My first job in 1995 was working in the IT department at Scotmid Co-op. I looked a lot younger then.
I joined the epos company VME Retail in 1999, and subsequently led a management buy out of VME Retail in 2004.
Having worked in or with Co-ops for over 22 years, I'm a big believer in Co-operative values.
Indeed I've been running my business using co-operative values without even realising it.
I am currently working on a project to convert my business into a software co-operative.
Despite learning Pascal, C++ and other languages in Education, my real interest has always been working with data.
I wrote my own system to catalogue my book collection when I was 15. Admittedly, I should have been studying for exams - but I found this way more interesting!
I worked extensively with Microsoft Access, before taking a step back from development to run VME Retail's day to day business.
Since 2011 I have taught myself various software languages again, mostly focussed on PHP but also the new iOS language Swift. I have spent a crazy amount of time learning from reading books, design patterns and through my company VME Retail we have carried out numerous software experiments to test new techniques and technologies.
I read a lot of books. Since getting the kindle app for my ipad, I've been reading an average of 2 books a week. Some I've read 5 times, they're that good.
I like to focus on business and technology books, specifically about new ideas and ways to tackle old problems. They've made a real difference to the way I do business, and we've even written some complete apps that have been inspired by content I've read in books.
I occasionally write blog posts on some of the books I enjoyed the most.
VME Retail is a Grocery IT company, systems dedicated to grocery retailers. However it used to be what I call a "traditional" epos company - a tiny team of developers, large on the road rollout and support team.
Since I led the management buy out in 2004, we have changed the company to being mostly developers and system designers, with a support team to back them up. We focus on building great software solutions specific to grocery IT problems - we're not interested in fashion, department stores or restaurants - that would only distract us.
I'm told we are now have one of the largest software companies focussed exclusively on grocery (supermarkets, convenience stores and forecourts).
I love racing cars. Ever since I first visited the Nurburgring in 2004, I've been addicted to cars. I've raced at most UK tracks, competing in the CSL Cup.
More recently, I competed at the Nurburgring, coming 4th out of 150 cars (but lots of different classes).
I've been interested in forex trading since the crash in late 2008. Over the years I've gained a lot of experience at reading charts, and I've designed and written numerous trading systems as a hobby.
Something I've not managed to do enough of since I moved to Malta in 2011, but I still have a love for hill walking in the Scottish Mountains. I've completed over half of the Scottish munros (hills over 3000 feet) but I've still got a long way to go to complete them all.
I love photography, and have done since I got my first Sony F707 back in 2001. I've since progressed to a Canon DSLR, and built up a collection of lenses which I still use to this day.