Speaker Bios

Alex Wilmer (MoD)

Alex Willmer is a DBA, with nearly 5 years experience at Defence Estates, administering databases for Geographic Information Systems (GIS). He writes varied python scripts to monitor, maintain & populate these systems. Outside of work he is a part of the OpenStreetMap project.


Barbie (Birmingham Perl Mongers)

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Barbie is the Founder, Leader and Director of Birmingham Perl Mongers, a CPAN Author, a professional lighting engineer, roadie, a father of 2 and a player of games. I started as a professional Perl programmer in 1999, having previously been a C fanatic for the previous 14 years. Can currently be seen promoting CPAN testing and various aspects of improving code quality. An experience speaker veteran of several international technical conferences and workshops, together with presentations to numerous Perl and Linux user groups. I am employed as a QA Automation Specialist by MessageLabs, and get paid to write Perl test suites. I was one of the organisers for the 2006 YAPC::Europe Perl Conference in Birmingham, UK.


Barnabas Aspray (BBC Mobile)

Barnabas is a developer in the BBC Mobile group and has been working with the Perl-based SMS Messaging and Content Management Systems since he joined in 2006. Barnabas has a degree in Computer Science with European Study from the University of Exeter.


Brian McCaulay (University Hospital Birmingham)

Brian has been programming since the age of 9 (1976), semi-professionally since the age of 16.

He works at the Wolfson Computer Laboratory in Birmingham which historically could be described as a medical informatics R&D group but now is part if the IT Services department at University Hospital Birmingham (NHS Foundation Trust) and the focus of their work has shifted more towards service delivery rather than research.

Brian is a member and director of Birmingham Perl Mongers.


Chris Fewtrell (Claranet)

Chris Fewtrell is the Messina Systems Development Manager and is based in Claranet's London offices.


Daniel Giribet (BBC Mobile)

Daniel has a Masters Degree and a research Diploma of Advanced Studies (DEA) in Digital Communications and Technology by the Pompeu Fabra University (Barcelona). He also has a Computer Science Engineering Degree by the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (Barcelona).

Daniel has published and presented research papers in subjects such as WebServices, XML large-scale Internet publishing and iTV interaction and currently works as a Senior Software Engineer at BBC Future Media & Technology


Dave Cross (Magnum Solutions)

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Dave Cross is the owner of Magnum Solutions, a London-based Open Source consultancy and training house. Dave has been heavily involved in the Perl community since starting the London Perl Mongers in 1998. Between 2002 and 2006 Dave was the Perl Mongers User Group Co-Ordinator for The Perl Foundation.

Dave is a regular speaker at Perl and Open Source conferences in both Europe and the US and has run Perl training courses for a number of companies. In 2007, with help from BBC Backstage, Dave ran a free one-day Perl training course for Perl programmers.

Dave has written many articles about Perl for both print magazines and web sites. He is the author of "Data Munging with Perl" (Manning, 2001) and a co-author of "Perl Template Toolkit" (O'Reilly, 2003).


Dave Page (EnterpriseDB)

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Dave has been actively involved in the PostgreSQL Project since 1998, as the lead developer of pgAdmin, and as co-maintainer of the Windows distribution of PostgreSQL. He also serves on the project's web and sysadmin teams and is a member of the PostgreSQL Core Team.

Dave is employed by EnterpriseDB where he works as a software architect and developer on EnterpriseDB products in addition to his community PostgreSQL work.


David Jones (Ravenbrook Limited)

Since graduating from Cambridge, David has been a professional programmer at a variety of small to medium software companies for 13 years. For the last 5 years David has been a Senior Consultant at Ravenbrook Limited, providing software engineering consulting services. For David this typically means programming, documenting, advising, training, in and on C, Python, Lua, and pretty much anything else that comes along. David's experience includes writing garbage collectors, video games, embedded robotic control software, GUI wireless network administration and analysis tools, and the odd language implementation or two.

David lives on the edge of the Peak District National Park and likes to rock climb in his spare time.


Detlef Ulherr

Before his career at Sun Microsystems Detlef worked for 19 Years for the Hoechst group in various positions including software development and system and database administration in large and small data centres.

In 2000 he joined Sun Microsystems as a Professional Service Consultant. The main topics in this role were performance tuning, Solaris and High Availability in various cluster products. In the last few years Detlef has been working for Sun Cluster engineering. He is the developer of the Sun Cluster HA PostgreSQL agent amongst other agents.


Gavin Henry (Suretec Systems)

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Gavin Henry came to the FLOSS world quite late. In 2001 he was given a copy of Red Hat 6 whilst on a work placement at Halliburton during his degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering. From that point on he was hooked.

He is an avid contributor to various projects (Fedora, CPAN projects, Asterisk, Dojo Toolkit...many more) and is a member of the OpenLDAP Engineering Team.

