A FEW WORDS ABOUT ROBIN
I grew up in Symington in Lanarkshire where my mum and dad had a local post office and grocers. I discovered my interest in computers through the Sinclair ZX80 whilst still at school and the interest was increased on a visit to Glasgow University where I saw a Commodore Pet in action. Thanks solely to my mother and father who trawled the papers looking for jobs and colleges, I ended up at Motherwell Technical College where I gained an SOND in Computer Data Processing.
Having studied at Motherwell Technical College as it was then named, just across the road from Fir Park football ground home of Motherwell FC, including day release at Ravesncraig Steel woorks, I then moved to two years at the Scottish College of Textiles (S.C.O.T) in Galashiels. Although a textile college this was one of the best colleges for computing due to the small class sizes and the great facilities there. At S.C.O.T I gained further COBOL experience on an IBM mainframe. This was also where I met my first real computer game, Collossus Cave! An excellent adventure that kept most of the students engrossed for months! I also met some of the best people at this college, a few who I still keep in contact with. College is a great place to move in to adult hood.
From S.C.O.T. I found my first job which was with Texas Instruments in Bedford. This is was a whole new set of thinking with working in a big organisation where you compiled your code on a mainframe in Dallas from your computer in England.
I stayed with Texas Instruments for just over a year having been under the wing of a big Brian Nicholson. I met some great people there as well but time moved on and I ended up in Hemel Hempstead with Atlas Copco and then on to Link Associates in Chesham, Bucks. A software house by trade, gave me great exposure to new programming languages and how to develop with them, as well as exposure to client Asset Management and the retail industry.
After just over 2 years it was time to break out on my own as a consultant. My first consultancy lasted just over 8 years with Save & Propser in Romford, Essex, England. Still on mainframes I used a Computer Associates product called Ideal.
During this time I started to teach myself Clipper, then on to FoxPro and FoxBase almost at the same time, using FoxPro to write a generic Fantasy game simulation and FoxBase to look after a postal football game I inherited called Sick Parrot. I soon moved on to Visual FoxPro which gave me the insight to the joys that are Object Orientated Programming. This allowed me to move jobs in to Lehman Brothers.
I soon learned the restrictedness of having the programming language along side the database language and so taught myself Visual Basic (v5) and SQL Server (6.5). Very soon after version 7 of SQL Server came along so I moved straight to there and avoid some of the problems with 6.5 solutions. I also taught myself Visual Basic 6 where I completed some work for Rohbe Inc using SQL Server 2000.
Moving from this point I have moved through ASP, SQL Server 2005 to SQL Server 2014, C#, IBM DB2, Visual Basic.Net, ASP.NET, Java, Sybase and many other technologies through leaning on the job or reading and working travelling to work. And I am still learning today.
ELLEN AND HER FIRST INTERNATIONAL CAP