A little about me
Freelance Internet Consultant & Designer.
With over 25 years working with the Internet, I started when pictures and colours didn’t exist online and Google wasn’t even a word. My skill base and experience encompasses most of the internet skills spectrum and enables me to offer a high level of creativity, inspiration and business support.
I have worked with Michael Woodland on numerous projects. I thoroughly enjoy working with him because he’s creative, inspiring, logical and proactive. Michael really puts himself out when unsuspected deadlines are involved and he’s never let me down. I honestly could not recommend someone any higher than Michael when it comes to website design and management.
Originally qualified as an Indentured Precision Engineer, moving through from City & Guilds distinction awards to HNC & HND levels in engineering. Working, initially, as an apprentice for Westinghouse Brake & Signal Company in Chippenham Wiltshire, gaining experience in Toolmaking, Precision Inspection, Jig & Fixture Design, Machine Maintenance, Millwrights, Product Design and Production Planning.
Circa 1984 My first IT experience was working with CNC machines, I became more computer focused when I studied AutoCAD for Computer Aided Design technologies.
The computer aided design (CAD) experience was PC based, I was inspired to discover more about personal computing and wasn’t long before I began building and selling them.
I began volunteering at a local secondary school teaching computer skills and manufacturing technologies within the Design & Technology Department.
I was asked to contribute to a application bid, to enable the school to become a Technology College, from the Technology College Trust. The bid was successful and I was given the opportunity to become a part of this huge transformation within the school.
The new money was to equip the school with the necessary tools to improve Maths, science and technology and to offer services to others schools to improve teaching and learning across the whole curriculum. I joined a small team of educationalists supporting them in all aspects of ICT.
- Project managing the installation of a large fibre optic network of 1,500 users across four locations
- Teaching ICT to pupils and other teachers internally and externally
- Working as part of an outreach program teaching primary schools and businesses internet skills.
- Systems management of the network.
In the early stages of my school volunteering, a single internet connection was installed. It allowed for connectivity through Bath University on the education communications backbone, linking all UK Universities. This was my first experience of the World Wide Web. It would be unrecognisable today, no Google, YouTube or even pictures. The internet grew speedily though, and working as an external member of Bath University staff I was able to introduce the internet to young people and use it to aid teaching and learning.
I started self learning in the creation of websites, developing without any specialised software, because there wasn’t any, using just a plain text editor. I loved it.
Video conferencing and remote manufacturing. An advanced activity even for a Technology College. We struck up a relationship with Monument Valley High School in the Navajo Indian Reserve in Kayenta, Arizona. This was funded by the Hanson Group PLC as a celebration of their Anglo American business.
The Navajo pupils would collaborate online with pupils here, making simple 2d designs using shared design software, then controlling a CNC milling machine from Arizona to produce a product.
This made national news and we demonstrated the process at British Aerospace Preston with the Prime Minister. The internet is not just about websites and email.
Through the Investors in People scheme, funding was made available for me to attend Loughborough University to take a Masters in technology. It was great while it lasted but the sponsorship ran out and I wasn’t able to complete it. However, I did right a whole module that was excepted to be used in subsequent courses.
Life is a life long learning process and intensely so when it involves technologies. I continued to advance my internet knowledge and eventually headed up a small web design and product development team for a company in Wiltshire.
Apart from designing websites and offering graphic design services we were commissioned to develop “The Satisfaction Index”.
Working closing with the IQA Institute of Quality Assurance, we developed a system for measuring customer satisfaction. The criteria had to meet the needs of the quality standards 9001, where business wishing to be audited to this standard had to measure customer satisfaction. This was purely an online product where specially crafted emails were sent to customers on behalf of a business. The results were collated and would reveal where improvements should be made, however, more importantly, would indicate areas where business would be spending money satisfying customers on subjects that were not important to them.
Pixelscan was a B-B security product developed to use camera technology to monitor, timestamp and record video for alerting and storing evidence. It could be triggered through motion or even color change. Alerts and a photo would be sent to a phone and digital video recorded and archived to view later.
I remember having some fun developing this one. We had to park our cars outside our office on a public road that had a time limit. During product testing, we aimed two cameras, one up and one down the road. We were alerted when a traffic warden was on the way. We were able to measure the colour hue, the yellow on the hat and that was enough to alert us.
A knowledge base for business managers and owners
Here are some useful posts that will help you understand some of the essential elements when using the internet for your business.