I am now coming up on my two month anniversary of being named President of CodeWeavers. It’s been an interesting five year journey to arrive at this ‘summit’ in my career. Maybe ‘summit’ and ‘career’ are overly optimistic terms for describing the 16 years I’ve given to various companies within the technology industry, but they somewhat reflect where I am today.
For those that do not know, I’m James B. Ramey. I grew up in North Dakota; attended college in Minnesota; and now call Minneapolis (actually one of the suburbs) my home. My career started in selling computer networking solutions to financial institutions; moved to providing Internet security solutions to quick serve restaurants; and now landed me in software virtualization. It’s been a wild ride, but it’s a ride that’s allowed me to tie my passion for technology (especially computer games) into a job I am happy to wake up to each and every morning (well, not every morning – but MOST mornings). The best part of my job has always been in helping others discover the benefits of using technology either in implementing new solutions for their personal or corporate needs or in developing products for new and emerging markets. I like to see people succeed, and I think technology (when used correctly) does that for people. And if in helping other people achieve their goals I get to play video games for five, six, or eight hours a day, I am willing to make that personal sacrifice (cause that’s just the type of guy I am).
So… It’s been two long short months since being named President. In that time, nothing has really changed. Seriously, they don’t let me do much. Actually, they would probably appreciate me doing less. My focus (which previously was solely and strictly sales) is expanding from ‘sales’ to ‘business development’ (which is still about striving for the long term health of the company), and my day to day activities revolve around finding ways to best improve our products; our company; our customer service; our development; our quality assurance; our efficiency; and our business development prospects (when you’re in a small company, you wear all these hats). I enjoy the challenge (albeit the same challenge as before).
As President, the one thing I’ve noticed in the short time is that people’s perception of me has changed (not the people I work with – their perceptions and expectations of me are still modestly low). Now when I get SPAM mail or telemarketing calls, people go out of their way to correctly spell and pronounce my name: Ramey (pronounced RAY-me). Business partners feel like they’re dealing with the ‘boss’ which means I’m now almost exclusively dealing with the Presidents, Sr. Vice Presidents, CEOs, and other executive types. People take my calls; respond to my e-mails; and genuinely give me the time of day. Had I known that this ‘new title’ would open so many doors, I would have insisted on calling myself ‘President’ years ago. If this keeps up, I might even start calling announcing myself as CEO. Heck, I might even go as far as, Chairman.
So in two months, I’ve learned that title is important. That people respect the position of President (even without knowing the tasks that go with the job). That if you’re focused on the ‘big picture’ the day to day stays relatively unchanged. And that this long wild ride was so totally worth it – at least so far!
About James B. Ramey
James B. Ramey is President of CodeWeavers. His life long love of video gaming started at the tender age of six with an Atari 2600 and evolved over time to include Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Apple Mac IIc, Windows PC, and MacBook Pro. When not fiddling with technology, James enjoys cooking, travel, debating politics in the office, and spending time with his wife, daughter, and their three Shar Pei cross dogs. For the past 20 years, James has worked with clients around the world in best implementing technology to maximize a return on their investment. He is a graduate of Moorhead State University and earned his graduate degree (MBA) online from the University of Phoenix. You can find James on Twitter at @jbramey.
Founded in 1996 as a general software consultancy,
CodeWeavers focuses on the development of
Wine – the core technology found
in all of its CrossOver products. The
company's goal is to bring expanded market opportunities for Windows software developers by making it easier, faster
and more painless to port Windows software to Mac and Linux. CodeWeavers is recognized as a leader in open-source
Windows porting technology, and maintains development offices in Minnesota, the United Kingdom and elsewhere around
the world. The company is privately held.
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