Peter Quirk 

What I do

Until recently, I was a senior consulting program manager to the HR organization at EMC. My interest in virtual worlds, especially the Second Life® virtual world, stems from their applications in recruiting, training, distributed team collaboration, systems modeling and data visualization. Virtual worlds intersect with social networking, another big thing for me as a former manager of several communities on EMC’s social networking platform.

I’m now a director of product management a SEPATON. In my spare time, I continue to explore how virtual world technologies can help businesses with their corporate training, demo facilities and customer engagement. I’m also deeply interested in the linkages between virtual worlds and communications infrastructure, integration with legacy systems, visualization of distributed data, home automation and large scale environmental monitoring.

What I’ve done

I moved to Boston from Melbourne, Australia in 1988 to do product management and marketing for Data General’s emerging UNIX offerings. That led to product management for larger and larger DG/UX servers, culminating in DG’s 32-CPU NUMA server, the AV/10000, the last of our Motorola 88K based machines. A little later, I was part of a core group that became our NT Business Unit, offering Windows NT 3.51 and NT 4.0 on our new line of Intel machines. The relationships developed with Microsoft during this period led to a role at EMC in the first Windows marketing team after EMC acquired Data General in 1999.

An opportunity to try my hand at a very small software firm with another DG colleague led to a two-year stint as part of the management team, running engineering, IT, some of marketing and a good part of the kitchen. It was a great experience despite the frequent near-death experiences of small companies post 9/11, and I learned a lot about managing small distributed teams in Russia and India.

After a failed attempt by the management team to buy the company, I returned to EMC in late 2003 to manage the Microsoft technical relationship. As EMC began to grow through acquisitions, I moved into product strategy and spent an interesting couple of years analyzing VC investments in EMC’s primary and adjacent markets. Overlapping this project was a new one focused on standardizing and reporting software quality metrics across all of our software business units, followed by an interesting project to manage the outsourcing of some non-core activities in HR. In 2007, at the urging of Jack Mollen, the EVP of HR, our recruiting organization experimented with recruiting fairs in the Second Life world. Those experiments convinced a number of us of the power of virtual worlds to enrich personal communications and project a new image for our company.

My approach

I like to approach every activity as a learning activity, as an opportunity to try something new, and a chance to change the way we do something. My high school math teacher once wrote on my report card in that “Peter reads outside the syllabus – this will get him into trouble”. I’m happy to say that I’ve been doing that for the last forty-plus years. Most of the tutorials I post on this blog are a response to my initial ignorance of some aspect of a virtual world platform. I struggle with the limited documentation, often referring to the source code, until I get how something is supposed to be used. I try to construct an example that goes a little beyond the original intent of the idea to expose the potential or stimulate my readers to create something


The opinions expressed here are my personal opinions. Content published here while I was employed by EMC was not read or approved in advance by EMC and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of EMC.



  1. Hi Peter,

    I recently found your blog and enjoy it immensely. I plan on referencing your blog soon in my blog that focuses on recruiting and SL.

    Keep up the great work,

  2. really interesting stuff on your blog!

    Please also take a look at our test of OpenSim on our private grid info here: http://rezzable.com/pga

    bunch of non-techie posts about metaverse here: http://rezzable.com/metaverse

    cu on the grid

  3. Hi Peter:

    Keep up the great blogging.

    Can you send me your new e-mail address so I can send you an invitation to an upcoming (virtual) meeting I think you would enjoy attending?



  4. Peter,

    I am co-directing a short film regarding virtual work/telecommute options and their increasing prevalence in the workplace. I’d also like your email address, if possible!



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