Bio

Staff Engineer and Tech Lead at ARM. Living in Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire, UK and working in Cambridge.

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Professional Experiance

ARM, Cambridge, 2008 - Present

On rejoining ARM I assumed the same position and responsibilities, working on internal software largely focussed around ARMs internal infrastructure and their High Performance Clusters (HPCs), as well as the wiki.

In 2012 I started working on ARMs internal metrics platform, and became the technical leader soon after.

The metrics platform is a centralised system to collect, store, and analyse ARMs internal data. The initial focus was on what we call the engineering data, for example verification data on ARMs processor designs, but the platform was designed with other use cases in mind and expanded to collect large amounts of infrastructure data, including HPC data, shared storage, networking, etc.

As tech lead I was responsible managing a team of developers (up to 6), prioritising and planning deliveries, facilitating decisions, and designing solutions. Lacking a project manager meant I was also responsible for all the project management, including stakeholder management, upward management, and reporting.

Under direction of our architect we decided to move to the Lambda Architecture in 2014, and I was responsible for implementing that. I chose to use Spark for both the batch and streaming layers (at the time, Hadoop was still dominant in batch and Storm looked a good bet for streaming, so this involved winning a number of internal discussions).

I then led the efforts to move to this new architecture. To be honest, this didn’t go particularly well. We tried to do too much all at once with a tiny team, and ended up doing many things half way, and poorly. I learnt that I needed to be a stronger tech lead, to be able to persuade and convince when I need to, and to ensure the vision for the platform was well understood by all team members and stakeholders.

In June 2016 I was invited to speak at the Tableau Conference On Tour, my first external presentation. This feels like a milestone in my career, and I plan to do more external talks. I’m definitely not a natural speaker, but practice makes perfect!

Foswiki open source project, November 2008 – December 2012

I worked on the Foswiki open source project both as part of my role at ARM and also outside of work. Developed and contributed to a number plugins and became a core contributor.

Being part of an open source project was a great way for me to learn how to work inside a remote team with different personalities and different priorities.

I stopped working on Foswiki when my role at ARM changed and I no longer had the time to work on it outside of work.

Bournemouth University, 2004 - 2008

Born and raised in Harlow, Essex, I went off to Bournemouth University to study Business Information Technology, a deliberately varied course as I didn’t know what I wanted to do as a career.

I soon realised I enjoyed programming and the other technical subjects and tailored the course to focus on these areas.

The third year of the four year course was spent on industrial placement. I worked at ARM in Cambridge for 15 months in the Engineering IT team, working on internal software solutions and taking ownership of the company wide wiki (TWiki/Foswiki), handling upgrades, support, features, etc.

ARM offered me a position on graduation, which I took up after completing my final year.

Personal Experiance

Being Active

I’ve always enjoyed playing football, and played 5-a-side at Uni and weekly at ARM. In 2012 I played in the Silicon George tournament, but generally I’m not good enough to play competitively!

I started running regularly in 2010 when I decided to enter the Royal Parks Half Marathon with ARMs charity group, TeamARM, achieving a time of 02:03:45.

Since then I have ran 3 more half marathons, with a personal best time of 1:50:44 achieved at the Brentwood Half 2016. I’ve also ran events at other distances, including 10 miles and 10K.

In 2011 I cycled from London to Cambridge with TeamARM in about 4 hours 30 mins. Together we raised over £10,000 for Breast Cancer Now.

From 2012 I’ve also been attending the gym on and off, following programs set by personal trainers at the ARM gym.

In October 2016 I’m taking a Learn to Row course at Broxbourne Rowing Club. I fancy a change from running and can’t wait to get started!

Volunteering

In 2010 I participated in the Engineering Education Scheme. Sponsered by ARM, three of us went to Netherhall School in Cambridge one afternoon a week for 6 months and helped students build an ABS sytem for bikes using an mbed.

Donations

If you use some of my open source work and would like to show your appreciation, please use PayPal or buy me something from my Amazon wish list. Don’t feel you have to though — I’m lucky enough to enjoy it ☺

Cover image from Unsplash.