I saw my first computer in 1979. It was a Commodore PET. I was 9 years old and utterly fascinated by it. I’ve been fascinated with computers and computer technology ever since.
Fast forward a few years and I was fortunate enough to be given a BBC micro as a Christmas present from my parents. I would play games on it, my favourite being 'Elite'. I would also spend hours learning to program it. I even wrote my own Star Wars game for it, were you had to 'fly' through Beggars Canyon on Tattooine to shoot Wamp Rats. I seemed to have an affinity for computing, yet my school deemed I was too good at maths to allow me to take computer science as an option. My maths teacher even commented when I told him I wanted to work with computers that “there’s no future in working with computers”.
When I left school, I joined the Royal Navy as a Weapons Engineering Mechanic, specialising in electronics, radar, radio and computers. I wanted to work with new technology so it seemed the ideal branch to join. The first section I got to work on when I joined my first ship was with the ship’s computers. Imagine my surprise when I found out the real-time computer systems I was working with were older than I was! Not to be disheartened, I learnt all that I could from the experience and even learned to program using paper tape!
As I progressed through the navy, I became a Sonar Engineer eventually rising to the rate (the navy has rates, not ranks!) of Petty Officer Weapons Engineering Artificer. While serving aboard my last ship, I started an Open University degree in IT and Computing, which led to me becoming the ship’s ITSO (IT Security Officer) and being responsible for the Windows NT4 based network on board.
Upon leaving the navy after 12 years’ service, I transferred my naval computer qualifications to civilian ones, qualifying as MCSE in Windows 2000 and CCNA. I became the IT manager for a large secondary school on the outskirts of Durham and remained there for the next 14 years. My time at the school allowed me to experience and become proficient in a wide range of applications and technologies including Windows Server, Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft System Center and VMware. I also had the opportunity to take an MSc in Business Information Systems Management at Northumbria University.
I joined Waterstons in the Summer of 2016 and have worked on projects for a number of clients. The great thing about working for Waterstons is the range of opportunities there are to work on.
Outside of work, I like to spend time with my family and our dog. I can often be found out and about with a camera in hand as I’m a keen amateur photographer. I also play computer games when I have the time. I’m still trying to get to the rank of Elite!