see also resume



Career Phases                                                       Joseph Ellsworth

My career has had 4 distinct phases. Each of these has contributed to my ability to do my current job. They are listed most current first.

My time at Hewlett Packard.: I came to HP as a consultant working out of their Chelmsford office. I was brought in as a Smalltalk GURU but before I started they had made a decision to drop Smalltalk in favor of Visual Basic (big mistake). They asked me to stay around and due to some work I did over Thanksgiving weekend they where able to make a critical demonstration deliverable for Watson (a client server configuration tool). After that they sent me to California to manage a team of technically bright but difficult to manager engineers and build a middleware server to hook up with SAP. I was successful during this project and the result has subsequently been deployed world wide through out HP. At the end of the 1.5 years of consulting for H.P. they gave me an ultimatum I could stay and continue to manage my team or I would have to -leave or take an individual contributor's role. I decided to stay.

You could say I went to a Hewlett Packard to learn to compromise. I have learned the value of compromise as a negotiation technique and I think I have gotten pretty good at it. I will not compromise my personal ethics or my goals although I have found that as I have risen through HP that my goals have shifted from a small business / consulting world view to being #2 in a mid sized business.

I have a reasonable promotion record in HP, which means they must like me. I started 4 years ago as a consultant ended up managing a team of engineers as a consultant for a year with stellar success, I did this for about 1.5 years. I Hired on as a manager, when my 2 year consulting limit was approaching. Received a promotion to a first level section manager in 1 year. Received a promotion to second level section manager in one more year and I am sitting pretty good for another promotion if we are successful over the next six months. In addition to that I introduced the WEB and E-Business to CSO. Delivered our (SSO) Single Sign On technology which has grown corporate wide and now I own 1/2 of the E-Speak e-services technical development team. In 1999 HP invested many millions in marketing E-Services so I figure my work is important to the company. Oh and in my spare time I wrote a HP Linux business plan of which parts are now being executed by BCC. I also conceived, introduced and kicked off the HP - O'Reilly partnership for open source development "Open Source Exchange" although I originally named it "Open Awards"

Personally I find it satisfying that when I left my last team behind within 6 months all of the managers I liked and respected and most of the good technical people had at their initiation ended up working for me again. One of these I have rehabilitated from a dead end position who was ready to leave HP into a manager who is now respected throughout HP.

I am at H.P. on a 5 year plan of which I am just finishing the 3rd. We are in the process of creating the e-services business and I expect to be able to jump out in to a V.P or CTO of a smaller company with mega-stock options within 2 years. This is dependent on being successful in creating the new niche continuing to own a fraction of that niche. You never know but I may even rise high enough in HP that I don't have to go to the outside in order to get sufficient financial rewards.

Consulting Hired Expert: During the latter half of 1989 I was able to parlay my significant Object Oriented experience in to a career consulting for large corporate clients. I had become an expert in Object Pascal, C++, Smalltalk during the time I was self employed I had also been following the early OOA, OOD work and had as good of a working knowledge of that as anybody in the business at that time. I specialized in two types of clients. A) Those that where just starting in to Object Oriented client server projects. B) Those that where a year or more in and had hit problems that had put their projects in jeopardy and needed a GURU to bail them out or help them kill will as little pain as possible. I worked on behalf of many top companies during this time including Northern Telecom, Sprint, NCS, Anderson, DEC, Systems House and HP. I learned a lot about getting along from inside of a company during this period and I learned a lot about those political aspects of software that I had avoided up until that point in my career. I was happy as a consultant and I made a lot of money. I was able to take 3 months a year off and could generally get my clients to pay to fly me home to see my kids every other weekend. The only problem with consulting is that I didn't get to have has much influence over the complete life cycle of the product as I would like and you never get the credit for what you have built. I believe I was pretty successful since when I left consulting I was in the top 4% of the highest paid consultants in America. I did the consulting until 1995.

Training & Learning.: During college and for the first two years after I worked as a troubleshooter for a small computer store. When the customers of the store started threatening lawsuits I was called in to smooth things out and figure out how much we would have to give the customer in order to avoid lawsuits. In some instances I would either fix or write software to help solve their problems but it was just as likely that we would sell them a different kind of hard disk or donate some training. I learned a lot about how to deal with upset people during this phase. I also spent a year at NASA where I worked in flight data acquisition.

Self employed (more learning): I started my own business when I left NASA. This was pretty much a desperation affair because I had moved from Lancaster California back to Utah and could not find a job in Utah where I would make enough to pay the bills. I started out taking freelance opportunities in order survive while looking for an adequate job. You could describe what I did with the phrase "You describe a business problem and I will solve it". During this time I sold wrote and maintained a lot of software although I also installed filing cabinets and trained people in how to use them and once I even retrofitted a 100 year old rubber punch for a computer aided rubber feed mechanism. I wrote in Progress, Clarion, Object Pascal, Smalltalk, C, C++, Mumps and several other languages during this time. I nearly starved to death for the first couple of years but after that I started making more than I ever expected. I just kind of drifted away from the idea of getting a normal job since I was happy and successful. My greatest success was insurance distribution management system for large self-insured clients. The insurance agency used this software to build a history of both the workman's comp and general liability claims. This was used to help manage the claim itself and for regulatory reporting. The era came to an end due my divorce in 1989.