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Dawn May on Career, Hobbies and IBM i User Groups

Former IBMer and user group leader Dawn May talks about her career, teaching IBM i and more.

Image by Erin Little

Name: Dawn May 
Title: Owner  
Company name: Dawn May Consulting, LLC 
Company’s function: Consulting and education 
Headquarters: New Hampshire Seacoast 
IT Experience: 38 (but don’t tell anyone)

How did you end up in IT? In my senior year of high school, I had the opportunity to attend a seminar at Michigan Tech in Houghton, Michigan. While there, I played my first computer game; it was a simple grocery shopping game. I did silly things, like selecting 2,000 pounds of chicken, at which point the computer replied something like, “That’s not a chicken, that’s a turkey that’s too heavy to fly.” At that point, I became fascinated with computers because I realized they could be humanized in unexpected ways.

What’s the biggest challenge facing your company today? My company consists of a single employee—myself. The biggest challenge is the breadth of technical knowledge that’s required when working directly with clients.

What IBM product could your company not function without? I wouldn’t have a business without IBM i.

What do you think you’d be doing if you weren’t in IT? I probably would have been a math teacher.

What trends are affecting your work? Most of my work involves shops that need to improve the management and performance of their systems, and most of these shops have seen business growth that drives this need.

What’s been your biggest accomplishment? The i Can blog at is my biggest accomplishment. Writing articles on a regular basis is a challenging project, but I’ve kept the blog active for over 10 years now, and I plan to continue to write articles for the foreseeable future.

What’s your favorite activity outside of work? I have far too many hobbies that take my time outside of work. I like to cook—particularly baking bread. Sewing is a passion, and I enjoy going out to shoot photos.

What’s the first thing you do when you get home from work each day? Since I work from my house, there isn’t a good break between work and home. At the end of most days, I like to solve a few Sudoku puzzles.

What’s the geekiest thing you’ve ever owned? I think my sewing machine collection qualifies.

If money were no object, what would you purchase and why? A Porsche 911. I’ve loved the look since I first saw one in 1982.

What’s your favorite sound? The popcorn sound my phone makes when I get texts from my husband. 



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