What are you doing now?
After leaving St. Andrews I went to London to work as a consultant for Logica on various projects for their external client base. After a few years of this my Entrepreneurial streak got the better of me and I struck out setting up a number of companies in areas such as Computer Simulations through to Cloud based Call Center software.
I am currently the CTO for an Edinburgh based company, Trendzer, with offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Amsterdam.
Trendzer is the EU’s forefront provider of Managed Services in Cloud and Digital SMB services for national Telco’s around Europe. The Trendzer platform creates real-time, integrated reporting for the leading cloud and internet services used by SMBs. The dashboard uniquely supports the end-to-end life cycle of the SMB covering: sales acquisition, installation & configuration, branding, content, training, usage and ROI attainment.
My role is very varied and I get to direct a very skilled technology team using diverse and cutting edge tech. So, to throw some buzz words around some of our current projects involve :-
- Azure cloud IaaS & PaaS
- Docker containers and micro networking
- LEAN ERP system development
- Genetic Algorithm development for SERP improvement
- On-line behavioral analysis
What is your favorite memory from your time studying Computer Science in St Andrews?
I think the thing I enjoyed the most during my time in CS was my Senior Honours project, as it combined all the things I was interested in at the time – namely networking, low-level process communications and AI. It was particularly satisfying to print it out and it coming out at around 800 pages (2 bound volumes) including the source code. What made it even more memorable was that the project was a finalist for the Software Engineer of the Year awards that year. I don’t remember much about the awards themselves however – apart from there was a lot of champagne involved.
Other memories that make me smile when I think about the time there include the Sun Lab (tucked away under the maths building), Sunsite (how to download software before the WWW), Netrek (though I wasn’t as addicted to it as some .. you know who you are) & our MUD (now, I DID lose quite a lot of nights to that — and I hear a rumor that another of my classmates is trying to resurrect it …)
What was your favorite module, and why?
The two stand out modules for me were the Neural Networks module and the Networking Architecture modules – these were nice and geeky without being too heavily involved with maths. One thing I remember clearly is the breakthrough when I could finally deduce the maths behind a back-prop neural network …. though don’t ask me to do it these days.