I am geek, hear me hack!

A geek? No, seriously?

Oh yeah! Even the abridged story is going to be a long entry!

It started when I was at school – I ended up teaching part of the Computer Studies course I was taking! Back then (1980) it was a CP/M network of RML 480Z workstations and a standalone 380Z.

As part of my “O” (Ordinary) and “A” (Advanced) levels I also got to play with the infamous Sinclair ZX80 and ZX81 (expanded to a whole 16Kb RAM!) as well as a DEC PDP-11/40 too.

I even wrote a library management system which my school sold to an Icelandic school!

1985: Before going to university, I worked for a haematology company, writing a statistics/graphics package on an Apple ][e. It processed a stream of data coming in from a particle counter; very revolutionary and a major selling point.

That job, and a little side business in helping fellow students with their coursework, helped me afford my first computer – a Memotech MTX512 with FDX (twin 5.25″ floppy drive!) and printer. I’d like to point out I had it before it was made famous(?) in Weird Science. 🙂

1988-1992: After graduating (with a BSc(Hons) in Computer Science – what else?) I joined a large X.400 (email) development team. I progressed from coding to team leading, got involved in quality assurance, and gained an appreciation of team dynamics as well many of the technical aspects, e.g. fault tolerant systems.

After four years, the company was bought out by Fujitsu who discovered two other very similar products being developed in other parts of the organisation and we were closed down.

1992-1994: A two year stint with another email-related project, this time porting to 22 different flavours of UNIX. It gave me an opportunity to expand my quality assurance skills and to do more in project management, as well as being very hands-on with an exciting array of hardware.

1994-2001: Working for a small Danish software company (based in England) presented a mass of opportunities. Starting with a knowledge transfer project in Denmark and Germany, working with NATO‘s Nuclear, Biological, Chemical warfare experts (NBC is now called CBRNE) and another Danish company; taking over quality assurance and infrastructure responsibilities; managing multiple concurrent projects for diverse customers (some military, some health care, some transportation and some government); living & working in Aarhus, Denmark for a few months … all of this, and running a project which allowed laboratory results to be sent to doctors. A lot of diversity, but involvement from sales support right through to formal acceptance, training and support – a lot to cram in, even though I was there almost seven years.

2001-2005: After a little time off to aclimatise myself to a new city, new country and new continent, I joined a not-for-profit organisation in the health arena. The project was way behind schedule and over budget, and the test team were doing a lot of low-level testing that wasn’t our responsibility. Over my four years there, three extra pilot sites were signed up (one large enough to show that the MS-Access database wasn’t scalable, which required some major rewrites to implement MS SQL Server), the software installed and tested. Patients began consenting and their data was extracted, cleaned (patient identifying info removed), encrypted and securely transmitted to our research database. Unfortunately the funder’s priorities changed and the project was terminated.

Since then I’ve been coaching various organisations… You can find out more on topmanager.ca or LinkedIn.

Not only but also…

Version: 3.12
GCS d- s+:+ a C++(+++) UL++++ P L++>+++ E— W++ N+ o K++ w— !O M- V-
PS+ PE++ Y+ PGP>++ t– 5- X- R tv- b>++ DI++ D++ G+ e++ h—- r+++ y+++

There’s a Geek Code Decoder in case you’re not geeky enough to work it out yourself. 🙂