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HomePrincipal Computer Infrastructure Engineer
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Freelance Principal Computer Infrastructure Engineer London, UK

A chartered software engineer with 30+ years experience Recognised as an industry guru he is at the leading edge of distributed systems design and implementation and a conference speaker.

Rating:Unrated (New)
Hourly Rate / Cost:£76.47 per hour (ex. VAT)
Daily Rate / Cost:£611.76 per day (ex. VAT)
Available From:Now
Candidate ID:317458

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[ Top | Ratings | CV | Skills ]

CV (Curriculum Vitae) / Résumé

I graduated with honours in Computer Science from Cambridge University in 1979, having already held the positions of commercial and systems programmer with The Radiochemical Centre. I have since held roles as an operating systems engineer, a principle software engineer, a project manager, the technical lead on a number of projects and as an executive director for a number of medium sized companies.

A chartered software engineer with over 30 years experience in the computing field. Recognised as a guru in the industry, I have systems professional at the leading edge of distributed systems design and implementation; conference speaker; retained consultant to financial services organisations and a member of standard groups and committees. I have a proven track record in the planning and development of robust technical architectures and road maps in line with business policies and IT strategies.

My consulting assignments have been with varied organisations in the Financial Service, Insurance, Resources, Telecommunications, Industrial and Electronics sectors.

I have run his current company since 1986, and this has been the vehicle for his various consulting and development assignments apart for a five year period in the late ‘90’s when he was the managing director of a medium sized operation supplying system administration skills to the financial services sector.

I have current skills in programming using languages such as ‘C’, Perl, and Unix Shell. I also have past experience programming in C++ and Java and is currently developing Ajax based systems using modern Javascript, PHP, and SQL languages. Other languages that have been used in the past include various machine assemblers, formal specification languages, and graphical design tools.

Recent engagements have included work on single sign-on technologies including Kerberos and LDAP based integration of Unix and Windows environments; development of a fault tolerant architecture using stock hardware and operating systems and the development of a monitoring framework for distributed systems.

I have an acknowledged expert in Software Engineering process deployment and speaks on project failures at various venues. I have been engaged to rescue large failing projects in past engagements and has project managed projects with budgets in the multi-million pound region.

In my varied career i have successfully implemented systems as a team member, team leader, project leader and system architect and has a skill set which crosses the traditional boundaries found in computing making me an ideal candidate as a project trouble shooter.

Employment History

(Oct 1999 & ongoing)

Principal Consultant and Developer


Clients: Investment Banks, Commodity Traders, Telecoms, Software Houses, Accountants
Responsibilities: Lead technical/security consultant on projects as well as acting as managing director of the company. (1) Design, development and deployment of a Single Sign-on solution for Merrill-Lynch. (2) Design, development and support for a LDAP based directory utilising Active Directory, OpenLDAP and corporate databases. (3) Viability assessment of an investment case for a mobile communications provider requiring PC/UNIX network integration. (4) Production of large-scale fault-tolerant Internet based systems architectures. (5) Development and deployment of firewall products, Network Monitoring Stations and fault tolerant network architectures. (6) Design and implementation of a multi-site fault-tolerant environment utilising a mixture of open systems and Microsoft based systems.

(Jan 1995 to Oct 1999)

Consulting and Managing Director


Clients: Financial Services Organisations, Telecoms, Industry
Responsibilities: Founding Director of the Orb Group a set of companies that delivered systems management expertise and solutions to financial services and large multi-national corporations. Lead technical resource to the various projects of the company as well as being the Technical Director and later the Managing Director of the Orb group during its growth period.

(Jun 1986 to Aug 1995)

Principal Systems Software Engineer

Coherent Technology Limited, Fareham

Clients: Financial Services Organisations, Academia, Petrochemical, Industrial
Responsibilities: Team Leading up to ten engineers, assignments included security policy development and implementation, technical architectures, purchase and software project assessments, software development, education and training, project management, scaled systems demonstration development, distributed systems installation and distributed systems research and development.

