About Me


That's not me in the picture, it's someone else.

Hi there!

First an important disclaimer.

Disclaimer

Sometimes you need to let off steam somewhere. This is the place I do that, so please don't take anything here too seriously.

Back story

I'm a computer programmer. My Dad introduced me to computer programming in 1981, for which I'm eternally grateful. Truly, I feel privileged to have grown up as a computer programmer, working hard but viewing my work as a form of play.

In 1988, I wrote a shareware product called Musexx Maker, published by Camy Maartens at Budgie UK. I received royalty cheques totalling in excess of £20, my first earnings from my programming endeavours. In the meantime I laboured on my first and only Atari ST game, Steel, which attracted interest from the likes of Mirrorsoft's ImageWorks label and Electronic Arts (EA Games).

In 1992, I invented Satellite Navigation while at Warwick University, for which I was awarded a prize of £150, enough to buy one in 2015 and a substantial improvement on my shareware earnings of the 1980s.

In 1994, after a period of post-graduate unemployment, I joined Hoskyns (which later became Cap Gemini) working as a Solaris systems administrator, on the basis that I was virtually the only person in Cap Gemini who had used a networked computer (let alone a Unix OS). My first salary cheque was £739, a sizeable increase on my reward for satnav.

I gradually migrated from a sysadm to an Oracle DBA, via some Oracle Forms programming. Then Java happened, at a time I was itching to get back into 'proper' programming.

London's Tech City's first successful (exit) story

In 1998, Peter Morgan and I were working in Castle House, a dull grey office building nearby London's Silicon Roundabout, when we created a Tech City's first start-up, building the world's first application server, EJBHome. About a month later we sold EJBHome to IONA Technologies, the Kings of CORBA. OMG!

(btw. If you want to know what Silicon Roundabout looked like 20 years ago, go there now! haha)

the IONA/Xsume years

I worked at IONA for a few years, did some talks at JavaOne. Peter introduced me to TDD, we brought in father-of-XP Kent Beck as a consultant for a few weeks and I learned about XP from him. IONA gave me an award for my Xsume packaging technology.

(note-to-self: insert cheesy picture of award here)

the jcoverage years

After leaving IONA I got back together with Peter and co-wrote jcoverage (which later got taken over and renamed to Coburtura). Around this time I thought long and hard about modular software architecture, and registered modularity.org. Then I fell into Agile consulting but found I wasn't really that happy unless there was a programming aspect in my engagements.

CleanBuild

Almost all of my consulting work at that time consisted of building build systems for company's who wanted one and didn't know how to go about getting one. (Maven emerged around that time, but was even worse back then). I registered cleanbuild.org, and installed a number of custom build systems in various companies, including the BBC.

Clojure

Around 2009 I was dabbling in more dynamic languages on the JVM, such as Kawa and eventually discovered Clojure, which has been my programming language of choice ever since. I feel very lucky, because Clojure also happens to be the best and most fun programming language in the world right now.

Together with Jon Pither, I set up JUXT. We loved writing Clojure so much, we created our own company. (JUXT are available to hire for your next project, as long as don't mind us writing it in Clojure!)

I'm also a founder of the super-cool IoT startup opensensors.io, which has become my primary engineering focus. Fortunately, they love Clojure too!

Talks and training

I love giving talks and training courses. Here is a list: https://skillsmatter.com/members/malcolmsparks#skillscasts

Like this blog?

This blog is powered by my own Clojure system. If you want to copy it, you are more than welcome to do so. Follow these docs to generate your own blog-site, which you can then develop as you like.