Paul M Bryant - Education and Career
(including many bits that don't always go on the CV!)
|early 1960's||Norton St Philip Infants School - just two rooms
and a playground. Dad ran the village Co-Op full-time, and the
rest of the time he worked in the pub, petrol station and chicken farm,
and made hay every summer....and he trained to be a Methodist lay
preacher. Mum was a short-hand secretary. I was just a lucky
|mid 1960's||Bathwick C of E Primary School (11+) - it's not
there any more, but I remember some of the people I was there with.
|1969-71||City of Bath Boys Grammar School - later called
'Beechen Cliff' after I left
|1971-72||Heles Grammar School, Exeter - I went, listened
to Slade, The Sweet and T-Rex on my transistor radio. Then left
again, when my parents moved to South East London.
|1973-75||Ravensbourne Grammar School for Boys,. Bromley (6
'O'-levels + 1 CSE)
|early/mid 1970s||holiday jobs -
crew for Dad's company (James Robertson's) Golliwog hot-air balloon, around air-shows etc.
sand-blasting and cleaning the mounting brackets that are used to make and repair false teeth (Exeter)
part-time jobs -
shelf-filling, unloading deliveries, working on deli counter and tills at Liptons, Biggin Hill
silver-service waiter and occasional bar-man at the Spinning Wheel Restaurant, between Biggin Hill and Westerham, Kent
|1975||Trainee store manager for
Liptons/Presto Supermarkets - I became their youngest manager at the
time. Lots of holiday relief and closing down redundant locations,
all around South London, Kent, Surrey and Sussex. Barry Duchesne,
Dave Stacey and Pete Watson - where are you now?
|1978||Chapman Envelopes, Bromley, Kent - started
as an admin person. Moved onto cost-estimating and production
planning. Became 'the' computer operator, when they put in
their first computer (ICL/Singer System 10).
|1979||Shift computer operator - Seismograph Services,
Keston (IBM System 360/370, DEC PDP-10, Raytheon Pheonex etc.) 12-hour
shifts / good money, and pay supplemented with Luncheon Vouchers, which
we spent in one of the first ever McDonalds restaurants in Bromley.
|1980-1981||Casey's Camping, Bristol - Computer
Services Manager. Did a whole summer & winter season cycle with
knackered Data General Nova 3/RDOS and Commodore Pet. Formatted
the back-up system and program disk by mistake. Had to key all the
Business Basic source code back in from green lined listing paper.
Didn't lose any data / surprisingly, didn't get any noticeable errors in
the Stock Control or Ledgers after that. Didn't like camping
equipment much. For some reason, the Financial Director didn't trust me
after that - can't think
|1981-82||Went off to tour Europe with band 'Cornerstone'
- playing Adult Oriented Rock to NATO/US military folks. Played
Bass and Lead guitars / sang (badly) a bit. Loved Germany, got
homesick and food poisoning in Italy (Naples), sunburned in Greece.
Linda & Mike Fletcher, Ken Murray - where are you now?
|1982-83||Toby Sadler and I got jobs working at Mega PA
/ CP Cases in Hounslow. Making speaker boxes. Deafening
/ boring / gave me blisters and splinters on my hands.
Taxi (mini-cab) driver based in Wembley. Worked long hours / made more money every day than my K-reg (1972) Mark-3 Cortina was worth.
Spent the summer-season selling T-shirts around the open-air markets of North Devon, Somerset and Bristol. Didn't make much money, lived in the back of my car mostly - enjoyed the sun and the company of surfers and holiday-makers. Charlie Miller (drummer, who sold sheepskins on the same markets) - where are you now?
Started playing bass for Chase The Fade in Bristol. Didn't last - I enjoyed work (and the money) much more.
