My name is Dan Toczala. Most of my friends and business contacts actually refer to me as “Tox”, since that is a LOT easier to pronounce.
I have worked in software development since the age of 16, starting out as a developer in high school, followed by some development jobs in college. Once I graduated from RIT, I began working for large aerospace firms on military systems like the Seawolf submarine, F-22 fighter, and various missile defense systems. I worked in a variety of jobs, developing code, providing infrastructure and tools for testing, working as a lead programmer, and doing some project management.
I started work for Rational Software in 1998, and have worked for them ever since. In 2003 (I think it was 2003), Rational was acquired by IBM, so I am now an IBM employee. I began this phase of my career in sales, and then moved to professional services. At the time, I was considered one of the leaders of the change and release management community of practice at IBM.
Then I saw the new Jazz products as they were being developed, and I got myself involved with them. I began to spend the majority of my time helping architect software development infrastructures (vision, implementation plans, hardware, software, tools, support organizations, and measurement plans) for our customers around the world. I get to do a lot of travel in this role, although my customers never seemed to be based in nice Caribbean locations.
In March of 2010, I joined the Jazz Jumpstart team. This team was focused on enabling our Jazz customers and in getting them quickly up and running with Jazz solutions. I can make a small claim to fame, with my blog posting on Jazz and Open Source now translated into Russian. I read the Google translated version of it, and I am not sure that I approve of the translation (grin). In April of 2011, I became the manager of the Jazz Jumpstart Team, a worldwide team of highly skilled people who help enable IBM internal resources and customers with the various Jazz and OSLC technologies.
In 2013 the Jazz Jumpstart mission was considered completed, since we had successfully launched the Jazz products into a leading position in the software development marketplace. I then went on to manage the Rational Emerging Technologies Team (RETT), which focused on doing the same thing for new and emerging solutions and technologies from the IBM Rational brand.
In the Fall of 2015, I moved on to become the Manager of the Watson Ecosystem Architect team (no fancy mnemonic this time). This is a team of really sharp architects that are expert at helping IBM’s Ecosystem partner utilize the various Watson cognitive capabilities in building their own unique products and solutions. I’m still learning about cognitive computing, so my blogging has slowed recently. Don’t worry, I’ll be sharing my thoughts and observations on cognitive computing fast and furious in 2016. I think that cognitive technologies have the potential to fundamentally change the world we live in, and the way that we see our world. I’m excited about it.
My family recently moved to Round Rock, TX, (near Austin), and we love our new Texas home. In my “spare” time I enjoy playing hockey, and I formerly served as the President of the Skating Club of New Hartford, where my daughter used to skate. My wife and I also enjoy chasing around our granddaughter, and act as a foster household for the Austin Dog Rescue, with the mission of finding dogs permanent homes in the Austin area. All together I have a wonderful wife, a son, two daughters, a granddaughter, and two dogs (one of our rescues was Jack, whose picture you see on the top of my page).