My story starts back in 1968 in Aylesbury, England. That's when I was born, and that's where I grew up, and went to school. I knew by the age of 14 that computers were going to be the basis of my career, and several years later I graduated with both a higher national diploma and a first class honours degree in Computer Science. I have designed and developed computer programs for a living ever since - and that means 15 or more years.
I met Tina in 1995 when we were both working at a company in Salisbury, England. I was doing a programming job and she was temping while at college. On our first date she sank up to her knee in a New Forest bog and, being the complete anti-hero, I fell about laughing. We haven't looked back since.
It was after a backpacking tour around Aisa and Australia in 1990/91 I decided that I prefered the blue skies and open spaces of Australia to the cramped dampness that the UK offers. Due to issues of education, work, and Tina's somewhat inaccurate view of Australia, it wasn't until 1999 that I applied for an Australian Permanent Residence visa as a skilled, independant migrant. Showing uncanny timing, my application was fastracked as part of a perceived requirement for IT professionals during the dot-com boom. I had my visa inside 6 weeks, and that includes the time taken to get X-rays and the like.
By the time I got the visa I was running my own software consultancy business and things were going from strength to strength. Unfortunately the visa had a finite life and flitting back and forth to keep it valid got tiring pretty quickly. As time ran out I was forced to abandon either the business or the visa. No contest - we moved to Perth in 2002.
Since being here I've kept up the independent thing, and haven't really worked in the normal 9-to-5 sense. A few nice contracts have come my way, and I've kept a strong grip on the latest computer technologies, especially the open source and free software movement. I attended the linux.conf.au conference which came to Perth in 2003. I've also learnt a great deal about things like XML, PHP and Python, and I've taken a great interest in security and secure programming issues.
Things continue to move forward and transporting ourselves back to England for a while is starting to loom large on the horizon. Since we both now have joint British/Australian Citizenship, this is no problem. The world, as they say, is our lobster...
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