Hi there!


Staff member
Hi !

As we're starting to get a few members now signing up, it's very apparent my introduction is past due.

My name is David Brown, not far from being 35 years of age and for most of those years have been involved in the computer and programming world.

I started out programming not by choice but by necessity as my first ever computer was an old Sinclair ZX81 with it's whopping 8k of RAM that I had saved for and bought from a friend for a fee of £10. Unfortunately the machine had no permanent storage facility whatsoever, so any thing that I wanted to run on their, first had to be patiently typed in. This certainly didn't deter me though, in fact I would look forward to buying the monthly magazines such as 'Byte' or 'Input' which feature new listings to type in. So there was always the challenge of ensuring the code was entered correctly, else I'd have to painstakingly look through trying to spot errors either on my part or the publishers part as they often would misspell a GOSUB or something like that.

However when the program would eventually run, and if I had no interruptions from our then pay by meter electricity supply, even the simplest block moving around the TV screen and responding to keyboard events would have me elated and wanting to do more.

Things moved on, I eventually got hold of a tape recorder, so things could be stored and replayed without the hours of typing and bug spotting. Then came new computers, with floppy disk drives, and then hard disk drives, with ever improving displays. The introduction of coloured pixels was a milestone and seeing just what other people could accomplish had captivated me.

In my youth I would do everything I could to be more involved within the industry, gaining experience working for 'shareware companies' or helping out people whenever I could who was having 'computer problems'. The amount of times I'd heard as a boy adults saying 'Well he's in the right industry, one day it will all be computerised wasn't far from the truth.

The natural path took it's course as I grew older, and finished school, naturally went college to gain certificate then onto university. At this stage however I wasn't quite sure where I was going, it just seemed to be the natural path to follow. I'd already done a variety of real work f from creating patient databases for dentists to following my own passion for the edge of computer programming such as machine code driven multiple parallax starfields with scrolling text and a thumping backing track!

So during the first summer break at university, an former neighbor and fellow enthusiastic Amiga fan contacted me asking if I wanted to help out his company with some work they were doing on a fairly large scaled case management system directed at land planning departments. Naturally I jumped at the chance and before I knew it had moved from the world of bedroom programming and into living away from home working at clients on a day to day basis implementing changes and producing a product based on live input from clients. This was a whole new ball game to me, and much more satisfying than programming to design specifications. Seeing people using a product all day that I have written was a great feeling of satisfaction! The one on one interaction and learning how to deal with various personality's was also something I found education certainly couldn't teach me so when the end of summer rapidly came around I had to face the choice of going to back to education for a further 2/3 years or continue with the product and company I'd become such an integral part of.

I chose not to finish the degree at that moment with no regrets, what I'd learned from all the various clients in the early days, the mentoring from my early bosses and soaking up their attitudes and passion for their work really has had a permanent effect on me and certainly something I wouldn't want to change.

These days, I'm self employed, I work from home for the majority of my time which has been great over the past two years as I've been here for all my 2 year old son's accomplishments which I feel very grateful for.

I tend to work mainly these days on web based applications, be it grails, RoR or simply servlet/jsp based, but also support the legacy desktop applications I've been involved with over the years.

Outside work, my passions would involve playing the guitar, reading & water based sports... Never been a big fan of football, rugby or cricket but I do love windsurfing, surging & diving. I just wish I had more opportunity to follow those pursuits.

So that's me in a nutshell, Hopefully through the forum I'll get to know you guys more and hopefully have similar interests to talk about when we need a five minute distraction ;)