An Introduction

I’m a psychology and business student at MMU Cheshire, in Crewe, UK. I’ve been using open source since I was first introduced to it in my first year at the University. I’d always been interested in Computers, but had never had the resources available to me to delve deeper than below the skin of XP. How wrong I was.

After starting to mess with different Linux distributions, I literally spent hours “faffing around” with all sorts of different settings, messing things up, breaking them, fixing them and doing tonnes of re-installs. I truly believe this is the best way of learning how to ge the most out of a computer. Needless to say, I now have lots of backups to prevent me from careless loss of data (the trial and error method educated me to this).

I continued to work with open source, finding as many ways as possible to make it applicable to me. In May 2006, I started the website www.whatisfloss.co.uk after failing to get an internship at Bentley Motors in Crewe. I was hoping to work in their marketing department. At this time I was also lurking on the OpenDocument Fellowship lists, and lots of OpenOffice.org lists. I thought the whatisfloss site would provide a useful resource for people wanting to learn about FLOSS software.

The first incarnation of the site was written in dreamweaver, and I received lots of criticism for not using an open source CMS. I was naive, and hadn’t got a clue what a CMS was! During these floods of emails (which I rightly deserved) I received on congratulating me for my efforts, and an offer of collaboration in the near future to promote FLOSS.

I was taken aback a little – the site had been receiving a little bit of criticism, particularly as I had not yet adequately explained what FLOSS actually was, (rather important I think,) and it had only been up for a couple of weeks. I noticed from the email address of the guy that emailed me that he was from a company in Manchester, 30 minutes from where I was currently living.

At this point, I was rather cheeky, and replied along the lines of “rather than just collaborate on this project, would you like to employ me?” – as they say.. the rest is history.

Over the summer I learnt so much about Linux development, and was the primary developer on the AZ1000 project, which is the companies office server. It was my first outing in Linux development, and my immediate boss was very accommodating of my shortcomings (I personally believe he had far more input than I did with the development) but I managed to get the beta version finished for two weeks before I’d finished my term.

I worked part time for the company up until the start of March 2007, to focus on my finals. I then intend to work for a partner company whence I graduate in June.

So that’s a little background about me, regarding my Open Source experience at least. I don’t think that telling you about my personal history will be particularly exciting, other than to say I am originally from Solihull, have 4 brothers (John, Simon, Richard and Charlie) and 1 lovely sister (Lorna). I broke my femur in a (me on bicycle versus lady in mercedes) accident on 12th May 1999, and also enjoy creativity – Music, Photography and Acting.