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 kid....


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 why :-)


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 phone number.


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 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.