Monday, June 21, 2010

Waiting for the Call


Well, here I am after being laid off (down sized, re-org'ed, whatever) from FICO - again. A stint with Neuron Data back in '98 - '99, another stint with Fair Isaac from '06 - '08, and now another stint ending in 2010. I don't think that we (either of us) really want to do another stint - unless, of course, Carlos and Carole Ann return to the FICO fold and need someone with my peculiar set of talents. I really did enjoy working with those folks.

Am I angry with any of them? Bless G-d, NO! I have learned lots of lessons from each stint with ND/FairIsaac/FICO as well as with each job with ILOG/JRules, Jess, CLIPS, CLIPS/R2 and all of the others. Knowledge is wonderful thing and, used for good, is even more wonderful. Of all of my jobs/contracts the only time I got into trouble was for telling the truth - which, sooner or later, was to return to me 10-fold. I think that the highest compliment that I EVER got was not for how much I knew, how much I helped the product, nor anything else. One of my former supervisors told one of my co-workers that I could be trusted to always tell the truth, not necessarily what he/she wanted to hear. And that I could be trusted to do what I really thought was the right thing to do at the time.

Some of my mentors along the way have been (first of all) Dr. Charles Forgy as well as Don Tallo, Carole Ann Berlioz-Matignon, Carlos Seranno Morales, Irwin Welker, Maarten Van Lier, Libor Lanyi and Philip Debras (ILOG guys at O2 in Munich), Henry Bowers (formerly PM with ILOG), MarkProctor (Drools), Dr. Ernest Friedman-Hill (Jess), Gary Riley (CLIPS) and many, many more. My mentors who helped so very much with my writing are Dr. Binshan Lin (LSU) for academic papers and Doug Dineley at InfoWorld (for commercial white paper articles.) Each and every one contributed to my growth in one way or another. I can NOT list out all of the co-workers who contributed to my overall knowledge except for maybe Richard Hill, Daniel Brookshier and Greg Barton who helped greatly with my Java growth that was much needed for working in any Java Rulebase.

So, if you guys know of someone who needs a really senior (dirty old man) consultant or a fairly half-fast Product Manager, give them my name and email ( and I would love to hit the books again. Just finished the last part of my Pragmatic Marketing (for a Product Manager?) course and I learned quite a bit from it. I would HIGHLY recommend it for anyone in marketing, product management and especially for each and every sales person in your company.

Maybe I can go back to doing evaluations for InfoWorld again. Doug? Are you there? I hate to admit it, but Doug and I were pretty much responsible for making the term BRMS an industry acronym that became synonymous with rulebase, which it isn't, of course, but we did that dirty deed and now we have to stay with it. Regardless, there is still much ground to cover and the game is still afoot.

Thanks for listening,



woolfel said...

Good luck. On the up side, the market for rules seems to be picking up again.

Paul Vincent said...

Well, I guess that explains why we don't have the benefit of your presence (or anyone else from FICO) here in MD at the OMG Business Rule Standards day covering PRR etc... oh well...

Good luck James, maybe see you at RulesFest!