Software Consultant

What do you do for a living?
I go into companies and help them improve their software development (consultancy) and I train software professionals
 
 
How did you get interested in what you do? What advice was available to you when you chose this career direction?
 
I saw a computer at the Science Museum in 1975 and played with the BASIC programming language at school from 1977 onwards. While still at school I got a holiday job programming accountancy software for a small company. (My previous holiday job was as a cleaner at a service station - my salary went from 60p/hour to £3/hour and I never looked back!)
 
 
What was your journey to reach the role you are in today?
 
I decided to study Computer Science at university. I was given advice about 'good' courses and chose to come to Edinburgh. Since graduating I have spent a lot of time reading books, learning new techniques, going to conferences and user groups, writing articles and speaking at events. All these things bring me into contact with interesting, knowledgable people and help me acquire new skills.
 
Most of my professional life has been spent as a 'contractor', doing short assignments for various employers, mainly in and around Edinburgh. I've also had some 'permanent' roles for companies like IBM and Amazon, although I've frequently spent longer with an employer as a contractor than I have as a permanent employee.
 
 
Talk me through a day in your life... what sorts of things would it involve?
 
Where to start. Every day is different at the moment.
 
 
Was it your planned career when you were 18?
 
Yes
 
 
What did your mum and dad want you to do?
 
They supported my choice
 
 
What advice would you give to someone interested in your career?
 
Start programming at home. There are plenty of online resources.
Speak to people about becoming a programmer.
Look for a local computer club.
 
 
What other directions could you go in /work in within your field other than the job you have chosen?
 
Project management, business, innovation, quality assurance.