Got a temporary job in the Xerox retail store on Broad Quay, Bristol - selling and supporting (pre-PC) micro-computers, printers, software and photocopiers. Ended-up being the manager of the Bristol, and then Cardiff branches. Thoroughly enjoyed Ethernet/Star training and Structured Sales techniques - thanks Rank Xerox, you were the best at that. Janice Ransen - where are you now?
|1983-1987||Systems Analyst / Programmer / Computer
Networking 'person' / Work-Study / Organisation & Methods / Quality Assurance / Management
Information / Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence (but it
didn't have a name then) - Information Management Ltd, Bristol.
Arthur Hooks, Ken (Chapman?) Chris Hobbs, Liz Stratton - where are you
now? Thanks, I learned so much about early PCs and mainframe
connectivity from your opportunities. My first ever DOS/Netware
installations. Quick-Basic programming, DBase/Clipper, Supercalc,
Lotus 123, Multiplan, WordStar. MADCAP? ManPlan?
Fame (not that much) and fortune (none at all) via the Nikki-B Band and TV / radio / festival appearances.
|1987-1989||Chartered Trust, Cardiff - Help-Desk
Team Leader. ICL 29xx / OSLAN / Netware / WordPerfect / Lotus
123 / Paradox / Harvard Graphics etc. John Carr - I learned how to
put on a sour face from you :-) Thanks, it's been used a lot
since. John Kiefer - you were a bit bonkers, but a great guy to
work for - do you still have railway signals in your garden? (but no
track or trains)
During this time, I still managed to fit in some long-weekend tours of Germany, playing bass and singing with my function band - know for a while as 'Oasis' (honest!)
|1989-1994||Geac Computers Ltd, Bristol - Senior
Networking Consultant/ Pre-Sales Support / On-site Installation Project
Manager. Proprietary 8000/9000 systems. Financial and
Libraries. Helped to move the UK operation into 'open systems'.
Ingres, Windows 3.x, Netware 4 (thanks for the CNE and AIX Advanced
Admin etc.), Unix, client-server, Ethernet / TCP-IP routing, X.25 WANs
etc. Hans Kruiniger - how did you know so much? David Taylor
- my 'mentor' - what happened to you. Duncan McGeown - I know where
you are :-) Thanks for the trips to USA and Canada, and my first
ever company cars (Ford Escort XR3i!) and the opportunities you gave me
to drive like a lunatic all around Europe and Scandinavia (Wendy White,
where are you?). I also enjoyed the many months away, with the
installation teams, on customer sites like
Barclays in Poole and Sovereign Finance in Manchester.
|1994-1996||My first contract role at the Patent Office
in Newport. Technical Consultant for End-user Desktop
Delivery, Project Manager for Epoque (European Patent Office
project using OS/2-Warp) Lots of Netware and Windows 3.x/95. Jim
Bell, Val Austin et al, where are you now? Thanks to Computacenter
for all the corporate jollies!
|1996-2001||The Environment Agency, Bristol and almost
200 other UK sites. Started there on the day the Agency was
formed. We had to deliver the SWAT (Special Waste Transportation)
application to 120+
sites, with no common technical standards, no network and no
infrastructure - in 6 weeks. Stage-managed the National
Harmonisation Project for South West region and Head Office.
Re-delivered many hundreds of Year2000-compliant applications (from thousands
of non-assured app/version instances). Implemented the Agency's first
client-server and Unix-hosted apps. Put-in place a storage and
distribution framework for all
national GIS data. Managed server and workstation asset
replacement programmes. Mike Cox, Chris Meredith, Simon Williams,
Danny Caulkett, Dave Jackson et al - it was a pleasure - I didn't really want it to
end. Kevin Grinlaw - I still know where you are now.
|2002||Screen Technologies Ltd, Forest of Dean
and Cheltenham. Operations Manager - installing and
supporting digital advertising signage and associated networking
infrastructure. How did I ever get mixed up in this? Roy,
the DTI investigator was asking after you. Tony, Graham and
Eugene - don't call me please.....Kevin still wants his invoices paid.
