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Catching Up With David Gibbs

IBM i Developer David Gibbs reflects on his career on IBM i, cycling, and more.

image of David Gibbs on a bicycle.

Image by Sara Stathas

Company name: O’Reilly Auto Parts
Company’s function: Retail and wholesale auto parts
Headquarters: Springfield, Missouri
Years in IT: 35
Hobby: David is pictured here riding his bicycle on a trail outside of Chicago.

What’s the biggest challenge facing your company today? Migrating legacy systems and code to modern languages and platforms.

What do you think “the next big thing” for your business will be? Our journey down the omnichannel road. A big focus for O’Reilly over the last five-plus years has been ensuring we’re meeting and exceeding our customer’s expectations in whatever fashion they choose to interact with us.

What IBM product could your company not function without? The POWER8® IBM i system that runs our corporate data warehouse is vital to daily operations.

What trends are affecting your work? The adoption and implementation of web services.

Who’s been your greatest mentor? What role has that person played in your life or career? My father, Sheldon. He bought me my first computer and was my first development manager while I was working as an IT intern at my uncle’s company on the System/36.

What’s your favorite book or movie (and why)? “The Martian” by Andy Weir (both the movie and book). It shows science as the best way to solve problems.

If money were no object, what would you purchase and why? Vacation property on Maui.

What’s your favorite sound? Two of them, actually: my wife’s laughter and our cat’s purr.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? Listen to questions carefully because there is often a very different question being asked.

What’s your favorite activity outside of work? Cycling. I started cycling seriously about 10 years ago for my health. I’ve established some of my strongest friendships through the local cycling community.

What’s one thing that most people don’t know about you? The longest distance I’ve ridden my bike in one day is 132 miles.

What’s your favorite part of your day and why? Early morning, because it’s quiet, cool, and if the weather cooperates, a great time to go for a bike ride.

What’s been your biggest accomplishment? Midrange.com is something I’m extraordinarily proud of. Starting as a dialup bulletin board system with a handful of forums, it’s grown into an active and vibrant online community of IBM i professionals helping each other solve problems.
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