Still smart in the UK...

It is late and I am tired but I have to say that I am still energized. I am spending a few days in the UK this week. I just spent the day with some people that made my week. Well I spent half a day, the other part (morning) was spent traveling from Prague to our London city office. Flight to LHR - check. Express train from Heathrow to Paddington - check. Change trains in Paddington to the Circle line - check. Get on wrong train and go in wrong direction because I am on the phone and not paying attention - check. Get on right train but then have it go out of service two stops later - check. Get on another train and have it go out of service two stops from Monument - check. Get taxi and make it to the office 20 minutes late - check.

Let met get to the fun part. I spent time with the leader of our UK Systems Engineering organization (Greg Nolan - note to Greg - start blogging!) and a number of folks on his team. We spent the time reviewing the plans and progress of the Systems Engineering team and what challenges we face moving forward. What impressed me was how upbeat, engaged and how truly customer focused the team was. Momentum is growing and we continue to grow our Systems Engineers who have the unique ability to understand our customers business issues and bring Sun's wealth of innovation, technologies and knowhow to the table.

I then got to meet with a select group of people at Sun. I met with a number of the Principal Engineers that are based in the UK. Bit of background: a Principal Engineer at Sun is senior customer engineer that has demonstrated significant skills and strength in a given technology area and has engaged and shared their knowledge with different communities (customers, peers, product engineering, industry, etc). Simply put, they are our best and brightest. They are not just experts in their domain but have also demonstrated that they know how to engage others, share what they know and mentor others. Ohh and did I mention that in order to become a Principal Engineer you must pass a peer review of existing Principal Engineers?

The great thing about our meeting was that we didn't really spend much time talking about issues, we just had a great chat about technology and the direction of our top engineering talent. I love it when I can just hang with really bright people and have a geekfest session on a broad range of topics. Thanks guys. I really did appreciate your time.

Then I was off to have a curry with Dave Levy. Dave is one our the Principal Engineers mentioned above and all around social networking guru. I had a bunch of questions about blogging, tagging and the future of social networking. Don't forget to send me the link to the book you are reading Dave, I would like to give it a read. Beyond social networking we chatted about consulting service models, value engineering and technology issues impacting EMEA.

Good food, good company, good night.

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