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Phil Ashby
Phil Ashby

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Hi, I'm Phil Ashby

I have been coding for 30+ years. I'm a recently retired (yay!) senior technical architect (sounds great, means: do all the stuff nobody else wants to, make hard decisions and take responsibility for everything we ship!).

At a young age I made myself a promise: the day I get up and don't want to play with a computer, I'll give up this hobby and get a proper job...

These days you can find me on Mastodon Twitter as @Phlash909 (now deprecated!), and my own site

I live in Felixstowe, UK.

A brief career history:

  • BT PLC from 1989-1996 as part of the speech application division (yep, SAD team), where I helped create CallMinder (now 1571) and early telephone banking systems, while learning all about speech recognition technology (neural nets, now known as machine learning or 'AI' 😁)
  • Wireplay / Gameplay from 1996-2000 where I was technical lead for the UK's first online (well, dialup!) video gaming service, and had my first unicorn startup experience, including resigning after 12months to...
  • Internet Designers Ltd from 2000-2007, an IT consultancy that grew from the initial 20 or so people to ~110 at its peak, where I worked on a multitude of smaller projects that varied from high reliability routers, through Java mobile games to managing BTexact Technologies website in a custom CMS..
  • Back to BT PLC, from 2007-2013 to become a security analyst and hand-picked member of a specialist team investigating the risks and developing the mitigations while BT deployed £6Bn worth of far-eastern telco equipment into the UK's core communications network. No biggie!
  • GBGroup PLC from 2013-2020 when I retired. I was their first 'technical architect', and helped design and deliver their identity intelligence services as they grew from ~300 people in a couple of UK offices to a global multi-national with 1100 people, 40 offices round the globe and a multitude of products and services, many a result of mergers and acquisitions (I also consulted into the M&A team - enlightening!)

I mostly program in these languages: C#, Java, Python, C, shell, ASM & enthusiasm!

If you like what I do, feel free to buy me a beer 🍺

Nice to meet you.

Top comments (4)

thuhtetdev profile image
Thu Htet Tun

Nice to see you Phil

manzanit0 profile image
Javier Garcia

As a TA, how often do you code at work? And what do you think are the most important things you've learnt that have helped you be where you are? :)

phlash profile image
Phil Ashby

Ah, the tricky questions :)

It's sporadic but on average I code weekly, I review check ins daily.

The most important things I've learnt... Probably that everything is a compromise, knowing when to ask for help and that you can never read too much. More specifically, languages are a choice not a religion, choose technology with the team in mind (supportabily, productivity) then consider the problem fit and how much baggage comes with it. Measure everything that matters to your customers. Name your customers before starting anything (hint: this can be yourself!) Fail regularly!

voins profile image
Alexey Voinov

"do all the stuff nobody else wants to" - true :)