Tuesday, 22 October 2013

My First Post

I suppose if I'm going to have a blog I ought to say a little bit about me and about the business (Technoleg Taliesin)

I've been fiddling with computers for a very long time. I wrote my first program (in a language called Algol W) to be run on the St Andrews University IBM 360/44 mainframe back in January 1975, as part of the 1st year Mathematical Methods course. I've never looked back since. I used the University computer until I left, then got a job with Pearl Assurance programming in a language called PL/1 (and later COBOL). I got my own ZX81 in 1981 and evolved from there. I got online using Prestel on my Sinclair Spectrum, then used the CIX bulletin board on dial up using my first IBM compatible PC, and in about 1992 I started fiddling with some new-fangled thing called the Cello 'browser' to access 'websites' on the 'world wide web'.

I developed the first version of my own website (www.taliesin.co.uk - still there) in the late nineties, and at the same time started getting involved with web development at work (Eagle Star/Zurich in Cheltenham by that time). I worked in Java on the motor insurance on-line quote system (one of the first), then doing various jobs on the main websites and other web-based developments.

In 2002 I did a runner and set up Technoleg Taliesin, aiming to specialise in bi-lingual website development and advanced database-driven websites (I've been juggling databases for many years). That was over a decade ago and we're still in business, with a very long list of customers, small and large, throughout Wales (and beyond), so we must be doing something right.

I think some of the most important things I've learned are that IT developers need to be flexible and focus on the purpose of the project. Languages and platforms come and go, (remember WAP phones?) but the basic principles still apply. We need to constantly adapt and be willing to learn about new technologies, but not blindly - the flavour of the month may be just that, so don't jump on every bandwagon.

If we're developing websites (or writing programs) it has to be for a reason - usually to help the customer's business. So we need to forget clever bells and whistles, and keep asking the question: how will this feature help to achieve the aims of the customer?

And that's at the core of what Technoleg Taliesin offers now - the mechanics of building a website are fairly straightforward - what we are offering is the knowledge derived from 30 years in business IT about how we can best use IT to further the customer's business aims.

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