|Alaric Blagrave Snell-Pym
|4th April 1979
|alaricsp on Freenode
|Married (with children)
|Full UK Licence
I'm at my happiest when I'm solving complicated problems with conflicting requirements, and communicating with people. I'd like to lead, or be involved in leading, a technical team doing something difficult and making users' lives better.
|2020 - present day
(Member of Technical Staff)
|Development of trusted register management/publishing software.
|2017 - 2020
(Member of Technical Staff)
|Development of a distributed filesystem management platform, including integration with Docker, Kubernetes and data science applications.
|2019 - present day
|White Stags Explorer Scout Unit
(Assistant Explorer Scout Leader, voluntary)
|Helping a group of 14-18 year olds become the best versions of themselves in the beautiful village of Cranham. I am certified to run residential experiences (eg, camps) for young people.
|2019 - present day
|Gloucestershire County RAYNET
|My eldest child and I use our amateur radio licences to provide public safety communications assistance to local events and public authorities, usually using VHF and UHF voice links.
|Attained City & Guilds level 1 award in TIG welding (Low Carbon Mild Steel); I can manipulate an argon plasma to fuse steel together.
|2016 - 2017
|Architecture of the Volo Platform, a hosted software suite for end-to-end management of online commerce businesses. I was instrumental in overcoming challenging technical debt issues, guiding the technical and organisational efforts required to take a mature product into exciting new directions.
|Architecture and development of the Haplo Platform, a hosted knowledge management application used by organisations to streamline and clarify their internal processes. Our primary customers were universities, who use it to organise their research and education activities.
|2011 - 2016
acquired by Teradata Plc
in December 2014
|Architecture and development of the RainStor database platform, a petascale distributed SQL analytic database. I worked on various parts of the product, but specialised in the SQL query engine. I was primary maintainer of the join planner, our integration with Hadoop Yarn for processor resource management, and the query tracing/profiling system, including visualisation tools for the latter. I was also the office first aider, assistant network engineer, and regional co-ordinator for employee voluntary work in the community.
|2014 - present day
(Treasurer and Secretary, voluntary)
|I'm a keen supporter of the hackspace/makerspace movement, and as well as being a member of Bristol and Cheltenham Hackspaces, I'm also treasurer and secretary of Cheltenham Hackspace. This involves keeping records of things, which like many nerds, I find inherently satisfying! My records (and the software I use to automate the accounts) are available online.
|2008 - 2011
(Chief Software Architect)
|A partner and I founded GenieDB Ltd to commercialise the replicated fault-tolerant database technology I developed as a freelancer. I manage the software development team that is the core of the company, design the software, dig in with the rest of the team to build it, document it, and manage the interactions of my team with the sales and support teams.
|2006 - 2019
(Cub Scout and Scout Leader, voluntary)
|For thirteen years, every week I entertained and educated twenty or so 8-10 year olds, and occasionally take them out on camps and other events; then I moved up to being part of a team doing the same for 10-14 year olds. It has often been said that managing programming teams is like herding cats; however, I find it trivial compared to a group of overexcited children. Ended when I moved up to being an Explorer Scout Leader in 2019, which falls under a different organisational umbrella.
|2004 - 2008
|Freelance IT consultant
|I decided to work part time for Frontwire early in 2004, and
spent the other half of my time planning and executing my
wedding, advancing my own projects, and taking on contract work
in the fields of Web development and embedded programming. In
2006 I became full time. Within the limits imposed upon me by
confidentiality agreements, some notable projects I have
|2004 - present day
|British Computer Society
|2001 - 2006
(Head of Technology)
|Architectural design and development of a large multi-user EJB system with a Swing frontend for the first nine months, then I took over the technology department and diverted the software away from EJB to a more powerful substrate of my own design, producing immense improvements in reliability, ease of administration, and ease of development at the cost of a week writing our own protocol, while at the same time managing the development team and looking after the technical infrastructure behind the company's internal and external operations.
|2001 - 2002
|ISO/ITU Working Group
|Working mainly on issues concerning interoperability between XML and ASN.1 (developing ITU-T Rec. X.694 | ISO/IEC 8825-5 and ITU-T Rec. X.693 | ISO/IEC 8825-4). See this page for more information. I was appointed by BSI as UK Expert on ASN.1 for group meetings in Florida and Geneva.