Gavin spends his days as Managing Director at Suretec Systems Limited, a leading UK Open Source Consultancy specialising in Squid, OpenLDAP, Samba, Amanda and Asterisk.


George Shepherd (Sun Microsystems)

George has been a Solaris sustaining engineer in Sun for 8 years, mainly working in kernel, networking and communications. In total George has been with Sun for 20 years in customer engineering and training roles. He also lead the proactive service delivery team in Australia as National Systems Support manager, before taking up a sustaining role in France.


Geraint North (Transitive)

Geraint North is a Principal Engineer at Transitive Corporation, working out of their Design Centre in Manchester, UK


Gihan Munasinghe (Xcalibre Communications)

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Gihan Munasinghe has worked in software development for over 5 years, both in commercial and research. His main area of interest is distributed systems. He completed his MSc in Computer Systems and Software Engineering in 2006 at the University of Edinburgh. He currently works with the School of Informatics at Edinburgh University and XCalibre Communication in Livingston.


Greg Stark

Greg has been programming SQL databases since 1997 and PostgreSQL since 2002. He's been actively involved with PostgreSQL development since 2006 when he submitted his first contribution, concurrent index builds.

Originally from Montreal, Canada, Greg now works for EnterpriseDB at their Oxford office where he works on both EnterpriseDB products and PostgreSQL development.


John Levon (Sun Microsystems)

John has been a Solaris kernel engineer in Sun for many years, mostly focusing on observability, RAS, and virtualisation. Most recently John has been working on the Solaris version of Xen.


John Pinner (Clockwork Software Systems)

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John Pinner has been using Unix and then Linux for more years than he cares to remember. He and his company, Clockwork Software Systems, have been using Python as their main development language since 1999 for applications as diverse as electromagnetic compatibility testing and payroll. Through the Linux Emporium they offer both scheduled and bespoke Python training courses, and have provided free courses at both UKUUG and ACCU conferences.


Jon Allen (Birmingham Perl Mongers)

Jon Allen (a.k.a. JJ) is a technical specialist in network management for the mobile telecoms industry. He is a member of Birmingham Perl

Mongers, a regular speaker at technical meetings, and was one of the organisers of YAPC::Europe 2006. He set up the Perldoc documentation website and has a number of other projects which can be found at http://perl.jonallen.info/


Mark Cave-Ayland (Sirius)


Mark Gledhill (BBC Internet)

Mark Gledhill is a Principal Software Engineer within the Software Engineering Internet group in the Future Media & Technology division at the British Broadcasting Corporation in London, England.

Mark has worked at the BBC for over four years on a variety of popular sites and applications including iPlayer, Search, content production systems for well-known brands including EastEnders and Dr Who, and high-load dynamic applications including Celebdaq and Test The Nation.

Mark is particularly experienced at designing applications to handle very high-load, taking into account techniques such as caching, flattening and load balancing.


Dr Martin Wright (West Midlands Police)

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Martin Wright is an Inspector with West Midlands Police who has received an International Law Enforcement Cybersecurity Award in recognition of the collaborative work between WMP and the University of Wolverhampton in setting up a Warning, Advice and Reporting Point (WARP) to protect against cyber crime.


Matt S Trout (Shadow Cat Systems)

Matt S Trout was thrust into Perl at the tender age of 17 by a backup accident. Two weeks later he realised that he was in love with the language and has been happily using it for systems automation, network, web and database development ever since.

He is a core developer (and repository admin) for the Catalyst web framework, the DBIx::Class ORM and the Moose metaprotocol and object system, as well as contributing to assorted other CPAN projects.

Matt spends his days leading the technical team at Shadowcat Systems Limited, an open source consultancy specialising in Catalyst, Perl applications deployment and systems architecture. Shadowcat sponsors web, source repository and mailing list hosting for Catalyst, DBIx::Class and a large number of associated projects, and creates and releases open source code both internally and on behalf of its clients.


Mike Whitaker (Yahoo! UK)

Mike Whitaker is a Perl developer working for Yahoo! UK Ltd. He has an MA in Computer Science from Cambridge University, England, and in the past he's also ported a CAD/CAM modeller to various Unix platforms (including one of the first HP PA2-RISC machines in the world), worked as postmaster at the UK's largest ISP, written the backend for the Perplexcity puzzle card game and developed the web infrastructure for the world's largest single-sport website, CricInfo. In his spare time he writes novels, takes photographs, runs a small recording studio, plays guitar and sings in a Fleetwood Mac tribute band, manages an IRC network and the odd Science Fiction convention. He's married to a computer-literate, cricket-loving, keyboard-playing veterinary surgeon, with whom he has a 8 year old son and a variable number of cats.