Panasonic want their plasma screens back. In the end, I changed my
|2002-2003||Indiwell Productions Ltd, Technical Director
- working with my dear brother Dave on large mult-media outdoor events. Integrating
lighting/audio/video/data/wireless etc. Dave was very ill, so I
stayed around until he got well enough to work again. Then I got
married to Sue (is that relevant?).
|2003-2009||System Readiness Testing & Operational
Acceptance Team Leader / Operational Systems Infrastructure
Manager / Technical Support and Software Release Manager / Project
Manager - Siemens Business Services Ltd, VOSA MOT Computerisation
project. So many roles, so little time, so many late nights and long
hours. It was great to be a part of turning something so late,
misunderstood and so over-budget....into something that eventually won a
number of Government 'excellence' awards. Quite a large system -
65,000 users, proprietary
Fujitsu Siemens SX mainframes, SESAM database, EMC SAN, Solaris servers,
SUSE Linux workstations (19,000 of them), async dial-up client comms
(!!!), Business Objects, high availability / resilience / fault
-tolerance. High-profile business partners (DVLA), demanding SLAs, huge penalties if we screwed-up
(thankfully, I didn't). Brian Maskell, Linda Bares, Nirmala Shoker,
Raj Sharma, Richard Powell - I owe you all a lot. Kevin Grinlaw -
it was all thanks to you. I only went for 3-months, originally as
a System Readiness test team leader - ended up
staying for 6 years. I project managed a few office and data centre
moves in my 'spare' time too. I really would like to go back and finish
off the mid-term infrastructure refresh project properly though.
It can't go on for ever without updating or replacement.....it will break
eventually, and then it will be too late.
|2009-10||Wound-up Indiwell Productions Ltd, following the
death of my brother, Dave in late 2007. He tried to keep going
right until the end, but I had a lot of loose ends to tie-up - took me
more than a year to settle-up completely.
The recession bites deep, and my Technology Refresh Project at Siemens has it's funding withdrawn, so I have an extended holiday in the USA with the kids. By the time I start looking for work seriously, towards the end of the year, the contract market is awash with Project Managers, and not many projects. Too many agents touting the same jobs to the same contractors - so much duplication, replication, wasted effort.
So I've been diversifying......
Warehouse Organisation & Methods Study for Xograph Ltd. (medical imaging X-Ray systems suppliers) - thanks Peter Staff.
Photo-Voltaic Solar Panel Installations
Outdoor equestrian lighting
Remote IP-based Internet security camera installations
TV-aerial / satellite installations / TV re-tuning and FreeView set-top boxes - thanks BBC, OFCOM et al
Passed my City and Guilds and EAL electrical installations and testing exams
Numerous audio engineering and lighting assignments.
Completed construction of my recording studio and video editing suite here in Bisley. Production, recording and A/V engineering work is starting to come in now. I'm beginning to like not having to drive to work.....
Been difficult to keep the band gigging thing going - I have time available, but none of my collaborators seem to be able to make more than one night a week at the moment.
|2010||Daily trips to JobServe - still looking for
Project/Stage Management IT work, but there still seems to be more
agents than jobs. I'll sit it out...this isn't the first
'recession' that the IT industry has suffered. Since the new
financial year started, things seem to have been a bit more up-beat.
Hopefully, a change of government might boost the mood also. One
of the political parties has even been touting that they will revoke IR35.
Considering whether now would be a good time for me to formalise my Prince2 and ITIL qualifications.
...or take my friend Toby Sadler's example and join a touring rock band again.
...or go on holiday (again:-), but actually I've never been busier in my life. I could do with some 'bulk' in the work, rather than so much variety, but hey.....
May - Now started doing product development and project management for Xograph Limited. Gaining ISO13485 accreditation for the company, CE-marking some new 'portable' X-ray systems and generally enjoying doing something slightly out of my comfort zone. Challenging, but not impossible....learning quite a bit about the world of Radiography as a side benefit.