Other Personal Details

Date of Birth: 5th February 1975

Marital Status: Married to Sinead Horgan

Children:  Ewan Griffith (2/6/2006)

Interest

As I have always had a very keen interest in computers and programming, not just from a business and career perspective, I love to learn new programming languages whenever I can. In the past, I have found that I learn well by studying on my own and using sample projects as test-beds for the new languages.

One of my other passions is cooking.  All kinds of food, using all kinds of ingredients from many parts of the world.  Some of my personal favourites are Italian and Asian food as well as some of the more close-to-home dishes from Ireland and Spain.  In the past few years I have delved into the art of home-made pasta which I really enjoy, as do those that are allowed to partake in the eating of it!

I love to travel and visit new places and experience new cultures, particularly their culinary offerings!  I have visited more than 100 cities in over 23 countries and have lived in Ireland, Spain, USA and Australia.

I love to read and I have a particular interest in topics such as self development, spirituality, psychology and the mind.  I have also begun to take more of an interest in economics in recent years as there have been such huge shifts in this area.  I like to keep up with the world news and current affairs.

I am also a keen golfer, having taken up the sport again in 2011.

I have had a real interest in Kinesiology too for many years, as my father has been a practicing Kinesiologist for 30 years and I have seen many remarkable healing results from it.  I would love to train in order to practice this myself at some stage and be able to help people with their health.

Self-sufficiency and quality organic food are very important to me also, hence the development of the apps and software to manage the watering needs of our polytunnels, which are also fully powered by the sun.

Summary

Born and raised in Ireland, I have been working in the I.T. industry for 20 years with a background in systems analysis, software engineering, programming, database design and implementation as well as hardware and software support, including helpdesk roles.  I have a keen eye for detail (if somewhat of a perfectionist!) and always give 100% to every project. I am flexible and a strong team player, leading by example.  Having had many management roles, I have a lot of experience to bring to any business and I pride myself on being structured and organised.

I have also travelled extensively from which I have gained a real insight into the social differences between countries and even continents.  I have spent time in the U.S.A., Australia, the UK, Ireland and Spain and I have visited 23 countries.  From October 1998 to October 1999 I spent 1 year on a working holiday visa in Australia where I spent time working with Compaq on the Y2K project.

I have a broad range of skills and I am a fast learner.  I have the ability to learn new skills easily and I am a "show me once and I've got it" type of a person.  I'm always keen to increase my skill set, in whatever area it may be.  I also have the ability to effectively communicate ideas with others and to train them on new technologies.

Having trained as an iOS app developer, I'm currently in the process of building an iPhone/iPad app to interface with a personal project of mine which is to build an automated water system for our polytunnels.  The app will interface with a Raspberry Pi running a custom-built python server to control electronic valves and to provide software timers for the watering process.  

Work History

Work History
Jan 2013 - Present

Owner

Fuddus.com

Most recently I have been developing a web-based design and development business mainly using contractors to design and build custom websites for clients.  I provide hosting and domain services also.

I have been personally studying Web Design & Development including CSS, Ruby on Rails and Photoshop. I have completed a 6 week course in iOS Development using Objective-C so that I can design and build my own apps.  

At present the main business is in the design and development of websites which I contract out to a development team.  I handle the translating of the customers requirements into specifications for the developers.

Jan 2006 - Nov 2012

Director / Service Engineer

ComputerNET I.T. Services

Having invested in ComputerNET at the beginning of 2006 and merged with the ipodshoppers.com business, I set about organising and developing ComputerNET with the intention of selling the business within 5 years. 

I developed a system to manage the entire business, including a job management system to manage the repairs coming into the workshop.  All of this had been badly managed on paper up to this point.  The system for managing the workshop called SolveIT was built using Apple's WebObjects Java frameworks which was 100% HTML and web based making it accessible via any browser.  Having completed the software, I then set about implementing it and training the staff as to the importance of using the system correctly.  It took about 6 months for it to be properly adopted, as a result of which the efficiency of the workshop increased dramatically.

