Introducing myself at MaidSafe
Hi all, I’m David Geddes and I’m very happy to have joined this impressively dedicated and motivated team to take on the task of managing customer support. Everyone has made me feel so welcome during my first couple of days and I’m looking forward to getting to know each one of them a little better over the next few weeks.
So a little about me… I started at the University of Strathclyde studying a joint Computer Science and Electronic Engineering degree where it took me the best part of three years to realise that I simply didn’t “get” analogue electronics (I guess my mind isn’t wired that way). I switched focus for my third year to purely Computer Science modules for my BSc. On leaving university I signed up with a Scottish Enterprise scheme in Glasgow called Graduate Into Business which aimed to place graduates with local start-ups. I found myself attracted to a software company called IES who wanted to play their environmentalist part by reducing the amount of energy buildings consume through sustainable design and intelligent building control. My first tasks were to learn a new programming language (Visual Basic) and create database tables of which I can say that the former was definitely more interesting than the latter. I moved on to creating front-end interfaces using Visual Basic to link with Fortran calculation engines and learned many lessons through trial and error about the importance of a good user-experience. After a couple of years we created the second and third generations of what became the Virtual Environment and by now I was working almost exclusively in C++. I had gained responsibility in multiple projects for the full application lifecycle: design; coding; testing; delivery and end user support and I have to say that if I never have to document a product again it’ll be too soon. I did however find that I was able to build up a good rapport with many of our regular users which I guess led to my next career move.
I moved into technical support in 2006 after a very enjoyable secondment to Boston in the States where I was both continuing to develop software and provide user support to the NA market. In the beginning it was just myself handling all technical enquiries but as time went on I was allowed to grow the team and take management responsibility for it. I set up the procedures required to run the department and had to establish these in person by visiting the Pune (India), Boston (MA) and San Francisco (CA) operations… a dirty job indeed but somebody had to do it. By the end of my tenure as Technical Support Manager we had support staff in Australia, India, Scotland, Ireland and the USA meaning that we could provide 24 hour support — the sun never set on the IES support team!
During 2011 I transferred back in to the software development department to assist the Technical Director in the administrative and planning management of the team. We were working within a hybrid waterfall/agile methodology until a restructure in 2013 where I moved to a more hands-on development role again heading up a team responsible for adding productivity enhancements to the Virtual Environment. Having squared the circle and being back in C++ development I felt that I’d probably done all I could within IES and it was time again for a change so I set my sights on pastures new… which resulted in me coming to MaidSafe.
I’ve been playing more and more tennis over the last couple of years and I think that I am driving poor my poor wife Victoria crazy with how obsessed I’m becoming. I joined the local David Lloyd club where I’m very active in the tennis community there and while I’m not exactly brilliant I’m starting to get the hang of how to hold the, err, “bat” is it? Recently I’ve learned how to string a racquet and am threatening to buy my own stringing machine… I told you… obsessed!
One thing that Victoria and myself are obsessed about together is travel. We’ve seen some pretty beautiful places all over this wonderful world and to be honest our own country of Scotland is right up there with the best of them. I try and take the occasional photograph when we are away and now and again if the timing is just right they come out quite well.
That’s probably more than enough from me at this time so I’ll not take up any more of your day other than to finish by reiterating how excited I am to be part of the SAFE revolution.