been at times a sprint, over time a marathon, and for sure, in uncertain economic times and times of retrospect quite an interesting stroll. Albeit a brief stroll, as the pace at which technology advances leaves us little time to linger.

Yet the reflection is warranted, if not necessary. It helps keep us grounded within our powerfully compelling virtual universe and properly directed as industry professionals amid constant change. And celebration here at CPDS is also time worth spent, as the spirit evokes a sense of gratitude for and stewardship of all the gifts we’ve realized along the way — the three most prolific of which just keep on giving, so I share them with you:

  1. Technical expertise – I embarked on this journey in 1995 as a team of one. Within two years, increasing recognition of the potential threat of Y2K had spawned epic panic worldwide. Luck had my back as four very talented developers joined the team and together we continued in stride over that mountain to the other side. Since then we have focused largely on development of application solutions to help bridge the gaps between user and enterprise applications and services that meet the growing demands of technology’s increasingly rapid acceleration. As application development continues to evolve, it has shifted to become more reliant upon external services, modernization and extending overall value and utility. We continue to apply our knowledge and skills to meet these critical yet exciting challenges, enhancing and modernizing applications and holding ourselves accountable daily to our end goal: to best exploit and leverage powerful tooling and technologies so our customers and fellow developers within the IBM i community are always in line with their own end goals.
  2. Mentorship – I don’t believe in too many “accidents” in such a synergistic world. Yet as if by chance, more business owners, tech peers and others than I can count have risen since the start to play key roles in my professional development and business navigation. Looking back I see how they’ve educated, enlightened, inspired and advised me in ways they were never obligated to do.  That spirit prevails at CPDS as we strive to give back in mentorship and support to veteran developers and startup entrepreneurs throughout the IBM i community by way of continuing education and our steadfast commitment to the IBM i platform. This includes speaking at conferences, assisting and hosting user groups, tutorial video creation, industry blogging and writing, and, as of most recently, representing as an IBM Champion and as the founder and host of the new iChime virtual meeting group, all to help others to grow and succeed as we continue to do. To this end, consider two questions for a moment: Where do you see yourself in the year ahead in terms of mentorship? And what is a mentor, really? Non-scientifically speaking, I suspect it is a hybrid breed, a cut above the average, inspired by his or her own sense of gratitude for and stewardship of the gifts of professional wisdom and integrity cultivated along one’s own journey. Find your mentors, and/or become one to others — even if “accidentally.”   I promise you: The rewards are endless.
  3. Teamwork – Above all else, I attribute the longevity of CPDS to its exceptional team of like-minded staff. I am convinced that more than anything  it is singularity in mindset that has delivered us to celebrating what in 2020 seems like light years together. While essentially simple, that mindset is perhaps the most powerful driver into the ever-unfolding future: It’s an ongoing commitment, in lock-step with our company mission, to deliver well-tested, reliable working solutions and nothing short of excellence in service to our customers worldwide.

If I could inspire in you anything at this point of reflection, it would be to heed and develop these three elements as they pertain to your own work, and to keep giving it all your best. You can never give too much of a good thing because, as you’ll witness, you won’t actually lose it. You keep getting it back, as it perpetually returns, in one form or another, to its generous and diligent source.  To everyone I have met on this wonderful journey, a very sincere and heartfelt thank you.  

Published by Charles Guarino

Charles Guarino believes in the “power” of IBM Power Systems. His career reflects his interest in bringing the platform and its solutions to others. Charles started his professional journey as a department of one. Today, he is serving individuals on a worldwide basis though his consulting work and award-winning speaking engagements. Charles is a true people person and can often be found at conferences sharing his expertise in RDi and other IBM i topics. Reach out to Charles through his company, Central Park Data Systems, at [email protected]. He looks forward to hearing from you.