Since November 2008 I have worked as a Web Developer at PeoplePerHour implementing new features and improving the existing design.
(Sep 2002-May 2008)
Since April 2005 I have worked in the Weight and Balance section of the Amadeus Flight Management team developing a new departure control system for airlines. I work on a C++ application that runs on Linux machines and is backed by an Oracle database.
I started my career maintaining a 30 year old collection of 2800 programs called FICO that helps British Airways operate their fleet of aircraft all around the world. It was a legacy system running on a huge mainframe. It might have been old and fiddly but it had many users around the world and performed at a colossal speed. FICO holds detailed records on all BA aircraft and flight crew, amongst other things it can be used to track aircraft, edit flight plans and book take-off time slots.
I couldn’t imagine a better place to spend six months doing work experience. Arsdigita was where my enthusiasm for programming came alive. There was a mix of smart people and fresh working environment that seemed to inspire me. I learnt how to program for the web and how to script in Tcl and Perl. I caught the Linux bug, started having arguments about why Emacs is better than Vi, started to touch-type. We worked flexi-time in casual clothes, got free diet coke and a head massage on Fridays. We even tried extreme programming on one of the projects.
Unfortunately the dot com bubble burst and ArsDigita went bust soon after I left. At least I got to meet philip Greenspun (but unfortunately not Alex). We all went to diner in a Turkish restaurant one evening.
Part-time University Jobs
- IC Union (Sept 2000 – April 2001:)
I did part time bar work one evening a week for cocktail night.
- Shiplake College Maintenance team (July 2000 – Sept 2000)
I spent 10 weeks in the summer doing maintenance jobs and groundsmen duties.
- IC Sports Centre (Jan 1998 – Sept 2000:)
I worked as a part time pool guard for nearly two years.
Imperial College (1998-2002)
|Doing a MEng in Computing at IC was a challenging four years and I’ve never worked so hard. I managed to come out of it with a 2:1.|
Apart from lectures, tutorials and exams:
- I spent the first year learning various tricks from the university circus skills club and circus space. I earned money working as a life guard at the IC Sports centre which meant I got free gym and swimming pool access for the next three years. I also met Kix in my fresher year. In the summer holidays I organised a expedition to India and Nepal with a school friend.
- I spent the entire second year Rowing which included 2 trips to Italy and becoming the “best” Novice eight in the country (i.e. we won the Novice category of the main Winter event called “The Head of the River”). In the summer holidays I spent 10 weeks doing maintenance jobs at a local school.
- After the third year Group Project, I left Uni for half a year to do a work placement at ArsDigita. I also worked in the IC Student Union making cocktails on Thursday evenings.
- I spent the forth year doing my Individual Project on road-traffic simulation (VISSIM).
The Oratory School (1993-1998)
|I liked school very much, heck, even the food was good. There was so much to do and so many people to have a laugh with. School was a time when work was the brainless activity of just doing what the teachers said.|
Apart from 12 GCSE’s and 4 A-level’s:
- I rowed for 4 years with most success in a J16 four with Chris Hitchens, James Macadden, Phil Pointer and Gervase George (cox). We got a few pots and medals and got to go on a tour in Ireland.
- I spent a lot of time doing pottery. I had my own set of keys to the pottery room where I could escape from the academic side of work. I jointly received the final year art prize. The biggest regret of my life was not taking any pictures of the 5 major art pieces that I created.
- I got to the rank of Flight Sergeant in the RAF cadet force where I clocked up about 20 hours flying experience and completed “Initial Glider Training”. I got to fly in various military aircraft but failed to become a pilot, however I still ended up working in the airline industry.
- I learned to sail for a year with Laurence Norah.
- I was a st-John house prefect where I had the difficult task of putting 80 teenagers to bed and the even harder task of waking them back up.
- The summer after school was amazing. I spent half of it with a friend on an uninhabited island in the Seychelles and other other half inter-railing round Europe with three other friends.
The Oratory Preparatory School (1988-1993)
|I have extremely fond memories of the OPS. I enjoyed school so much that I was a border, even though my parents only lived ten minutes from the school.|
- I finished with 7 A’s and 3 B’s in my Common Entrance exams.
- I was deputy head boy in the final year.
- I did so much pottery that I applied for (and achieved) an art scholarship towards my next school.
- The only sport that I really enjoyed was cross-country running (but I wasn’t much good).
I have no memory of any of the school lessons but can remember going on nature-walks, the egg-and-spoon and 3-legged race at sports day, playing hockey on the green across the road, setting pretend traps during play-time and going home with friends after school. I used to skate-board with Johny Burt, dig for dinosaur bones with Charles Greenwood and go camping with Alex Stow. The Head-mistress had the fearsome name of “Mrs Brewer”, we all sat at tables in the dining room and she used to make us eat everything that was provided. Sausage pie used to make me sick.
New Farm Playgroup (1983-1984)
I still have memories of the toddler group I used to call “Duck school” because it was near a pond.