How it began
My interest in computers started in the mid 1970s with the early ‘micro’ computers, the Commodore PET and the Apple II. I remember coding a Pacman-like game with extended ASCII characters and writing a graphical fill algorithm in Assembler for the BBC micro.
Chance gave me many opportunities to be involved in some of the early developments of interactive multimedia and online learning with the Scottish and Northern Ireland governments, and with the BBC. I went on to set up my own company and work for a range of organisations in both the public and private sectors, doing consultancy, project management, software, and architectural design.
The bigger picture
At Scott Logic I am a Technical Architect, which as a title has many permutations, however I am lucky that this allows me to be a general technical specialist with an endless interest in cutting edge technology, a creative passion for solving problems and a drive for simplicity. What does that mean day to day? Well, a common view of technical architects – and I’ve met a few who fit this description – is that they’re people who stay one step away from coding and spend most of their time talking ‘enterprise architecture’-speak and drawing architectural diagrams. In the worst cases they are seen as being so detached from both the code and the customer that their designs are neither desirable nor deliverable.
By contrast, I focus on a number of technical areas but also look at the big picture and how all these pieces come together, and I confess that I do like drawing diagrams! My current interests include the programming languages Scala and Rust, big data and streaming functional reactive processing, and DevOps automated container deployments.
In the bigger ‘systems thinking’ picture I’m interested in the interaction between the structure and effectiveness of the end product, and that of the software and the team that produced it. The perfect system for me is the simplest one that’s designed to both meet the needs of end users and the developers’ capabilities.
Keeping things interesting
Scott Logic is a great place for someone with an overactive mind such as myself. There are lots of projects with lots of clients, and lots of new technology. It’s hard for most companies to both retain staff, and keep up to date with technology, which we manage by providing our clients with the skills for digital transformation that keep our lives as technologists interesting.
Read more software stories here, or visit our careers blog here.