So, who am I? That’s a much more complicated question that it may at first appear, but I’ll try and answer with as much accuracy and gusto as I can manage.
My name is Gareth Hall and I currently work as a Senior IT Officer at Staffordshire University. My work involves the specification, design and implementation of a number of systems, as well as the on-going support of existing bespoke and procured software. Previous to moving into the world of Higher Education, I worked for several years in the private sector at the software house DBLogic, leading development and project managing numerous custom-built database systems for SMEs and multinational corporations, some project examples being time and attendance systems, private equity portfolio management and large-scale transactional data import tools
My first degree was undertaken at Keele University where I graduated with a 2:1 in Philosophy and Politics, specialising in Philosophy of Religion and Politics of the European Union (though it may be best not to ask me these days too many probing theological questions, or try and get me to name all the members of the European Parliament ordered by hat size).
I’d always had a passion for computers from a very early age, and this coupled with my studies of logic whilst an undergraduate drew me into choosing to do a Masters degree in Information Technology, again at Keele. This then led me into the murky world of software design and development where I find myself today.
My particular interests lie in object-oriented software design, data integration and business intelligence. I mainly write in Java and PL/SQL these days, but am proficient in several other languages as well (including C#, VB.NET, PHP, other SQL dialects such as T-SQL) and am a big proponent of the argument that a good programmer can code in anything given some basic information about language structure and syntax. My expertise is in web-based and back-end system and library development, and at present I’m increasingly becoming focused on SOA. I’m also very interested currently in the possibilities for mobile technologies, the possibilities for users and the challenges for organisations.
For several years I was Secretary/Treasurer of the International Association for Citizenship, Social and Economics Education (IACSEE), an multi-country organisation dedicated to furthering research in its focus topics. Before and since then, I’ve had a keen interest in the world of education and my position at Staffordshire University affords me the wonderful opportunity to mix this and my passion for technology together.
Away from work, my main passions include video gaming (as both something to do and from an amateur historian perspective), writing, and consuming science-fiction and fantasy. In particular I’m a huge fan of Star Trek in all its various forms, though I hasten to add that I have never once dressed as a Klingon. In public, anyway. I’m also a bit of a trivia buff, and love quizzes and other such things that afford me the opportunity to put my array of useless knowledge to use.
Oh, and I’m also a little camera-shy, which is why you probably won’t find an awful lot of photos of me here. Consider this a quirk; I have lots of them, like my fears of sewing machines and melted chocolate. You may, however, find a lot of photos of my daughter knocking around, as I think she’s pretty amazing, though admittedly I might be somewhat biased in this.
Thanks for coming to visit my site, hopefully you’ll take away something of interest or disinterest. Either is fine.
Gareth Hall, April 2013.
On Twitter: @Octavius1701