About Andre

Welcome to my blog

Preface

Firstly this blog is for holding and sharing, knowledge I pick up on my journey through the IT industry, specifically knowledge I am allowed to share, ie when im not under contract or non discolure agreements. Everything worth mentioning from errors to cool stuff, challenging problems and work arounds, tutorials, advice, generally anything goes here; If its useful and I have time it gets posted.

Secondly I will also post the odd off topic but interesting article on occasion.

Before the internet became what it is today I kept a record in the form of “mht” files and random txt documents with bug fixes, solutions, how to’s, best practices etc etc. The idea of this blog is to consolidate all of the aforementioned so its easy to find. Maybe as I reuse these files (If I ever do) I will post to this blog, maybe I won’t, the chances are the technology has moved on so far that most of my notes prior to this blog going live will be obsolete.

My history

Early on

I’ve been in IT since I was about 11 years old, my father was an analyst who worked in the private sector back when tape drives and IBM mainframes were new modern day technology, the common language were PASCAL & FORTRAN he was always on a plane flying to various locations until a few years after I was born. When I was 3 years old he decided that he wanted to spend more time with the family and so he accepted an analyst role as a civil servant working for the local council settling in Woking in the leafy county of Surrey UK.

When I turned 11 and became more interested in computers, our school at the time had very early versions of computers like the age old BBC and Early versions of DOS running on 286 processors these machine can only be found in museums now, but back then, they were state of the art.

As technology advanced which in 1990 in stark comparison to modern advancements was relatively slow,  I was at boarding school at the time, when I came home I showed a keen interest in using computers, my dad started to show me how to type up my home work that could be done on a computer using a new Microsoft software sweet known as Microsoft Office, I was lucky, not many people could afford it at the time but my dad was given a computer to take home, a 486 running DOS and an early version of Windows 3.1, I forget the RAM but it cant have been more than 8MB, this computer was more advanced than anything we had at school. I remember my teachers asking me where I had done my home work, what had I used, they simply didn’t know about the technical revolution that was going on and I was lucky enough that my dad had access to it.

Suffice to say since the age of 11 my curiosity and interest in computers was nurtured by my dad.

Latter Education years

The final influence my father had on my quest through programming was in my final year at university; I was studying for my Bachelors in Engineering, and in my dissertation I remember he showed me how to use Microsoft Access database to store information that could be used on my final year project. I was writing my first program in Visual Basic 6. This was my first experience in Development and I was going to be designer, developer, installer and trainer. The full development life-cycle as my first ever programming project. The project controlled one of Globe Energy’s early real time temperature controlled, Gas fired industrial space heating systems at an industrial warehouse in Hayes UK; for the customer, a company back then called Future Electronics, the project was a complete success, the program worked flawlessly and the overall outcome was a 70% reduction in the factory heating bill. I will never forget the feeling of achievement walking on the factory floor, seeing all the heaters firing on and off from a program I wrote, at aged 24 this was a major achievement  for me.

Up until this point my father had been my idol, my teacher and now I had started to learn things he was no longer able to understand and keep up with. I had passed my mentors knowledge in computer programming. How could I learn more, well by then the internet was born and information sharing was a new revelation. When once you had to find a library or a book store with up to date books; or go on courses to gain access to material on the subject of programming you could now access an entire worlds worth of information at home.

Up to 10 years ago Microsoft would release their Help library in CD form that was bundled with the software development environment Visual Studio 6. In 2001 the MSDN online library was born along with the .NET Framework. This revolutionised software development, developers could now gain access to vital information which would only do one thing, rapidly increase the speed at which developers would learn new techniques and expand their knowledge of programming on the Microsoft windows platform.

More Recent

In the last Ten years we have seen an exponential growth in technology, and how it has affected the world around us is equally as profound. House hold names like Microsft and Apple were around from the beginning, but Google, Yahoo, Ebay, Facebook, Twitter and many more have suddenly grown to become global multi billion dollar companies in just a decade.

In the programming world we are seeing a synergy the likes we have never seen, where once were clear boundaries, rivers we could not cross there are now bridges to allow flow; Microsft developing applications that run on apple mac platforms, open source development platforms now runnnig on Microsoft windows based servers; Development tools now becoming cross platform, development environments now capable of allowing the developer to debug and develop in multiple languages simultaneously. Cloud computing and open source programming becoming viable and relied on by business’s of today. Mobile devices delivering content to people globally in real time.

The world around us and especially the technical world is advancing so fast that a software engineer must choose the technology one uses wisely, the developer must design with cross platform implementations in mind, common foundations from which all common languages and content delivery networks can operate on.

We live in a world that is technologically more complex and versatile it has ever been in the history of the human race, it is known now that the total connections between computers on the planet now exceeds the number of neurons in the human brain; And yet despite its complexity it has brought about a calm synergy, a global transparency and ease into peoples lives. The world has never felt so small, you can now do more than you were ever able to in the same space of time without moving anywhere, booking flights, doing your shopping, catching up with the local or global news, staying in touch with family and friends to mention just a few; Can all be done from one electronic device, small enough to fit in your pocket.

We live in exciting times.

IT Director for “The Low Carbon Economy Ltd” from Aug 2007 TLCE.
My career in IT has a focus on Microsoft.
Areas include Infrastructure and Development; From infrastructure planning, Network design, server configuration, to enterprise application Integration (EAI), Windows services, Windows applications, .Net web apps, Secure web services etc etc.
I embrace all technologies from mainframes to PCs, linux to windows, cisco to checkpoint, apache to IIS. php to asp.net, javascript to vbs, I dont have a bee under my bonnet about which is better like many people i find in the industry do. I prefer to use the best tool for the job.
Im a firm believer in using the resources you have to the best of their abilities, designing for reliability and future scale up, every problem can be solved with the correct process of elimination.
I Have the rare mix of intelligence, integrity, domain knowledge, verbal agility and diplomacy, which allows me to rapidly earn the trust of technically astute teams across the company I happen to be working for. I have a strong understanding of coding principles and concepts. I have a solid understanding of IP networking, TCP/IP, DNS and how the web is built on it.
I have recently taken a kean interest in mobile tech, mainly android. The hyper growth of this part of the industry is hard to miss. Alongside my android interest i have also taken an interest in website development for mobiles, eg using gps features to organically display content the user is relevant to.

My hobbies include, keeping informed of current and future technology, improving my skills as an IT professional, from a developer and infrastructure perspective. My music, going down the gym as often as I reasonably can, movies and some tv series.

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