STEM Professional of the week

Jim Laredo      

Jim A. Laredo was born in Caracas, Venezuela. His mom was a Physics University Professor and his dad an Agricultural Engineer by training and an entrepreneur in Marine Geophysics by trade, developing the country infrastructure to support the oil and mining industries. From an early age, Jim would visit the Physics lab and be intrigued by vacuum pumps, crystallography, and Liquid Nitrogen. At times, Jim would travel with his dad on boating trips surveying the coast line to build the next harbor, sometimes getting stuck in a mud field because the roads and path were barely developed to reach new locations. His parents sparked in him an interest for Science and Technology and a desire to explore and discover. He learned from them that rewards only come from hard work and dedication to the work you love.

Jim was admitted in the top technical University in Venezuela, Universidad Simón Bolivar at a time that Computer Science was catching fire. He graduated with a degree in Computer Science Engineering at a time where computer networks were starting to appear in local environments. Jim continued his studies at the University of Toronto in Canada where he obtained a Masters in Computer Science with a specialty in distributed systems and parallel processing.

His first job after graduation was with a start-up company called Transarc Corp located in Pennsylvania which was later bought by IBM. When Jim joined IBM, he pursued Technical Sales to empower the IBM sales force to sell the newly acquired portfolio from Transarc. At IBM, Jim has gravitated towards entrepreneurial efforts that have the potential for new innovations as well as impact to the business.

Jim is currently a Senior Technical Staff Member which is an appointed position at IBM, one that indicates the ability to lead an agenda in a strategic area for the company. He has over 25 years in the industry and currently his focus is the area of application program interfaces. Often called the API Economy, Jim has been a visionary leader in this area, spanning the technical design and implementation as well as the economics aspect of the ecosystem. Jim is the architect for a new service experience that transformed “software as a service” offerings into a self-serve model for IBM customers.

Jim gives back to his community with dedicated involvement and support for local middle school and community Science Fairs, participating in IBM outreach programs, high school science research programs and he is a mentor for students going through undergraduate programs in computer science. At IBM, Jim also mentors junior researchers who are in their first years of their careers, and has hosted many interns, some of them from Argentina and Central America. Jim’s next project is to create a lecture about careers in Computer Science, the space and skills which have proved useful, and opportunities that the industry offers.

In 2015, Jim was elected to the IBM Academy of Technology, an IBM-wide honor that goes to its very best technical talent. He has 38 technical publications, IBM Redbooks, and 15 patents to his credit. Great Minds in STEM added to his awards, by honoring Jim as a Luminary Award recipient during the HENAAC Conference in October 2016.

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