Between January 2006 and December 2008 we increased our turnover from 80,000€ to 350,000€.  We had expanded the business substantially, building a new custom workshop to handle the large volume of business from our 4,000 clients in the local area.  My business partner was bought out in 2007 by a sleeping partner which left me free to make the more important decisions from that point on.  My plan to build and sell the business by the end of 2010 was moving nicely in the right direction.  Then the recession hit Europe very hard at the end of 2008, taking many businesses with it through 2009 and 2010.  We barely managed to survive this period and suffered badly as a result of the decline in sales and the drop in expenditure by our clients.

In 2011, we finally took the decision to close the retail outlet and focus mostly on the repairs and maintenance side of the business as that was the most profitable and sustainable part. In the last quarter of 2012, I made an agreement with an acquaintance of mine to take over this part of the business, leaving me free to move on. 

May 2005 - Jan 2006

Business Owner

ipodshoppers.com

In May 2005, I got together with a colleague of mine to build a new online business called ipodshoppers.com.  The project was to build an online store to sell all things iPod.  All kinds of skins, cases, accessories etc. as well as the Apple iPods themselves.  We further developed the software that I had built for ThinkingAdvantage.com, modifying it to suit the needs of the business.  We invested in stock and began to sell online.  Within 3 months we had achieved a Google rating of 6 and we were selling to many parts of the world.  It became obvious that we were going to need some storage and packing facilities so we finally decided to merge the ipodshoppers.com project with my colleagues existing I.T. business called ComputerNET, which provided sales and service for PC users.  This seemed like the most logical step as ComputerNET already had premises available.  I invested in ComputerNET, purchasing a 50% stake in the business and we merged the two businesses into one at the beginning of 2006.

Jan 2004 - May 2005

Software Development Manager

ThinkingAdvantage.com

In January 2004, I was contracted to develop a database driven website to facilitate the sale and distribution of the ThinkingAdvantage range of products.  These products were developed by two well known kinesiologists and were to be distributed worldwide via local distributors in various countries.  The site had to be multi-lingual as well as handling multiple currencies.  It also needed to manage a complex discount system and a loyalty program.  I worked as part of the management team to develop the distribution strategy, as well as completing the systems analysis, design, programming and testing of the software. 

I chose to use a Java based framework system developed by Apple called WebObjects to achieve this.  The entire system was developed within 6 months and was then fine tuned over the following year.  The site provided a back-end management system, as well as a web-based distribution system for each distributor to manage their own orders.  The site was provided in 6 languages and handled various currencies, depending on the country you were buying in and also provided live stock availability on the public website.

The system worked so well that I then developed it further for my next project, ipodshoppers.com.

Jun 2002 - Dec 2003

Director

Virtual Tours SL

Together with a colleague of mine, I developed a top quality 3D Virtual Tour system for providing interactive property tours for real estate agents on the Costa Del Sol.  We invested a lot of time in researching the available tools and we produced a very sophisticated product which would permit any agent or vendor to show their properties to a prospective client without ever having to leave the office.  The concept was to save both the client and the vendor a lot of time and expense by permitting them to only view properties in person once they were sure that it held an interest for them.  Unfortunately, the property market was at its peak and agents were not prepared to spend the money on the product as they were finding it so easy to sell property at that time.  At the end of 2004 we decided to end the project as we realised that the potential revenue simply couldn't justify the time outlay and the project was clearly ahead of its time.

Jan 2000 - Apr 2002

Director / Developer

Infinity Software Solutions Ltd.

In January 2000 I started a bespoke software development company which designed software using RAD tools such as Omnis Studio for clients in the Irish market.  We also supplied hardware into some businesses and universities such as the multimedia department of Dublin City University.

I developed software for businesses such as PC Boyd Construction, DBS Computers and Dublin City University.  I also worked on a contract basis with the Powys Council in Wales to troubleshoot and update their existing Omnis based software applications.  These were not originally designed by me, so I had to take the systems apart, find the problems and fix them.  This was a particularly interesting and challenging project.

In 2002, I decided to move to the south of Spain as I had seen a unique opportunity in the Real Estate market there which I was keen to develop.

Jun 1999 - Oct 1999

Y2K Compliance Coordinator

Compaq

I was contracted to Compaq for 4 months working in the Optus tower at North Sydney.  The position involved maintaining detailed records of the Y2K Compliance status of all software used by Optus on their Macintosh computers network across Australia.  A survey was conducted of all the software in use, following which my job was to update the Y2K compliance status on a daily basis.  I was also assigned the task of Risk Management for the project which was to be completed by the end of November 1999.  I was forced to resign my position in late October as my working visa expired.  I was offered sponsorship to remain with the Compaq team in Australia but unfortunately I had to leave Australia at that time due to family circumstances.

