Richard Hopkins  Richard Hopkins photo         

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Academy of Technology LogoPresident, IBM Academy of Technology
Yarm, UK


Professional Associations

Professional Associations:  The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)

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More information:  Robot building


I'm an IBM Distinguished Engineer who works primarily in GBS in the UK.  However I also spend a lot of time with other bits of IBM via the Academy of Technology where I am one of its leaders.  Recently I qualified to be a Q Ambassador for IBM's Q initiative.

Major IT change is hard. Multiple stakeholders, new legislation and complex legacy IT get in the way. I have therefore developed practices to improve outcomes, including governance structures, distributed ways of working and new methods and tools.
As CTO for a business where over 5,000 people were delivering projects for clients I conducted lots of reviews, often for clients. Diagnosing what is wrong with a project will often result in being asked to fix it. I have rescued several such projects. I was appointed to the UK's National Audit Office Digital Advisory Panel (the UK Government's own audit capability).
Each project I have delivered or advised has been radically different with a new technical team. Increasingly those teams are on different continents. To drive delivery I:

  • Unify the team experience
  • Lead by example
  • Create a technical community with the client and competitors

This enabled successful deliveries and lower delivery costs for our European clients, resulting in a growth of our business.
Becoming a CTO can divorce you from technical advances. Ultimately your technical instincts and judgements may be wrong. I try and anticipate industry changes by working directly with new technology. Currently I am working with micro-services JavaScript, Python, AngularJS, Graph databases, Kubernetes and Docker technologies - most of these being used to build a sophisticated robot dog.