ADVFN plc is one of the UK‘s leading financial investor websites, reaching over 35 million page impressions per month. It offers innovative tools over the web, mobile devices and interactive TV.

My Role as an employee

Systems Developer, May 2000 to Jan 2001

At ADVFN I was a New Media Developer and headed the development of WAP and interactive TV services.

Other tasks included:

  • Developing dynamic web pages using PHP and HTML.
  • Integrating our Sybase, MySQL and PostgreSQL databases with the front-end application.
  • Creating financial feed handling tools using C/C++ for back-end processes.
  • Direct contact with customers through Focus Group meetings and day-to-day support.


  • Developed Interactive TV services in under four weeks; able to save the company over £60,000 and six months development time.
  • Created Mobile Internet site using existing tools and Open Source Software; rapid development and low-cost saved further time and money.
  • Opened communications with Orange. This resulted in a major collaboration agreement.

Technical skills important for this role were:

  • PHP
  • HTML
  • WML
  • C and C++
  • Sybase, MySQL, PostgreSQL
  • Apache
  • VI text editor
  • CVS
  • Linux
  • Knowledge of Liberate platform for interactive TV

Mintel International Group Ltd

Mintel provides market research and analysis for the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) markets around the world. It is recognised as a UK Business Superbrand.

My Role as an employee

Systems Developer, Oct 1999 to Apr 2000

I was a systems developer responsible for the following:

  • Developing Comperemedia, Mintel’s internet-based application for monitoring advertising.
  • Front-end development using Java Applets, HTML and JavaScript.
  • Back-end development in C++ for Apache Webserver modules and proprietary Sinatra Database.
  • Maintenance for POS+ and GNPD (Global New Products Database) applications

During my time with Mintel, I was also sent to assess and recommend outsourcing partners in South East Asia.

Technical skills important for this role were:

  • C and C++
  • HTML
  • JavaScript
  • Java
  • Apache
  • VI text editor
  • FreeBSD

Paragon Software Ltd

Paragon Software was a pioneer in mobile device synchronisation. Its main product, FoneSync, synchronised contact data between a mobile phone and personal information managers like Microsoft Outlook and Lotus Notes. The company was bought by (now Openwave) in 2000.

My Role as an employee

Application Developer, Aug 1998 to Sep 1999

My work in Paragon included:

  • Developing new features for FoneSync’s next version, using C++ Win32 API.
  • Maintenance for FoneSync’s released versions.
  • Working with the testing team to develop automated test harness applications (in C++).
  • Research and development for new applications using internet directories and LDAP API.

Whilst at Paragon, I developed a unique component to synchronise mobile phone data with directories on the internet. It was used as a demonstration during successful negotiations with major Portals and Search Engines. The component was featured in The Times Interface (technology supplement for UK newspaper).

Technical skills important for this role were:

  • Microsoft Visual C++ and Win32 API

The Richmond Adult & Community College

The Richmond Adult & Community College offers courses for adults in Richmond and Twickenham.

My Role as an employee

IT Facilities Administrator, May 1997 to Jun 1998

As an IT Facilities Administrator, I was responsible for:

  • Developing a departmental database using Microsoft Access.
  • Identifying and solving hardware and software problems.
  • Maintaining departmental IT equipment and Local Area Network.
  • Recommending the purchase of equipment according to tight budget.


  • Installed the department’s first Local Area Network within budget.
  • Spearheaded creation of a team for college-wide Millennium compliance.

Technical skills important for this role were:

  • Microsoft Access
  • Knowledge of PC hardware and Microsoft Office software
  • Networking