|July 24, 1989
To whom it may concern,
As a Project Leader in the Advanced Technology Area of IBM Canada, I have had several very positive experiences with Francis Mont. Although company policy prohibits me from providing Francis with a formal letter of reference (reflecting IBM Management's views), I would very much like to record my own personal thoughts.
I have hired Francis on three separate occasions, for various projects aimed at providing leading edge application software for work stations. In total, I have acted as Francis's supervisor for almost four years. During this time, he consistently demonstrated to me his rare combination of personal, technical and managerial skills. On the first project I had hired Francis design, and then code, application software in the DOS environment for file handling, installation and maintenance, of a turn-key office system. He immediately impressed me with his technical competence. He was able to take the relatively vague specification we had at the time, and working independently, develop the software at a record pace. I also found him to be an excellent team-player, helping to keep the morale of the group high as we passed milestone after stressful milestone.
It is no wonder then, that six months later, I called on Francis again. This time it was to help me design a local area network (LAN) from scratch. The technology we had at our disposal at the time was all completely new and untested, so we worked closely together to determine the capabilities and weaknesses. Once again Francis proved himself invaluable to the project. In just six months we had a turn-key LAN serving 30 very demanding users. Francis had made important contributions to all aspects of the project. Conception, design, installation, and even end-user support and administration.
Most recently I have hired Francis to help me design and build OS/2 application software with telecommunication functionality. We have had great success with this project, so much so, that the IBM Corporation will be releasing it soon in three different strategic products (as I write this, the details of our work are still highly confidential, so I apologize for being vague). This success is in no small part due to Francis's ingenuity. In fact, I am proud to boast that much of our work will be patented. I believe that this is a tribute to Francis's creative problem solving abilities. Unlike most contractors I worked with, Francis is more than an expert programmer; he is an inventor who thrives on those challenging situations which arise when innovation is required, but there are no examples to follow.
In closing let me just express my regret that I can't have Francis work on all my projects (due to IBM restrictions), since his participation has time and time again assured us of a fine measure of success.