This past Thursday, I was at the Computer History Museum to photograph part of IBM’s Centennial year celebration. The Computer History Museum has an impressive collection of IBM artifacts such as the IBM 360 and the IBM Stretch. Present on the stage with the CEO of the Museum, John Hollar, was IBM CEO Samuel Palmisano. Chairman Palmisano gave a great presentation discussing the history of IBM and their philosophy to move forward: Innovate. During the recent recession, IBM had some of the best years in their corporate history due in large part to their investment in R&D and especially their workforce.
Before Chairman Palmisano spoke, the Museum hosted a press session with author Stephan Hamm in conversation with Dr. Laura Hass, IBM Fellow and director of computer science at Almaden Research Center; Dr. Winfried Wilcke, IBM Senior Manager, Nanoscale Science & Technology Program Director, Silicon Valley Projects IBM Research; and Bruce Hillsberg, Director, Storage Systems at IBM. During this conversation, Dr Hass stated – which Chairman Palmisano later emphasized – she finds it difficult to find employees who have adequate – let alone exceptional – communication skills. In her opinion, students are leaving the educational system with minimal or substandard communication skills. As the Director of Research, Dr Hass described her job in large part as a communicator who establishes connections between researchers who need each others skills.
Some of the images from this event: