About

Posted by Andy Gavin on Wed, 2005-11-23 13:14

Welcome, these are the pages of Andy Gavin.

I am a software designer with a Bachelor of Science in Computing for Real Time Systems. I have been designing and developing software for over 20 years starting as a hobbyist then for large and small companies. During this period I have played an active role in developing highly-available, high-transactional systems. Most common in my career in software engineering are: Optimizing or rewriting under-performing systems, using clear highly maintainable code; and green-field development and developing new products, subsystems.

I have a broad experience in a number of technology markets:

  • Telecommunications: From the late nineties and early millenium I worked for an intelligent networks startup company that was a pioneer of prepaid-calls. I designed and developed key parts of the product including recharging-by-credit-card, be-spoke accountancy, provisioning systems and real-time rating. For much of this period I also was on out-of-hours support callout for key "tier-one" operators.
  • Web: Throughout my career I have been exposed to the web, I first started using the internet prior to the web and started using web technologies in the early nineties. I have been familiar with the technologies as their various states of development: from CGI perl in the early days to Java-based Servlets later. I've developed websites in HTML and CSS, but tend to use content management systems or frameworks these sites are in large businesses and are no longer static text. This has involved being an early advocate for wikis and similar technologies.
  • Pharmaceuticals: I have developed a number of systems for in pharmaceuticals to make chemical work-flows generally available to the enterprise via the web. On the frontend of web applications, which might stretch deep into the enterprise I have experience of a variety of frontends including WEB2.0.

Since 2004 I have been developing systems using Agile techniques which requires a high level of communication and continuous interaction with the stake-holders. These techniques seek to deliver business value early, constantly refining the solution to best meet the customer’s needs. I was part of a team that was extensively trained by eXoftware in Xp Agile development.

When I am not working I enjoy:

  • Skiing:
    a few years ago a completed an instructor’s programme in Banff Canada. I have ambitions to further improve my skiing all-mountain skiing.
  • Sailing:
    I have my RYA day skipper and level 3 dingy sailing. These days I mainly get some sailing in the summer months. I’m interested in doing some racing.
  • Photography:
    Digital photography is going through a renaissance, it takes little to begin selling images and the camera technology is improving all the time. Recently I have been starting to get into photography.
  • Cookery:
    I cook to eat well. This went into overdrive when I went to university: when the realisation was to eat well and cheaply learning to cook was a must. So really this hobby is eating, though that sounds a little too glutinous. I much prefer simple Italian, Spanish or North African to French. But who’s complaining? It’s edible right?There are some recipes on this site.
  • Evolution, language, society and the mind:
    I enjoy reading and learning about the interconnectedness of things. I’m interested how natural systems seem to continuously show the same patterns, both visually and in their nature.

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