Who you are?
I am the Engineering Director of the Black Marble Ltd a Microsoft Gold Partner based in the Yorkshire in North of England. Black Marble specialises in BizTalk & SharePoint based business automation.
As Engineering Director I am responsible for the delivery of systems and tools to allow my company, and our clients create great software. I have been an MVP for Developer Technologies (nee Visual Studio ALM, nee Team System) for 11 years.
I am a regular presenter at community events in the UK and Ireland (and the rest of the world given a chance) where my most common subject is software testing and the development process. You can read what I am currently doing on my blog.
What makes you “tick”?
Like many people involved in the computer industry I like new ‘toys’, trying technology to see what can do, maybe not in the way originally intended by the designers. However, I originally come from an electronics testing background and so maybe look at the software development process from a slightly different view to many developers. I want to see how I can automated more of the daily dull tasks so that I get more time to try the new ‘cool toys’ and then go out to tell other people about how cool these tools are!
I do have a life outside of IT; though having no innate athletic ability I am a member of Leeds Bradford Tri Club and complete in standard distance Triathlons. Entering races really helps you get out the door for some much needed exercise on the cold wet winter days. If I did not do this the computer keyboard would be just too tempting.
Where you live?
I now live in Yorkshire between Leeds and Bradford with my son Daniel.
Where is the place you call home?
I moved to Yorkshire from Birmingham to attend Bradford University in the 80s and never escaped. Obviously I can never be a real Yorkshireman as not being born here, but I call it home now. As I test, a few years ago I went to watch Yorkshire play Warwickshire (my old local team from the Midlands) at cricket, as Yorkshire snatched defeat from the jaws of victory I knew I adopted Yorkshire.
Why are you active in the Rangers program?
Whilst working with Azure Devops & TFS I find I keep needing that bit more information, that extra bit of guidance. Many times I have found the projects of the ALM Rangers have provided the answers I needed. So I thought it time to give back to the community and contribute to their projects, in a more structured and focused manner than me just posting on my blog.
What is the best Rangers project you worked in and why?
I am new to the Ranger program, but am currently involved the Build Customization project, so I suppose this must be best one I have been involved with. I signed up for this as I have been producing some community content in this area and I think it is for many people an area of the development process sadly overlooked.