A brief word or two about myself in case you are interested.
I have been a Software Developer for 30 years. Before that I was a Design Engineer in the Research and Development Department of a well known elevator company called Otis. Best job I ever had.
Designing elevator components and testing them to destruction. A real fun vocation. I have always had a passion for all things technical. A real life Dilbert. I have The Knack.
It was during my time at Otis that I first got involved in designing and developing computer software to provide solutions to real life engineering problems. My best project I was tasked with developing and implementing the very first automated layout drawing
system in the history of Otis in the early 1980s. It was CAD driven. It changed the way the company delivered elevator site layout drawings to architects permanently. To this day I am very proud of that fact.
That system, called MOSEL, was built around what was, by today's standards, a pretty primitive set of hardware and software technologies. The sort of desktop computing power we have today, and the plethora of development
platforms, were a pipe dream. Oh how things have changed. When I left Otis, in 1989, and moved to the Cooperative Bank, its was as a CICS/COBOL developer working on IBM Mainframes. A classically trained Mainframe Developer.
During my time at the Coop Bank I saw a great deal of evolution in the IT arena. With the emergence of Local Area Network technology and desktop applications business process moved from mainframe to desktop in a very short
period of time. I was, along with others in the IT department, instrumental in making that transition happen as a member of a national task force responsible for rolling out LAN infrastructure, desktop computers and applications
throughout the Coop's office and branch network in the UK. One of my particular tasks during this rollout was to implement a national email platform. When I left the Coop Bank in 2000 I was responsible for the management
and support of the bank's national email platform.
I left the Coop Bank in September 1998 to become an IT Contractor. Why? Because there was redundancy on the horizon and I didn't want to wait around for the axe to fall, as it eventally did for those who remained.
Contracting is a world away from permanent employment. No job security. No holiday pay, No sick pay. Its not for everyone. But its not all bad. The great thing about contracting is the exposure to emerging technologies
that it offers that doesn't often come from a permanent post. When an organisation brings a contractor in its often because they don't have the necessary skills in house to meet the technical challenge ahead.
Buying those skills is a great way to move forward. Once on board the skills inevitably transfer to the permanent employees and the resultant application serves as a good case study as to how they are deployed.
This does mean, of course, that the contractor must stay current as new technologies emerge or you don't work. Thats a great incentive for the contractor to invest the time and energy that it takes to do so. And it is
always down to the contractor to invest the time and effort because no client is ever prepared to train a contractor. You are, quite rightly, expected to deliver service from day one of your contract engagement. Thats why I am current today.
Since leaving The Coop Bank in September 1998 I have delivered software services to many organization, large and small, including Barclays Bank, Unilever and Intel. For six years during that period
I also provided software services to large public sector organizations notably Tameside and Sefton MBCs. So I am no stranger to the public sector working practises.
What about away from the keyboard? (which isn't that often). My prized possessions are two terrific sons and a Marin Bobcat Trail mountain bike. I do cycle a lot. I don't smoke and I don't do alcohol.
I actually like developing software. If I didn't do it for a living I would do it as a hobby.