I am have too many years of computer development under behind me to even think about how long I have been in the industry.
It all started with a trip to the Science Museum in London on a school trip in the 1970s, and playing with a computer that was programmed to work out a number you think of between 1 and 100 in less than seven guesses. It blew my young mind, and I swore I would understand how these things worked.
Then came the ZX81, then the ZX Spectrum, then an explosion of home computers hit the market. Every Saturday morning was spend in Computer Shack in Cheltenham in the early 1980s, playing with Commodore 64s, Orics, Sharp MZ-80As, Dragons, and a whole bunch of computers that went through that shop. I owe the guys there a lot – the early experiences on these machines have opened up careers for me and many other teenagers who frequented that shop.
Computer (and TV) repairs in Screen Scene, run by Geoff Butcher, was my first part-time job while doing my A-levels. And it goes on – so many fantastic opportunities brought to us kids by so many fantastic people in the 1980s. Just wish I had space to name them all.
So, you are probably bored to death listening to me talk about what motivated and inspired me. What do I do now?
Most of my work involves Open Source. It started working on the Xaraya CMS (a fork of PostNuke, which is a fork of PHPnuke, which came from PhatWare, which came form something else lost in the mists of time) a decade ago, some instances of which we still have running in production environments. Yes, it is difficult to shake some websites off.
These days is more Laravel, SugarCRM, WordPress and custom libraries to glue all this stuff together. I love reusing what other people have written, I love helping to improve those projects and I love releasing my own open source libraries and packages.
What next? The world of the web has no borders, it seems. I can be working with a company down the road in the morning, and providing support to a shop owner in Miami or Sweden in the afternoon. Tools online make this so easy now, to communicate, collaborate and share.
I’m still having fun, and still discovering new things to do. What do you need? Let me know, and we’ll see what I can do for you.