The Infoworks Story ....a work in progress

We've been around since 1988 – a long time in the fast-changing IT industry, so we reckon we must have been doing something right along the way.

This is our story, told in reverse chronological order, because what’s happening now is usually of most interest to anyone wanting to know more about us. But we think it’s also important to see where we’ve come from and how we’ve adapted to the massive technological changes of the last thirty years, so you know we’re always ready to ride the next wave.

Josh Sally Andrew Garry Milo Mike Di Donna Adrian Yuka Chris Maki Tim Jeremy Stu

Josh joins 

Josh

... as Project Manager - details to follow

Sally joins 

Sally

...as Support Engineer - details to follow

Andrew joins 

Andrew

...as Business Development Manage - details to follow

Garry joins 

Garry

...as Project Manager - details to follow

Milo joins as Project Manager & Lead Guitarist.

  

My name’s Milo and I work as in Product Strategy.

I’m one of the newer members of staff at Infoworks, having joined the company in March 2013 as a Project Manager. I had been working for a consultancy for ten years when I met Stu at a tender and it went from there.

I moved into a more strategic role in 2015. Now I communicate on a day-to-day basis with our project managers and developers - it helps to be fully involved as I am then able to problem solve and test the systems.

I really enjoy being involved with both the people side of the organisation and the development side. I find the communication part of the role very enjoyable and the technical aspect is challenging and brings a rigour to the job.

I enjoy a wide variety of outside interests including football and live music (particularly folk music). I’m a keen cyclist, often braving the streets of London!

Mike joins 

Mike

...as Software Developer - details to follow

Di joins

    

My name’s Di and I’m one of the software developers

I’m originally from Sri Lanka and I moved to England in 2003. I joined the team in 2012 after gaining my Masters’ Degree at Greenwich University. I also work as a lecturer at Kingston University whilst studying for a PhD in speech recognition.

My job is to develop the software at Infoworks. I work behind the scenes on detailed fixes and changes to the systems.

My University study has given me the theory and I can apply this practically whilst working at Infoworks.

I really like the people I work with and I appreciate the flexibility of the job as it fits in with my studying. Each new project presents a different challenge and I enjoy working both independently and as a team, usually communicating through Skype.

I was a fast bowler for a cricket team in Kent a few years ago when I was studying at Greenwich University. As a Buddhist, I also practise meditation for relaxation.

Adrian joins

Adrian

... as Server Specialist - details to follow

Donna joins

Donna

My name’s Donna and I’m the accountant at Infoworks.

I joined the Infoworks team in January 2010. It’s my job to keep our clients up-to-date and produce sales invoices.

Before joining Infoworks, I did a Business degree and trained as an accountant. I used to be part of the team that organised ‘Guilfest’, a music festival in Guildford.

I enjoy the flexibility of working at Infoworks. Since having my family I have been self-employed, which allows me to work the hours that suit me.

Outside of work, I belong to a choir and enjoy watching live music, especially jazz. I also enjoy travelling and have lived in different places all over the world including Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong.

 2008

Yuka joins

Yuka

... in Accounts and Administration - details to follow

Chris joins

  

My name’s Chris and I work as a Project/Support Manager at Infoworks.

I worked in change management in the commercial world for twenty years (for BT and Siemens), firstly as a Business Analyst and then moving into programme management, managing the IT team, before setting up my own freelance business back in 2001.

Freelancing has always appealed to me, working for both commercial and not-for-profit organisations. The latter included the National Deaf Children’s Society, where I first encountered Infoworks – I was managing a project to specify and implement a new computer system to run their operations, and we chose Infoworks as the preferred supplier.

I enjoyed working with them on what was a very successful implementation, so it was easy to say yes when Stu asked if I’d like to come on board and work with them, back in 2007. And it’s stayed enjoyable and satisfying, so I’m still here!

I like to feel that I’m doing the right thing for people and often do pro bono work.

I work closely with clients to understand exactly what it is they want and need from a system, and I use this knowledge to create a system that really works for them. I aim to put them in control and improve their focus, so they can make their organisation start to fly.

What I enjoy most about my job is that there is no average day for me. Every day is different for me, from meeting new clients to problem solving.

I live in a tiny village in Devon and I am lucky to be able to work from home and only occasionally travel for meetings. I am very involved in local community projects, attending and helping at village events, and running the village magazine, ‘The Sheepwash Chronicle’ (56 pages in our last issue!).

Maki joins

Maki
... as Software Developer - details to follow

Infoworks is born as a separate company.

Tim joins

  

My name’s Tim and I’m the Technical Director of Infoworks. I am one of Infoworks’ longest serving employees as I have worked here for over 20 years! I joined Infoworks in 1994 after seeing a newspaper advert.  I used to work for Infoworks' client WEA during the early 1990s and I wanted to continue my work in supporting non-profit organisations.

In my spare time I work as a Scout Leader which involves fundraising and organising events and activities such as camping.

