A View from Stanage Edge in the Peak District

About Me

(Updated: 19 April 2017)

Here are just a few notes about my interests and technical skills.


I’ve always had a keen interest in software development and programming languages. I started writing programs in the early 1980s and since then, I have written programs in a wide variety of languages – these include Assembler (z80 and 8086), Forth, Pascal (with the Open University), C, and various forms of BASIC (Sinclair/Amstrad, BBC basic, Qbasic, Microsoft Access Basic, DarkBASIC, Blitz Basic, PureBasic).

For 10 years I was a mainframe developer / analyst programmer, writing mainly in COBOL / CICS, with some CLIST, Rexx and SAS thrown in for good measure.

Around 2005, I started to take a keen interest in object-oriented programming and began to explore the benefits offered by OOPLs such as Java, Python and PHP. Learning these languages in my own time, helped me transition from Mainframe development to Web development, ultimately landing me my first full-time role as a web developer.

I've also had an 'on-off' relationship with JavaScript over the years, only using it when I really had to. In recent years I've being doing much more front-end development, with the majority of my experience now being with AngularJS 1.x and jQuery.

Now that HTML5 has matured, I'm interested in developing cross-platform desktop applications using Electron and mobile applications using Ionic

Finally, since about 2000, I've been closely following the open-source software movement. All my computer-related activities utilise open-source software solutions.

I haven't had a home windows machine since about 2010 - all my hardware runs Ubuntu. I also run local instances of PHP5, Apache and MySQL on my home LAN, which allows me to install and run web applications on my home computers. If the need arises, I am able to write custom shell scripts in PHP-CLI, Python, or BASH.

I'm also a certified PHP Engineer and a member of Mensa.

Other Interests

I'm avid viewer of films - I usually watch somewhere between 100 and 200 films a year (to balance that out, I watch much less TV than I used to). I have written a web application to help me track my film viewing history - it's written in PHP5 (Zend Framework). In my film viewing database, I have logged and rated over 2,500 films. See My Favourite Films.

I've always been fascinated by the latest developments in technology - I follow several online tech sites and will happily watch the latest science and technology documentaries (especially BBC productions such as "Horizon").

In order to keep 'current' in the web development industry, I also follow the news on the latest trends in the IT world - I wouldn't describe myself as a tech 'geek', though.

When I do read fiction, I prefer science fiction - my favourite authors are Arthur C Clarke and Philip K Dick.

Over the years I have spent a lot of time playing computer and console games. See My Game-Playing History.

I did spend a lot of time examining 'alternative realities' - specifically UFO folklore and conspiracy theories. I no longer follow those topics and I've toyed with the idea of writing up my conclusions on the subject matter as a form of 'closure'. In the meantime, see Are We Alone in the Universe?

I'll gladly sit and watch Formula One, most forms of motor racing, Six Nations Rugby, Snooker, Darts, Baseball, X-treme sports and Winter sports.

Professional Experience

Here is a brief summary of my professional work experience as of April 2017 - in reverse order (most current first).

Web Development (6 years)

Global Telecommunications Company (2 years)

Full-time front-end development.

  • Internal Web Applications
    • Javascript, Angular 1.x, Bootstrap 3
    • PHP, Laravel 5, Twig, HTML5, CSS3/LESS

UK-Based Software House (1 year)

Full-time front and back-end development plus VB.net development.

  • Desktop ERP System
    • VB.net, PostGreSQL
  • Web-based ERP System
    • PHP, Angular 1.x, HTML5, CSS2

Global Hardware/Software Reseller (3 years)

Full-time front and back-end development.

  • Commercial Website:
    • PHP, Smarty, XHTML, CSS2, Javascript, jQuery
    • SOAP, AJAX, Linux, Apache, MySQL, Oracle, MS-SQL
    • Netbeans 7, GIT Source Control
    • MVC, B2B eCommerce, Agile / Scrum Methodology

Mainframe Development (10 years)

Full-time mainframe developer / analyst programmer, primarily writing and supporting applications:

  • Programming:
    • OPC scheduled batch jobs
  • Analysis, design and specification
  • Unit and system testing
  • Over-night support

High Street Banking (7 years)

Full-time general clerk in a high street bank - nothing IT-related, though it did teach me a lot about the dynamics of the office work environment, communication skills and the value of team-work.

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