Software, products, innovation
I love making, understanding & explaining code
My background and core competence is systems software engineering, but I love the whole process of building products. I've been in startups that have succeeded and others that have failed. I enjoy writing code, and understanding how other people will use it.
Where I get over my British reserve and admit that I'm pretty good at these
I spent the first, well, many years of my professional life writing and architecting portable network stack implementations. I love and understand how to make clean, well-architected code.
Live coding on stage
Go & Python
Writing & speaking
I've written for numerous blogs, and honoured to speak at tech conferences around the world. I'm venturing into video training and books - more on this soon.
A few things I've been working on recently
I write on Medium
My back story
A brief history of my education and experience
Education & internships
I read engineering at Pembroke College, Cambridge, and did a post-graduate year in Real Time Information Processing at École Centrale Paris. I had internships at Marconi Space Systems (I think all the satellites I worked on are space junk now, sadly) and Schlumberger. Ask me about the time I left their laptop in a taxi - I'm still embarrassed about that, and much more careful with hardware.
I joined what was then Data Connection, now Metaswitch Networks, writing portable network protocol software. I'm pretty sure you'll have used some of it as a consumer, blissfully unaware that I had anything to do with it. By the time I left I was VP Customer Services, running a team of engineers supporting OEM software labs around the world.
Product / consumer
I stepped away from coding to become a Product Manager at Skype, which at that time was a tiny office in Soho, London, packed with talented people in all sorts of disciplines I'd never really known anything about before, like marketing and business development. Learnt SO MUCH. After that I worked at music recommendations site Last.fm, running APIs and partner integrations.
Not long after I had decided to branch out into my own consultancy business, I was approached to help set up an innovation team in The Valley with my old friends at Metaswitch. This involved camping out in Sequoia's offices (ask me stories about bike rides with billionaires) and then establishing our own place in downtown Palo Alto. We had a fantastic 18 months building and launching a mobile app called Thrutu, which was downloaded by over half a million people.
Returning to London I co-founded a TV recommendations startup called Tank Top TV, which was funded by Telefonica and won various awards before hitting the wall. I learnt a ton more about recommender systems and machine learning, not to mention the whole host of non-technical things you encounter running a business.
Then I joined my long-time friends Anne Currie and Ross Fairbanks, who had started exploring this technology called "containers", to form Microscaling Systems. I was hooked. I loved coming back to my original working world of systems engineering.