I had originally named this blog “A Pirate Looks at 60.” It was a play on the excellent song by Jimmy Buffett, adjusted for my actual age. After choosing that somewhat inaccurate title … inaccurate because I’m a rule follower, not a pirate … but it did fit my fancy and my primary goal of creating a technical autobiography, I was never really happy with the title. (And I soon discovered Buffett had used it for the title of HIS autobiography, as well he should.) The more I wrote and the more I thought about that career and where I think technology is headed, I realized a better title for this blog would be "STEAMD," an acronym I had encountered a bit of late as I read on technology and education. So I’ve changed the blog title, but not sure people understand the import of that new title. So I recently updated my profile, and in the process realized I could reference more web sites for those who are looking for some of my electronic publications of music, video, photographs, etc.
So here is the complete profile as I first wrote it and before I edited to fit the 1200 word limit of this blog.
I’m a retired IBM engineer. I was promoted from Associate Engineer to Senior Associate to Staff to Advisory and finally to Senior Engineer in just nine years, which may be a record at IBM. It didn't make me the youngest Senior Engineer in IBM since I had started when I was 32, but it was a very rapid advancement to that highest level for most engineers. After fifteen years as a Senior Engineer and Senior Project Manager, I was promoted to “Senior Technical Staff Member” (STSM), a technical executive position.
IBM had two technical levels about Senior Engineer. STSM and the highest of all, "Distinguished Engineer." I was on track to make that final promotion when my career with IBM was cut short. I was also hoping to join the IBM Academy of Technology. I had been elected the president of the Boulder Technical Vitality Council and attended two meetings of the Academy. You have to be elected to the Academy by its members. Membership is not decided by IBM management. So, I thought I was on track to being invited to join the Academy, but, suddenly, IBM sold the Printing Systems Division where I had been working for my last ten years to Ricoh. I subsequently spent four years at Ricoh performing primarily the same job I had at IBM.
I worked over 33 years with IBM and Ricoh as an electronics engineer, programmer and software engineer, instructor and course developer, tester, project manager, quality technical leader, and statistician.
I spent my entire IBM career at the Boulder development lab, although I traveled extensively in the US and abroad teaching and consulting. Prior to joining IBM, I worked in the aerospace industry and I was an instructor at the Electronics Technical Institute in Denver, Colorado. Later I was an instructor and course developer with IBM Technical Education for nearly 15 years. I was also an adjunct professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver and served on their Industry Advisory Council for over 20 years.
I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Electronics Engineering and a Master’s in Mathematics and Physics from the University of Colorado. In 2003 I earned a second Master’s degree in Computer Science at the University of Denver. I also attended many IBM internal training classes and courses at Vanderbilt and Harvard. After I retired I studied physics at Stanford University pursuing a Ph.D. I was a Certified Project Manager completing over 280 hours of IBM Project Management education and obtaining both PMI and IBM certification as a Senior Project Manager.
My life long passion has been in the area of “STEM.” That’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. As my career and experience progressed, I grew to understand the importance of Art and Design in this technological society we’ve become. That’s what the title of my blog refers to. This blog is my personal views on STEAMD and the history of science as well as a biography of my career of nearly 50 years working in technology. In our current, budget restrained education system you will often hear about a focus on basics and STEM, but I am concerned that arts and music and other liberal arts are being cut to meet budget restraints. Quality technical products are a result of equal amounts of science and art, and that is a point I wish to emphasize.
I am a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and a Senior Member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA). I am a former member of the Project Management Institute (PMI), the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), and the American Society for Quality (ASQ).
I grew up in Montana, and I've lived in Colorado since 1973. I'm an amateur musician and I've got a small recording studio and video production business, which is really more of a hobby. Go to sutros.com/MiracleProductions to hear some of my musical productions. My videos and slide shows are available at www.youtube.com/user/MickeyCheatham. I’m also quite interested in photography and traveling. My photos can be found at www.flickr.com/photos/mickey_cheatham.
You can click on the links below to jump to these web sites.