For many years I kept thinking: "If I was working for myself I could do that IT project for a third of the price in half the time!" - so that's what I did.
With over 17 years experience in helping organizations produce innovative software and websites, perhaps I could help you too? That's me in the photo with my wife (Jenny) and son (Caleb) and we live in the fair city of Worcester.
I've loved computers and maps since I was nine years old so it's only natural I ended up turning two of my hobbies into a day job. Graduating with a degree in Geography (First Class), and an MSc (Distinction) in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) I joined QinetiQ, a leading Defence and Technology specialist, in 2000 as a scientific researcher and GIS consultant. I soon realised the potential of the web for rapidly designing simple-to-use applications and had a strong feeling this was the future of computing (which proved right). So, I began using new web technologies for a range of Defence, Security and Industrial clients and haven't looked back since. In 2006 I won British Telecom's mash-up competition with an off-the-wall travel application called "the Random Day Out Generator". I've also set up a successful "Find your nearest store" web service for businesses called Blipstar. It's used by hundreds of people all around the world - check out my portfolio for more info.
I've always wanted to work for myself and after an interesting 2009 (it's a long story...) I decided to take the plunge. So, on 1st January 2010 I left my stable, sensible job and became self-employed as an IT consultant, specialising in web design and mapping applications. And I love it.
Experience and skills
I've worked on all types of projects, solo and in teams. Self-direction and motivation have always come naturally to me, as long as the work was interesting.
- Excellent technical knowledge of web technologies (in a down-to-earth kind of way).
- Experience of having bright ideas (easy) and actually making them happen (not easy).
- All things geospatial (MSc in GIS).
- Outstanding presentation and information visualization skills (presenting complex ideas in a simple to understand way).
- 100% success rate in 'getting the job done' (all projects, large and small, completed on time and to budget).
Things I like (in no particular order)
- Not having to commute, wear a suit or waste time in pointless meetings.
- Getting paid to do my hobby.
- Working with interesting people from across the globe.
- Open Source initiatives.
- Simple solutions to complex problems.
- How quickly it's possible to knock-up decent web apps.
- The privilege of having a family.
- Most types of sweets and chocolate.
- Living in England.
- Watching a film that makes you think for days afterwards.
- Making new friends, spending time with old ones.
- Listening to a new song which makes the hairs of your neck stand on end.
- Cool architecture - be it old or new.
- Shafts of sunlight breaking through the clouds.
- A refreshing cup of tea. Or pint of real ale.
- Being a follower of Christ (the most anti-religious, counter-cultural fellow ever).
- Snorkelling at coral reefs in Egypt.
- That feeling of "all is well with the world".
And many other things.
Things I don't like
- Bureaucracy, red-tape and management-speak.
- The quasi-religious status of "celebrity".
- Feeling tired.
- Chasing up invoices.
- Being a "salesman" (not my forte so I leave it to the experts).
- Sweaty cheese.
I'm very fortunate to have a job I really love doing. I design, create, host, improve and maintain web apps. I'm up for pretty much any IT project that sounds challenging, do-able and fun. My design ethos is "keep things simple".