View from the Code Face

Headshot of Alan Mellor, software developer since the 1980s


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

Elsewhere on the Web

About Me

A young Alan Mellor with a Thomas Salter Chemistry Set 4!

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!

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