In a voluntary capacity, I am also the President and a co-founder of The Alchemist Foundation, based on the book by Paulo Coelho, promoting a life philosophy for people to engage with their respective communities for mutual benefit.
My professional expertise and interest is primarily in information systems strategy and enterprise management system design, development and implementation.
Previously I have been responsible for the enterprise management system and respective business processes for a global research company, and prior to that worked at Curtin University holding a variety of management positions ranging from electronic information to community life.
My passion has always been the community sector, and previously I founded edventures wa, serving on its Board for almost 16 years, and developed Curtin Volunteers! to become Australia's largest and most active student-run volunteer organisation.
Still a nerd at heart, I have been designing and developing software for over 20 years.read more...
Like many of my fellow developers these days, my preferences are for Open Source whenever possible for the flexibility, security, stability and often power it can provide over the commercial alternatives but if a certain technology fits the end goal then I am far less biased.
Those that know me, know that I am a perfectionist developer - if the code looks messy or the screen outputs are a pixel out then I won't be satisfied until it is rectified. This AR behaviour, although often frustrating for my employees, has continually proven to save considerable time in the long run, so it is unlikely to change.
My advice for any upcoming developer these days is to buck the trend and don't just specialise in a certain development area or stay in just the development arena even. If you can understand the basic workings and data flows of the physical servers, the load balancer, the OS, the database, the application layer, the web layer, the network and the client/browser then you are already far beyond most IT people and this knowledge can be invaluable in creating applications that are very fast and reliable. If you can go a step further and understand business models and processes, business drivers, intuitive interface design touching on psychology and anything else that can help you create amazing web apps then send me an email... I might have to find a job for you!
My passion for design started way back as a child building anything I could think of out of Lego™.read more...
Truth be known, I am still obsessed and regularly use my daughter, nieces and nephew as an excuse to bring it out to play, which works great until they start taking the bricks I need. The next step for me was designing applications, and in particular I had a fixation with user interfaces, where I would often be found spending the night reworking a set of ASCII characters to make a nice looking (for back then) user interface.
When the World Wide Web became accessible via a dial-up modem, I started building websites, luckily becoming a FRAMEs supporter early on which relieved some of the immense frustration in having to utilise dozens of nested TABLEs to create a simple HTML interface. I have also been using graphics software like Adobe Photoshop since then and spent many a night deep etching a person out of a photo, or shifting design components quite randomly around a window until it looked alright.
It is all these ad hoc experiences that have shaped my interest and skills (used loosely) in design. I believe in designing for the user experience, with interfaces and publications that are clean and crisp with plenty of white space. Although there are probably times when a really busy interface works, I personally just find them far too cluttered and confusing.
Merely an enthusiast, photography for me is all about capturing something personal or unique about a moment, place, or situation.
You can check out some of my photos on Flickr.read more...
I think you know you like photography when you start looking and even virtually framing 'a shot' even though your camera is tucked away in the cupboard at home several kilometres away.
Photos should remind you of what is was like to be there at that time and try to show something that the average person hasn't seen or noticed before.
My advice for anyone considering getting into photography is don't just go out and buy the most expensive camera you can find, it is unlikely it will make you any better at photography. I have seen plenty of photos taken with a simple point-and-shoot that are far better than anything I have ever taken and have blown me away. My advice is to learn and try out some of the basics to improve your photography on whatever camera you have now and once you learn the art of finding and framing better shots, then decide whether an upgrade of your camera equipment will make the photo taken considerably better.
I try to stay abreast of the latest and more importantly, best, technologies and tools available for all of my interests. Here are some that I currently use and recommend...read more...