My first experience of recognition was in the early 1990s. I  was 21 and in a graduate job at BT, the UK's phone company. I'd been surprised by how much of the engineering team's time was spent writing plans and reports, so I spent my evenings and weekends writing an automated documentation system to make it easier. It took four months to write, and within weeks, 45 people were using it. A month in, my boss's boss, rarely seen, told me he had nominated me for an innovation award. I was flattered—after all, I was just doing what I loved, and didn't even know there was an innovation award. But I remember feeling really great that he had noticed ...

Get Build It now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.