Paul Anderson (University of Edinburgh)

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Paul Anderson is a Principal Computing Officer with the School of Informatics at Edinburgh University. He has over 20 years experience in practical system administration and he is the primary author of the LCFG configuration system. He is the author of a number of research papers and the SAGE booklet on System Configuration.


Peter N M Hansteen

Peter N M Hansteen is a consultant, sysadmin and writer based in Bergen, Norway. A long time freenix advocate, he is a member of the BLUG (Bergen (BSD and) Linux User Group) core group and current vice president of NUUG (the Norwegian Unix User Group). During recent years a frequent lecturer and tutor with emphasis on FreeBSD and OpenBSD topics, and most recently the author of The Book of PF (No Starch Press, December 2007).


Phil Kirk (Sun Microsystems)

Phil has worked at Sun for the past 11 years. He currently works in the sustaining organisation supporting networking products. He has also been working on the Clearview project team, designing and implementing the IP observability component.


Pieter Hintjens

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Pieter is the president of FFII, the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure, which was instrumental in the rejection of the 2005 EU software patent directive.


Dr Randy Appleton (University of Northern Michigan)

Dr. Randy Appleton is a professor of Computer Science. He's been involved in Linux since Linux 0.9, and these days researches performance issues at both the kernel and application level. On his personal time he enjoys flying small airplanes.


Richard Huxton (Archonet)

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Richard Huxton is a London-based independent IT consultant focusing on data-oriented applications for SMEs. First drawn to PostgreSQL by its transaction support back in 1999, Richard is proud to play his part in one of the most knowledgeable and helpful online communities around.


Robin Doran (BBC Internet)

Robin is a Development Team Leader at BBC Future Media & Technology who has been building internet production systems and web applications for the last seven years.


Dr Russel Winder

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Russel was originally a theoretical particle physicist but decided in 1980 that being a UNIX systems programmer was more fun. However, academia continued to call and he moved to UCL to lecture in programming, software engineering and human--computer interaction, and do research on parallel programming languages and socio-technical aspects of software development. After 13 years at UCL, Russel moved to KCL to be Professor of Computing Science. Having revamped the teaching programme, continued the research on parallel programming languages, and started research programmes in health informatics, it was time for new challenges so he left KCL to become CTO of OneEighty Software Ltd, a company using novel virtual machine approaches to embedded systems.

Unfortunately, the money ran out for this start-up before the orders flooded in and so it had to fold -- the technology has since been buried for reasons that involve conspiracy theories. For the last three years, Russel has been a consultant, analyst, trainer (Java, Groovy and Python) and author ("Developing Java Software" third edition, and "Python for Rookies"). The recent rise of multicore processors means that parallelism has finally arrived (after 25 years of being the coming technology), so Russel with two colleagues has started a new consultancy practice (Concertant LLP) undertaking consultancy, analysis and management work in all areas of parallelism and concurrency. Russel is centrally involved with the development of the Groovy programming language, and is author of the Gant build framework.


Sas Mihindu (University of Salford)

The author has developed skills and experience by working for academic, research and business enterprises in Europe, and Australasia over two decades. His current research interests are human-centric technology infrastructures for future workplaces (FWS), strategies of distributed knowledge and data management for community collaboration and virtual reality, virtual environments and virtual technology infrastructures. He has been leading and delivering for many European Commission projects with Information Society Technologies (IST) Programmes via University of Salford, Greater Manchester. He has recently engaged in designing and deploying of web infrastructures for technological observatory of VR, VE and FWS, strategic Knowledge Management infrastructures for scientific and professional communities, and produced many State of the Art reports of VR, communication and collaboration tools and distributed networking infrastructures for collaboration.


Simon Riggs (2nd Quadrant)

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Simon is a respected PostgreSQL developer focussing on enterprise features, and the project's regional contact for the UK. He is the author of numerous features in the database server including Point In Time Recovery, partitioning and Asynchronous Commit.

Simon runs a successful PostgreSQL consultancy business 2nd Quadrant near Oxford.


Simon Wilkinson (University of Edinburgh)


Stephen Quinney (University of Edinburgh)

Stephen Quinney is a Senior Computing Officer within the Edinburgh University School of Informatics. His work mainly involves the development and maintenance of the LCFG System Configuration framework. Stephen was originally a physicist and astronomer; he started using Perl when Fortran became too much to bear. When not hacking on some Perl code he can often be found getting as far away from computers as possible by visiting remote Scottish hills and islands to enjoy hillwalking and birdwatching.


Tim Retout (Credativ)

Tim works for Credativ, a free software consultancy firm which offers support and training for PostgreSQL, among other things. His job involves both system administration and development, to varying degrees.

In his spare time he contributes to a number of free software projects, maintains GNU Enscript, and looks after a few packages for Debian.

Having got bored of helping out at conferences in order to gain free admission, he is now experimenting with speaking at them instead.


Tom Hukins



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