Personal Stuff

As you can see in my CV I moved around quite a lot till I settled in Perth. I was born in Dunfermline, but attended school in Stirling, London and finally Yorkshire as my father's job took him round the country. After completing an Economics degree at Lancaster University I went to Stirling University and passed the Postgraduate Certificate in Accountancy, with the intention of becoming a chartered accountant.

A brief spell working as a student accountant in Glasgow persuaded me that this was not the career for me, and I switched to the Scottish Amicable to work in their investment division. Unfortunately my background in accountancy led to me being sidetracked into investment accounting, a role in which I had no real interest.

I was lucky to land a place on a government TOPS course in computer programming, which gave me a placement at General Accident in Perth. This went well, and I was offered a permanent job at the end of my course.

At last I was in a job I really enjoyed. I stayed with GA for 14 years, working in applications development, as a programmer, systems analyst and project leader, and in Internal Audit as a computer auditor. I left GA to join IBM when GA outsourced all its UK IT activities to IBM.

I spent nine mostly rewarding years with IBM. I left when I had the chance to grab a redundancy package and realise a long-term dream of returning to university, to really immerse myself in a subject I found engrossing. I never had any intention of quitting IT, and signed up for a Master's degree in IT at Abertay University in Dundee.

In spite of my extensive practical experience, I found that the MSc taught me a huge amount of new stuff. In particular, my eyes were opened to the question of usability, a topic that had barely surfaced in my commercial career. The link between usability and testing was a natural choice for my master's project and dissertation.

I am married to Mary, who has been a source of marvellous support throughout my career change. We are both happily settled in Perth, and are actively involved in our church, Perth Riverside Church of Scotland.

Our favourite places are Spain - a country we love; Finland - a wonderful country where IBM were good enough to send me; and Peru - a fabulous and entrancing country that has a special place in our hearts.

I am a keen football supporter and write match reports for Dundee FC's official website and match programme.