James Governor's Monkchips

In Praise of… Andy Stanford-Clark

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TIL that Andy Stanford-Clark is the new Chief Technology Officer for IBM UK and Ireland. I have known Andy for many years, and all I can say is he thoroughly deserves the job.

If one of the main qualifications of a CTO is the ability to create technologies that make a meaningful impact then look no further than MQTT, the lightweight pub sub messaging protocol, now a de facto standard for the Internet of Things. MQTT has been adopted by IBM itself, but also Microsoft and Amazon Web Services. He sticks to things – MQTT actually began as a piece of work way back in 1998.

The main currency of promotion for the technical management track at IBM is the filing of patents – Andy has more than 40 to his name. I like to think he’ll stick on 42, just because it’s such a resonant number.

Andy has played the corporate game, working with large enterprises in sectors such as oil and gas, but he is also an inveterate tinkerer and hacker. Whether putting out IoT enabled mousetraps with his son, making his house tweet (so it has more Twitter followers than he does), or programming dinosaurs on the Isle of Wight with Dr. Lucy Rogers, Andy is always thinking of ways to connect things.

He is also a great mentor. Andy encouraged Laura Cowen to speak at RedMonk’s ThingMonk event, and show off her Internet connected kettle (sounds daft, but it helps her to feel closer to her mum, the power of a cuppa). He also instilled confidence in my friend Chris Dalby that he could fulfill his dream of working at IBM. I know Andy has the confidence of IBM’s local technical staff.

While it may not be prerequisite for being a CTO Andy is also very much a community-minded supporter of grassroots developers. He gets stuck in, with no airs and graces, and experiments, but always with an eye to what things might look like at scale.

RedMonk is proud to count Andy Stanford-Clark as an engaged member of our community. Long may it continue. Thanks Andy, and Congratulations.

Here’s a nice Q&A with him, and a video about Dinosaur Island.

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