About Me

I have been a Lotus Notes programmer since 1996.   I got a degree in Management Information System in college in 1994, and started out wanting to be a Network Administrator.   I was working as a hardware/software support tech when I found a higher paying job doing the same thing.   Upon telling my current employer, they countered by offering to teach me Lotus Notes Development and give me a nice raise.  I took the offer and the rest is history.

I have worked at several different companies over the years including Frito-Lay, Bank of America, and Travelers Insurance in the Dallas, Texas area.   Currently I work for Harmons Grocery store in the Salt Lake City area.    I had never heard of them before I took the job.   They are located only in Utah with 16 stores and an extremely loyal customer base.   They are a small private company that is very well run in my opinion.  

Early in my career I was extremely motivated to learn new things to help broaden my skills.   I took credit classes in Java, C, C#, and Visual Basic.   I studied for and obtained certifications, as well as lots of independent study.   As I became older and more established I kind of let all that slide to a degree.   I started having children, and spent a lot of time fixing up my house. I never did have any trouble finding work, so I didn't worry that my career wasn't really advancing.   I guess, to be fair to myself my career did advance.  I became much better at project management, customer service, and training.   What did not advance, was the technical skills and acronyms that go on your resume.

In 2010, I had the crazy idea to take time off from working to travel around the US with my wife and 4 kids in an RV.   Not only did we dream this, we actually did it from June 2011 to August 2012.   It was a wonderful time, and if you are interested we have a family blog dedicated to it.   In June 2012 after one year on the road, I started looking for work.  It did not come as easy as in the past, and I started having interviews without offers which was a rarity in the past.   The world continued to change, and I had not changed with it.

Employers were looking for developers who already had XPages experience.   I had one that was asking for 4 years of XPages experience.  They acted like I was making excuses trying to explain to them that it had only been out for three years at that point.   It didn't seem to matter that I had 16 years of Notes experience, all that mattered is that I didn't work with Xpages already.  This all was a major WAKE UP CALL for me.

I decided that I had no one to blame for my complacency except myself, and started studying like crazy.   I started reading everything I could find on the internet. I discovered Notesin9 videos on YouTube.   I bought books and devoured them.    I became an IBM certified application developer in version 8.5.  My first certification since the R5 update.

After about two months of this, I was able to land the job at Harmons.   I was in Bar Harbor, Maine at that time so it was quite a trip from there to get to Utah.  I took the job because they wanted someone to work in Xpages but were willing to hire something with out prior experience.   The job has certainly not disappointed.   I have learned so much in my first six months.

So that is my story, I have decided that I never want to get complacent again.  I love learning new things, and hope to share some of them on this blog.

If you ever want to reach me, my email is zavocki@hotmail.com

Steve Zavocki

February 2013


  1. Great blog Steve, and a great 'about me' article too. It's an interesting story you tell as well as your experiences in all things XPages. I look forward to reading more from you.

    PS: welcome to the XPages community :-)

    1. Thanks Paul!!

      A lot of us long time Notes people owe a huge debt of gratitude to IBM Ireland for saving/rejuvenating our careers with the creation of Xpages.