My name is Ian Gilham. I'm a Software Engineer at the BBC. I'm currently involved in voice technology like Alexa and Google Assistant. I've spent the last few years writing software for the broadcast systems, primarily in the publishing chain for the Red Button service.
Before that I worked as an IT consultant for FDM Group. FDM was a great place to start my career after finishing university, providing a good entry point into the software business. I spent two years with them on a contract at Barclays Capital, writing C++ in the market data stack. I also did some related work in Java, on instrument enrichment, and I sometimes delved into C# for the .NET integration library
Before Barcap, I worked at Caplin Systems as a software developer in test, also with FDM, singing the tune of quality while doing some general development work on their Java platform, and later helping to build proper internationalization support into Caplin Trader. Caplin is really strongly into the Agile thing, so I learned a lot about modern development processes, continuous integration, test automation, and so on. I contributed to the company's tech blog a couple of times, too.
Between my second and third years at university, I spent just over a year working for Tek Translation International in Madrid, Spain, primarily on the engineering side of the complex document translation business, but I also did some work on the software side. While I was there, I took it upon myself to learn .NET and C#, and automate as many repetitive manual processes as possible. I also picked up some VBA for Microsoft Office, as it is amazing how much the translation business still depends on spreadsheets and Word macros for localization. Desktop publishing packages presented their own challenges, and I spent a fair bit of time writing an analysis program for PDF files for when the source files weren't available. And of course, I had to learn some Spanish. Fun language!
What else? I started learning martial arts circa 2003 and have been continuing in a few styles through university and beyond ever since. I enjoy the occasional run. I like learning languages. I like traditional writing instruments, like dip pens, for the occasional, personal touch, but I'm equally at home using computer-based typography when it is just easier to go digital. I also enjoy the occasional haiku.
That's me for now. I'm still learning.