My name is Ian Gilham. I'm a Software Engineer at the BBC. I'm currently working on Alexa and related voice technology for BBC Sounds. I've also spent several years writing software for the broadcast systems, primarily in the publishing chain for the Red Button service distributed over digital televition broadcasts.
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 (since rebranded), writing C++ in the market data stack. I also did some related work on instrument enrichment in Java, and I sometimes delved into C# for a .NET integration library.
Before Barcap, I worked at Caplin Systems as a software developer in test, also with FDM. I helped to build proper internationalization support into Caplin Trader and improved the testing turnaround time of one of their components by several orders of magnitude. 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 (no longer trading) in Madrid, Spain. I primarily worked on the engineering side of the complex document translation business but I also did some automation work. 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 the translation business still depended heavily on spreadsheets and Word macrosat the time. Desktop publishing packages presented their own challenges, and I spent a fair bit of time writing an analysis program for PDF files. And of course, I had to learn some Spanish. Fun language!