Prior to joining the Y2K compliance team, I worked on the Compaq rollout help-desk where I remotely assisted the employees across Australia to install a new product that Optus were rolling out.

Dec 1998 - Feb 1999

Bartender

Shennanigans Irish Bar

I worked as a bartender for approximately 3 months at Shennanigans Irish Pub in the Westfield Marion Centre in Adelaide to supplement my funds as part of a working holiday visa in Australia.

Jan 1997 - Oct 1998

Service Engineer

Enterprise Computer Solutions Ltd.

Whilst working for Nature's Way Ltd. in Kilkenny, I also had a contract (by agreement with Nature's Way) with Enterprise Computer Solutions Ltd. (now Stream Solutions Ltd.) based in Cork to provide a maintenance and support service to their client base in the south-east of Ireland.  Enterprise Computer Solutions were one of the largest Apple Centre's in the country, providing Apple sales and support to the south-east and south-west of Ireland. They felt confident enough in my ability that they left the entire south-east solely in my care.  This would have consisted of clients such as the larger newspaper publishers and other printing businesses.  We jointly ended this contract in late 1998 when I decided to leave for Australia.

Jan 1996 - Oct 1998

I.T. Manager / Systems Designer

Nature's Way Ltd.

Nature's Way (taken over by Holland & Barrett in 2000) is Ireland's leading retail health food business.  At the time that I worked with them, they had 13 shops around the country as well as a mail order business and a large warehousing and distribution centre based in Kilkenny. I was responsible for managing the entire I.T. requirement of the business including everything from hardware and network management to software design and implementation.

Initially I redesigned the entire office network, implementing a large scale CAT5 network throughout the distribution centre and upgrading all of the hardware (both computers and phones) in support of this.  The business was primarily based on Macintosh computer systems and included up to 30 Macintosh terminals as well as various Windows based PCs.  Each shop was fitted with a Mac and a modem which could connect through to a remote access dial-in system at head-office.  We were one of the early adopters of email in Ireland and took advantage of this to eliminate much of the paper that was being wasted.

I then took this a step further and designed an internal stock control system (using Omnis Studio RAD) for the distribution side of the business which not only managed the warehouse but also permitted each shop to place their orders directly into the system, where they had been using paper-based order books which had to be faxed to head-office up to twice a week.

Once this system was installed and functional, I set about the Business & Systems Analysis of the newly constructed manufacturing arm of the business known as Nutricare Ltd.  Taking the project all the way from systems analysis through the design and development stage and right up to the testing and implementation, the system revolutionised the way the business operated and added a new level of efficiency and accuracy.  The manufacturing facility was based on strict clean-room standards and pharmaceutical level process control.  Each and every batch produced could be traced through the system back to each of the elements that was used in that batch, which in turn could be traced back to its origin.  This traceability was key to the manufacturing process and many of the existing work practices had to be modified to integrate with this new system.

Towards the end of 1998, I decided to take a year out to avail of a working holiday visa in Australia.  The manufacturing control system worked flawlessly for the entire period and the management were very pleased with the results.

Jan 1995 - Dec 1995

Installations & Service Engineer

Typetec Ltd.

I worked for a year as an installation and service engineer for Typetec Ltd. who are one of the largest Apple retailers and service centres in Ireland.  I was responsible for the delivery and installation of the majority of the new equipment they sold, as well as providing on-site service to their customers including the Royal College of Surgeons and many of the local hospitals and universities.  I was involved in designing and implementing networks of all sizes and I gained a great deal of experience in this time and I thoroughly enjoyed working as part of the service team.

Education

Education
Sep 1993 - Jun 1994

Computer Applications

Dublin City University

I completed only the first year of the degree course at DCU.  My real interest was in programming and systems architecture but the course was too general, incorporating many subjects that didn't interest me.  I achieved a high score in the software engineering section of the course. However, I decided to leave the course after one year to look for a more programming focused course.

