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About Me

Octocat  <<<  Cougar Expert


Bad Hair day redux
Bad Hair day redux


My name is Simon, I am of the clan McParker and I’m an experienced PHP WordPress developer. I am currently looking for more work to add to my Portfolio so if you have an idea for a project using WordPress then please feel free to get in touch !

You can also read my personal blog and leave a comment if you wish.

More About Me…

I grew up in Bournemouth Dorset and attended the local boys school in Winton, which was a technically focused school. On leaving I secured one of only four coveted apprenticeship places being offered by a local telecoms company called GPT. There I was fortunate to be sponsored through College and onto Bournemouth University, eventually gaining an HND in Computing.

GPT designed and built the first digital telephone exchanges and the related software for BT. I got to work in various different departments including a long  stint in a software development team.

I’ve worked as a tape/ backup operator and help desk roles. Also I’ve done Unix systems admin. and technical support, mainly Sun Solaris. I moved to the then newly formed Siemens Business Services where I worked at their first ever UK out sourcing contract at the then BAE defence site in Christchurch.

I did a stint supporting and monitoring HP Unix production servers at Abbey Life Assurance in the heart of the Bournemouth financial world which had a great vibe.

In 1999 I finally landed my dream  role with Sun Microsystem as a contract customer support engineer. Whilst at Sun I progressed to a permanent role in theMission Critical Support centre where I became a storage specialist.

I was at Sun for ten years, starting at their offices in Camberley before moving down the motorway to the prestigious newly built GMP campus, commissioned at the peak of the Dot com era !

I was working as part of a superb team of engineers,  supporting  global companies such as BT, Vodafone, Land Rover, 02, Deutsche Bank, Visa and London Underground. These companies all rely on Sun Systems and software and the related support contracts.

Other highlights include working in the out of hours team supporting the entire EMEA region, a building called Java House, installing my very own Sun Blade 2000 workstation (geek heaven!) and I even got to fly to Colorado USA for the Sun Technical Symposium !

Did I mention that at one stage Sun engineers were allowed to do pretty much any training course that Sun offered, we all had   at least 20 training manuals!

Alas all good things come to an end and in truth back then really was a different ere. When Oracle ( which had survived the crash unsaved) snapped up Sun, things had literally hit rock bottom there. However, suffice it to say that upon  leaving Sun I had the good fortune to be able to enjoy some time off.

I’ve since completed lengthy camping expeditions to the Lake District where I have now climbed every Wainwright. I’ve cycled probably every cycle path in the New Forest ( there is 100 miles of them!) I’ve done some cheeky wild camping there too, as well as plenty of walking.

I’ve kitted out my spare bedroom as an office and even treated my self to a digital piano which I’ve always wanted.  I’ve been on the Governments work programme which I’ve blogged about. I’ve volunteered for the Salvation Army, helping out in the local charity shop (it’s true the volunteers do nick all the good stuff!).

Mainly though I’ve kept up my passion for constant learning and personal growth and  have self trained on PHP Web development. I’ve read books on HTML5, CSS, Java, App development, PHP, Javascript,Photoshop  and MySQL. I’ve discovered the world of online training courses and have a complete library of them now !

I love taking random web sites apart, to see how they work. My favourite web sites are the BBC News followed by lynda.com, W3Schools and Ebay.

I’ve been keeping my eye on the jobs market  and I’ve been to see quite a few local companies. I’ve kept a blog site showing what I’ve been up to, you are looking at it now.

I’ve worked with a local marketing company coding a custom WordPress theme for a private security firm based in London. I also worked on a six month  project using a complex bespoke MVC system in PHP. I’ve also worked a contract role doing HTML coding for  one of the large digital agencies in Bournemouth, which was great fun.

As you can see, I have now  gained some commercial web development experience and I’m adding to my list of contacts all the time. I’m constantly amazed at how vibrant the digital industry is becoming around the South Coast, right on my doorstep no less.

I live in New Milton and value having access to the New Forest for walking and cycling. If it’s sunny then there is also the beach which one can cycle to. We have a great leisure centre, fibre broadband, a LIDL, a duck pond, a water meadow and a mysterious copse. Not bad for such a small town I think you’ll agree and a lot to be grateful for.

I hate gardening, DIY and housework but love reading, online courses, oh and TV !

Things I don’t know about…

I do not currently know about Microsoft stuff, hands up, it’s a liability I know. (.NET salaries are not to be sniffed at!)

I know how to build a PC and use Windows and Word, but I switched to Mac ten years ago.

  • I use PHP not .NET
  • Coda not Visual Studio, oh and
  • Linux not Windows !

As you can see I’m a Unix man through and through 🙂 Just sayin’ cos some people assume you must be a Microsoft nerd to work in IT.

I am slightly bewildered by a thing called ITIL. Having worked in IT for 20 years, and never heard about it until I needed to get a job ! WTF ?

I know Photoshop but  not Illustrator and definitely I’ve never touched Dreamweaver !

I know design theory but I’m a firmly entrenched tech.

I know WordPress development but find Drupal rather scary!

I am  interested in working with new frameworks  such as Symphony, Laravel, Angular etc but have not dedicated much time to look into these yet.

Thanks for your interest !

Finally, if you’ve read this far you might like to know what I’m currently reading. It’s the latest version of Modern Operating Systems which amazingly has changed little since I used it whilst doing my HND. It’s written by Andrew S Tanenbaum, who I consider to be the grand daddy of Linux.

Edited 04/08/16

Based in New Milton

Nestled between the Sea and the New Forest 🙂


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Coding, design, cool tech and thinking the unthinkable