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IBM Champions in Action: Susan Barker

By Appy Ayyagari posted Mon July 13, 2020 08:04 AM


IBM Champions in Action: Susan Barker

Get to know Susan Barker

“Being an IBM Champion has been a lifesaver for me and helped my career.”

To say Susan Barker is a fan of IBM® and IBM Cloud® would be an understatement. A nominated 2020 Top 20 IBM Champion, Susan has been working in IT across the globe for more than three decades. As the current Lead Administrator for CDW, she manages all the ESB, B2B and MQ platform servers. On a daily basis, she works with IBM App Connect: Enterprise®, ACE®, Kafka, IBM IntegrationTM Transformation Extender® and IBM MQ®. As an IBM Champion of 3 years, Susan doesn’t underestimate the value of the products, services and knowledge offered at IBM. She continuously advocates for IBM Cloud products, including Baremetal and Virtual servers, Red Hat® Openshift®, containerization, Kubernetes and more.

Susan talks IT in 2020

“I am in the IBM Beta Programs for ACE and MQ. Every year I travel to the IBM site in Hursley, UK, to study future releases and offer feedback on the features of these products.”

If it were up to Susan, she would be at programs for future releases and live demos all the time. With technology changing at a rapid pace, she appreciates the vital need to stay informed and engaged. This common pursuit of innovation and knowledge is one thing that keeps her love and admiration for IBM alive.

“Our customers are experimenters,” she said. “They don’t always go by the book to learn products. I love demos and docs with buttons, clips or any type of virtual learning. It’s like being in the lab. We experiment, we play. IBM is great for this.” Indeed, the docs, tutorials and support from IBM Cloud are, in her opinion, invaluable. Added to this are the communities and learning sessions that come with being an IBM Champion, which, for her, are the proverbial icing on the cake.

So, what does she like to say to those coming up in the field? “My advice is to remember how important it is to try ‘new’ in IT today… you pick what works, but you have to know it may change with every project. You have to have resources to support that change. You can’t go wrong with IBM Cloud.”

The ease of doing business on IBM Cloud, from containerization to security, surprises even this tech veteran, and only serves to strengthen her resolve to continue advocating for and learning about it. The demands on IT require brilliant minds leveraging the best of the best and continuing to push the envelope. “IBM Cloud is like Superman meets Spiderman, set in outer space. Strong, secure, adaptable, easy to understand… and with endless potential.”

Endless potential is exciting, but it cannot all happen at once. I asked Susan to pick one thing she’s most looking forward to learning and watching next. “Quantum computing,” she exclaimed without hesitation. “I’m really interested in Quantum and OpenShift, actually, if I can pick two. But I’m so excited for the future of Quantum and I want to be in on it!”

Susan on being an IBM Champion

From talking about the future of IT to the best IBM Champion events, Susan was infectiously enthusiastic and delightful. As I spoke with Susan, I couldn’t help but hear and share in her excitement. Though she admits to not digging into the role until her second year, she’s now addicted to the available knowledge-sharing sessions, product trainings and growth opportunities.

“As an IBM Champion, I have joined several communities, thanks to the encouragement of Libby Ingrassia. Even this week, I am in training sessions on using containerization with Red Hat® OpenShift® on IBM Cloud. I’m also studying for the IBM Cloud Architect certification. The opportunities are endless! It really has helped in my career.”

To sum up this IBM Champion, just call her the ultimate IBM advocate. She admires the products, the support, the innovation, the open knowledge sources and the incomparable security of IBM Cloud. “Even before I was an IBM Champion, I was a fan of IBM. And I can’t wait for more. Now that I am an IBM Champion, I think everyone should join!”

Thank you, Susan Barker!

Thank you to Susan for sharing some about herself, her experiences in IT and her insights as an IBM Champion. If you’re interested in connecting with Susan, please feel free to reach out to her on LinkedIn and connect with her here on the IBM Community: @Susan Barker.

If you’d like to learn about other IBM Champions, please check out the additional Champion in Action blogs.

Join IBM Champions like Susan and other IBM Cloud users on the IBM public cloud community.