My main duties at Infoworks involve ‘trailblazing’ new ideas and formulating databases. You could say that I turn dreams into reality! 

One of the best parts about working at Infoworks is the variety of work.

I like to keep my technical knowledge up to date through various Internet forums and use this information to keep Infoworks current and our clients’ databases at the forefront of technology.

 1992

Jeremy joins
Jeremy

I met Stu and Phil at a charity fair, I think in 1992. I started doing freelance work for Co-Operative Systems, as it was then, soon afterwards.

In the past I ran some training courses for clients, helped with some user documentation for a database project, ran an Access workshop for clients, and did some internal Access training for staff. I also developed an Access database for a client.

These days, I look after the remaining Access database clients, providing support and making changes to the systems as required.

I provide support directly to one Access client, and speak to Chris or Stu about work with other clients as it comes up.

I enjoy the variety of work and the many ongoing business relationships that I have with all my clients, including the Infoworks clients that I look after. I enjoy very much that I can decide when and where I do my various pieces of work.

My father was involved with computers from the very early days of the industry. He introduced me to programming at the age of 10, and from the age of 12 I was lucky enough to be able to start programming at school. I enjoyed this very much and it became a significant hobby. I then went to university to study computer science, and it felt natural to carry on with programming as a career.

My main hobby is partner dancing, including Argentine tango, ballroom & Latin, and modern jive. Apart from that, I enjoy organising parties, travelling, meeting friends, and all the many cultural things that London has to offer.

Stu joins

  

I was a founder member of Infoworks in 1996. Previously I’d been a director of the company that Infoworks came from – Co-Operative Systems. I’d joined Co-Operative Systems as a freelancer in 1988.

I’m the managing director and we’re a small company so I do lots of things myself and help/manage lots of other things.

I spend most of my time working as a project manager, turning business requirements into system specifications, and liaising with clients, project managers and our development team to produce FABULOUS software!

I think Infoworks is based on set of partnerships and I’m one half of a lot of them - I really enjoy building up a strong working partnership with clients and staff.  

In terms of staff, I spend a lot of time working with Tim – we’ve been working together since 1984 and we’ve been juggling similar abstract concepts all those years, we’ve developed almost our own language, a shorthand for turning real world problems into software solutions.

Otherwise I work with Josh & Garry on project management.

I do a fair bit too with Di, Mike and Maki, helping me get into new technology, and on development projects.

And I work on business development with Andrew and Chris, Donna and Yuka on the accounts, and Tim and Adrian on our IT infrastructure.

When I started this kind of work, I was developing software to order in front of people, making something in a day – that was great.

As the projects, clients and systems got bigger, you move from the fun of building a canoe with your bare hands to the project management job of taking a rough idea on the drawing board to the launch of a cruise liner – and there’s nothing like that.

I’ve made plenty of mistakes over the years but I’ve learned and mellowed a bit too and I’m now a bit more measured. That’s helped me more in recent years to build enduring friendships with clients, staff and colleagues in other organisations – that sustains me.

In the last few years I’ve recycled myself and got back into software development in a small way. I get a kick out it – it can be so frustrating but it’s also the most fun. If you’ve never done software development, it’s like water colour painting + jigsaw puzzle + crossword + lateral thinking game all rolled into one, you’ve got to try it!

Getting back into software development has helped my work with Tim – our skillsets used to be more complementary; having more overlap means we speak the same language and we’ve become a more effective partnership.

I get a lot of satisfaction from our independence – we can be dynamic, get into things that interest us, specialise in what we’re good at and enjoy. 

Finally, not sure why but I also get more pleasure these days from the mundane, less glamorous jobs like taking support calls and data transfer, of all things.

How did you get into this kind of work?

I did a degree in Computing and Economics at the London School of Economics at the start of the 80’s, got a job as a software engineer for a multinational after that and hated it. I was also a bit fed up with 80s Britain and my part in it – so I left the world of software to be an English teacher in Tokyo. Travelled around a bit after that, cast around – had all sorts of schemes that never came to anything: postman/poet, carpenter, tv repairman. In the end I needed some cash and got some freelance software development work from a friend (Phil Anthony) who’d set up his own company. That seemed good so I hung around - I then hit on the idea I should try to stick at something for more than 18 months… and 26 years later it’s my world.

Most of my non-work time is dad-time, which was easy and lots of fun for many years but now seems to be getting much tougher! But when I get the chance and the energy I’m a keen guitarist, jamming with family and friends, writing and recording songs, very occasionally performing in public at old folks homes, parties, open mics with much terror. Took up trumpet a couple of years ago and passed my first formal music exam last year – but sadly have since lapsed.

Work can get stressful and I have a naturally nervous disposition so I find I have to do a fair bit of exercise just to keep me reasonably calm at work and home…so I cycle to work in the summer, run at the gym in winter, and if you ever find you need a spot of poor quality knockabout football (or cricket)… I am part of the solution.

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