Sep 1987 - Jun 1993

2nd Level Education

Kilkenny College

I completed my Leaving Certificate at Kilkenny College, Kilkenny in 1993. 

Results Achieved:

Higher Level:

A1 in French

B1 in English

C2 in Maths

B3 in Geography

B2 in Biology

B3 in Business Studies

Ordinary Level:

C3 in Irish

Skills

Skills

C# Developer

I've been using C# with Visual Studio over the past year or more and am familiar with its use.

Database Design

I have been using databases for many years and have a high level of knowledge of structured relational database design incorporating concepts such as database normalisation and SQL.   I have experience with dBase, SQL Server, Frontbase, mySQL.  I am fully capable of the design and implementation of new and existing database system.

Systems Analysis

I am a very logical and organised person and I would consider myself to be a very good Systems Analyst.  I love the challenge of taking on a project and identifying its parts and putting together the big picture design of how it will work.  I have worked on various projects where I have had to analyse the existing business structure and then design systems to work with that, sometimes requiring the business structure to be modified to work more efficiently with the final design.  In each case, the outcome has been a great success.

Management

I have worked in management positions for many years and I would consider myself to be a very organised and structured person.  Managing people is not my forte and I prefer to manage the structure and procedures of departments rather than the human resources, although I have plenty of experience in both.

Languages - German

I studied German in school to a basic level and have not used it for many years, although I would certainly be able to understand a certain amount and speak a little. 

Languages - Spanish

I have been living in Spain for 11 years and have a very good grasp of the language.  I can read, write and speak Spanish to an advanced level, although there is always room for fine-tuning.

Languages - French

Having studied French to a high level in school, I completed my Leaving Certificate with an A1 in French which is the highest achievable result.  This included the ability to read, write and speak French at a high level.  I have not had any opportunity to maintain this over the past 20 years and as such would need to spend some time in a French speaking environment to refresh this.

Languages - English

As my first language and mother tongue, I have a high level of proficiency in the use of the English language, both written and spoken.  I recently took an IELTS exam to qualify my level of English and achieved the highest score (9) in all of the four areas examined.

Mac OS & iOS Developer

I have completed a 6 week course on Objective C for use with XCode and the Apple SDKs to develop applications for Mac OS, iPhone and iPad.

C++ Developer

While working in Australia, I studied C++ in my own time, building a 2-player chess game as a test project.  This gave me a good grounding in the basics of object oriented programming which I have carried through to my Java development also.

Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting has always been a major strength for me as I have a very logical thought process.  I would mainly have applied this skill in my programming and I.T. positions, however I find it applies to most areas of life.   I have worked in helpdesk environments, on-site support and troubleshooting, remote support and pretty much any troubleshooting environment there is.    I have been able to apply this skill also to locate and fix problems in software applications that were not designed by me.  The logical process of troubleshooting results in the identification of the problem, which then leads to a solution.

Mac OS Support

I have almost 30 years experience with Apple Macintosh computers, starting very early on with the original Apple IIe and Mac Plus.  I have always been involved with Macs in some way as my parent's business was run primarily on Macs and I have always been their primary support contact in this respect.    I have also worked with many Apple Centre's and businesses using Macs throughout my life and I have a passion for them.  Having also provided a repair and support service for Mac users on the Costa Del Sol as well as using Apple equipment myself, I have been able to stay up to date with all the latest advances both in Apple hardware and software.    

I.T. Hardware Engineer

I have 20 years experience with computer hardware, having worked with Macs and PCs from the time of leaving school and even before.  I have been using computers since I was 9 years old and have always had a real passion for them.    I am extremely proficient at the building and repairing of PCs and Macs, including both hardware and software aspects.   I am also proficient in the building of networks, including the use of routers and wireless devices.  I have considerable experience in the use of external wireless networks using such equipment as nano stations and Microtik servers.      

Java Development

I have been developing in Java on and off for about 10 years.  I have primarily developed a number of web-based solutions using Apple's Java based WebObjects frameworks.    I have developed my own in-house job management system called SolveIT which has been managing all the workshop jobs for ComputerNET for the past 6 years.   Also I have developed a web-based solution for ThinkingAdvantage.com which included full integration with their website as well as a backend for management and distribution.    The ThinkingAdvantage.com system was then further developed for use in ComputerNET and iPodShoppers.com.