(Mar 1983 to Jun 1987)

Cirrus Computers, Fareham

Responsibilities: Systems development work for relational database system, development of UNIX operating system for custom workstation, installation and support of in-house development network, in-house support for tool production and generation of company product development methods. Development of key components of the circuit test simulator products including the in-car test facilities developed by the sister company in Manchester.

Professional Qualifications

Chartered Software Engineer
Member of the British Computer Society - MBCS
Past Member of the Association of Computing Machinery – MACM
Past Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers – MIEEE


(Sep 1976 to Jul 1979)

Cambridge University

Master of Arts in Computer Science - Upper Second.

Consulting Assignment Summary

Consulting assignments have ranged from short term troubleshooting on systems for simple and complex network problems e.g. firewall misconfiguration, through medium term engagements where companies need additional skill on projects e.g. assisting a large insurer to turn round a development shop that was failing to deliver, to long term engagement involving strategic support over a number of years e.g. providing advice on global network architecture to a large trading bank.
Recent assignments have included remote reconfiguration of a multi-site distributed system that had been set up incorrectly. This included reconfiguring the edge and internal routers; fixing the firewall configurations to provide secured access and build trusted tunnels between the sites; installing and configuring network management and monitoring stations. The later is based on a product developed by Coherent Technology Limited to enable proactive monitoring and management of distributed systems


Single Sign On Infrastructure

Architect and lead developer for the design and implementation of a single sign-on solution deployed at a large global investment bank. The project involved providing infrastructure and supporting deployment and diagnostic facilities for the integration of the disparate UNIX platforms into the Active Directory used by the client as their main source of authentication and authorisation. Responsibilities included: planning, designing and implementing the extension of the AD schema to support the new facilities; evaluating the supporting software for reliability and effectiveness within the global environment and providing tools to monitor the effectiveness of the deployment and the health of the running system once deployed.
This has tied in with the project where I took a lead role on designing tools to support identity synchronisation between separate systems within the firm to support a global identity management facility.

Fault-Tolerant Systems Development

Lead Architect providing fault tolerant systems for leading UK companies since 1991 building on experience gained from work on the Odyssey project for the European Commission and the UK government,. Recent work has hardened open source platforms to support firewalls, network monitoring functions, and distributed applications. Network architecture has also been developed that represents the state of the practice in Internetworking and supports failure resilient network topologies.
Technologies utilised in this include: Cisco IOS programming on small and medium size routers and switches; BGP, PI space IP and AS number facilities for managing ISP relationships; DNS support for Internet facing and Intranet facing facilities; DHCP support for the Intranet; SNMP based monitoring utilising the Nagios framework; Linux kernels supporting firewall extensions via Shorewall, IPSEC VPN technologies via OpenSwan; and user layer proxies such as Squid, FTP-Proxy, Sendmail and Xinetd port-forwarding.

Global Mail Backbone

Technical Architect and project manager designing and directing the development of a global mail backbone based on Internet standard software. This backbone was deployed in 6 locations worldwide and included redundant nodes to ensure continuity of service even in the presence of failures. The system was designed, developed and deployed within a calendar year of project start, without disrupting previously installed systems. The major achievement of the project was the success in designing a system that could move from a pre-existing environment to the new environment without serious disruption to service and without compromising the functional or non-functional attributes of the new system.

Year 2000 Test Laboratory

Technical Architect and Team leader of a 50+ man-year project that constructed and operated automated test laboratories to prove the year 2000 compliance of a global trading bank’s system components. The project required innovative technical approaches as well as application of sound engineering principles. The complexity of producing a complete model of a global infrastructure, that can be rapidly reconstructed on a regular basis (weekly) led to new technologies and applications of existing management features in the operating systems and networking arena.

Mixed network integration

Technical lead/Project Manager for a number of projects that integrated MS Windows desktops; UNIX desktops with Windows and UNIX based server systems. Primary requirements included provision of a unified, managed desktop environment based on UNIX and MS Windows with access control enforced in both domains seamlessly, regardless of desktop.
The projects required the development of architecture to isolate failure. A workgroup-based system provided failure tolerance in case of loss of connection to the backbone service.
Most recent work has focussed on Network Management and monitoring of mixed media technologies with a focus on VoIP management in a traditional IP network architecture.

Assignment History

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