This year marks the 25th work anniversary of James, our senior developer and longest-standing employee. As we say a huge thank you to him and recognise this significant milestone, we asked him a few questions about his time with us so far.
What was life like for you 25 years ago and what was the job you came in to do?
In March 1997, I bought my first house, then in May married my wife Caroline, went on honeymoon to the Cotswolds, and when I returned, I started work at ProSys.
I had graduated from Sussex University with a BEng (hons) in Computer Systems Engineering in 1994. After a summer break I started work as a test engineer for Seltek Ltd, who made Voice Manager and Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) Manager packages for the SDX telephone systems. A year or two later, I was writing small Windows applications in Microsoft Visual Basic that brought parts of the ACD to the desktop, e.g. showing the info from a Call Waiting Wallboard as a floating toolbar.
The move to ProSys was so that I could do more software programming. At that time ProSys were creating bespoke business solutions for a number of large organisations and I started working on some that are still in use today.
What type of projects did you work on when you first started?
At the beginning, I worked on a remote laptop application that each night would sync back with servers at HQ; database libraries maintaining shared connections across a business solution; automatic software upgrade processes that managed the components that make up the solution and deliver those changes to the users; among many other bits of software that made our solutions come together for our clients.
On numerous occasions we have worked with mobile devices from barcode scanners to Android apps that link with the tachograph to show real time drivers' hours data.
There was also a time when my credibility score increased while we worked with MatGames to create a floor mat filled with electronic sensors and designed the games to play on the PC. This meant that for a period, I was happily describing myself as a video game programmer.
In what ways have things changed over the last 25 years?
When digital tachographs arrived on the scene, we were already providing the software solution used by FTA (now Logistics UK) for their vehicle maintenance inspection system. We were asked to help combine their existing analogue chart analysis auditing with data from the new digital driver cards. This over time led us to produce what would lead to the current digipostpro depot tool, and the now wide range of digital tachograph solutions.
For me, I worked on the digiconnect PC application that is used to transfer files from the download tools and the digicentral server solution for our remote download devices.
What have been some of your highlights from the last 25 years?