View from the Code Face
View From the Code Face is a software development blog by me, Alan Mellor.
I want to do two things:
- Tell stories about real world projects. This is how humans have always passed on knowledge
- Present tutorials, to help beginners understand how commercial developers work
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I was the archetypal nerd kid – but sadly, before that was cool!
I had Electronics and Chemistry sets instead of a football. It was probably obvious I would get into computing.
That said, I came at it from a slightly different angle: Film-making. I loved making clay animation on 8mm film. And then I saw Space Invaders: Animation where you controlled the script. That was it. I wanted to make my own computer games. I had to. And I did, using Z80 assembler, on a Sinclair ZX81 computer with 1k RAM.
Since then, I’ve worked on a lot of interesting projects (and, mercifully, better hardware):
- The RAF Red Arrows flight simulator
- Fun School 2 educational games
- Siemens Optical Line Termination Equipment
- Siemens MicroMaster drives and RS485, Profibus networking
- Siemens Travelling Wave Tube based Satellite Communications systems
- The 3D real time PC ‘Sims’ game ‘Autocracy’
- Ericsson R380s – The world’s first smartphone
- Bounce – Nokia’s popular game
- Document Warehousing systems
- Printer fleet management system
- Yuuguu’s Web Conferencing SaaS product
- High volume Used Car retailer websites with AutoTrader UK
- Created the online church guitarist course www.learnrockworshipguitar.com
- An MPT1345 compliant VHF guitar radio link – a fun final year project at University
I’m self-taught in terms of software, with the help of many books, blogs and people kind enough to share their knowledge with me.
I have a 2.1 B.Eng(Hons) in Electronic Engineering from Salford University, which gives me a pretty decent insight into what computers actually do inside. I had one of two UK sponsorships by Siemens Plc. This was fantastic, and taught me far more about real electronics, work and manufacture than I could have imagined. (And thanks to all the friends I made at Siemens Congleton for that!)
During all this, I’ve learned a lot about techniques, people and projects.
I hope to share some of the more useful stories with you!
Get in touch
I’ll try and answer anything reasonable!