|2001 - 2003
|In a freelance capacity, I've performed technical editing on various titles for Pearson, and co-authored Special Edition Using XSLT
|2000 - present day
|City and Guilds of London Institute
|1997 - 2000
|Imperial College, London
|3-year Computing degree (UCAS: G500). Attained a 2:1 BEng and Associateship of the City and Guilds of London Institute.
|1998 - 2001
|Internet Vision Ltd
|Designing and implementing multi-tier system components for clients and sometimes internally, from developing entire Web applications (I was the sole software engineer for the first year of UpMyStreet.com, allowing users to make complex queries over a massive database in real time) to designing content management systems with embedded programming languages and distributed algorithms - and also a lot of involvement in internal training and learning facilities, including managing the internal library.
|1998 - 1999
|PD Computer Systems
|Spent about two months in total, setting up networks of NT workstations for schools. Physical PC construction, cabling, network design, NT installation, server setup, and a little bit of batch programming to automate management tasks.
|1994 - present day
|Various Open-Source projects
|I've been involved in various projects run by teams of volunteers on the Internet. I was involved with the group that dealt with open sourcing Caldera OpenDOS (which started life as DR-DOS, for those who can remember back that far!), a few OS design projects (LispOS, Tunes, and NetBSD), the PNG image file format group, the GnuCash project, the endless debates on XML-DEV (in which I spoke out against the [ab]use of XML for data interchange). I'm a keen member of the Chicken Scheme (a LISP dialect) core team, and was a member of Working Group 1 of the standardisation effort for the seventh revision of the Scheme Programming Language, and I publish my own open-source projects at www.kitten-technologies.co.uk.
|1992 - 1997
|Bedford Modern School
GCSEs: Maths (A*) Physics (A), Chemistry (A), Design and Communication (A), Biology (B), English Language (B), Latin (B), French (B), Geography (B), English Literature (C)
A Levels: Maths (A), Further Maths (A), Physics (A), Computing (B)
S Levels: Physics (Distinction)
Other Awards: Assorted gold and silver certificates in UK and International Mathematics Challenges, Distinction in the British Physics Olympiad Pre-test, Merit in the Physics Olympiad itself, Merit in the British Informatics Olympiad. Attained the rank of Sergeant in the Combined Cadet Force.
|Snell and Wilcox
(the family firm)
|Spent a weekend writing some low level driver code for one of their products, since they lacked experience of protected mode access to x86 parallel port hardware at the time.
|Theoretical and Applied Computer Science
|Although I have at least studied the fundamentals of every
field I can find information on, my main area of expertise is in
the related areas of programming language design, operating
system design, user interfacing, database systems, and
networking - the platform on which an application is built. When
a application has to be built, I am mostly interested in the
back end. My interest in low level details stops at around the
block diagram hardware level; I am interested in CPU design and
have a few ideas on CPU architectures that might be interesting
but (sadly) have never had the opportunity to experiment in this
To summarise the buzzwords for those who process CVs with
|Connecting computers together is fascinating; it's like a giant train set, only better. I was involved on and off in Internet Vision's network administration, I almost single handedly ran Frontwire's networks since I took over the department, I run a more-interesting-than-most home LAN, and I have administered racks in datacentres for myself and for clients, including a dual-location setup with BGP. I run servers for HTTP, email (SMTP, POP, IMAP), XMPP, DNS, IRC, SMB, NFS, and occasionally NIS. I have developed networking systems from the data link layer up to the application layer.
|Radio and Electronics
|I hold a UK Full Amateur Radio Licence, meaning I've been issued a callsign (M0KTN) by the government and am licenced to transmit on various frequencies, ranging from worldwide "HF" communications to regional VHF, UHF and microwave. I'm familiar with the physics of radio propagation and the electronics involved in transceivers, transmission lines, impedance matching, antennas, digital modulation, and so on.
|I really like leading teams of people. In my employment, I've managed software development teams, including mentoring developers. Outside of work, running Scout groups at various levels involves leading the children, and also leading teams of adults to organise events such as camps and expeditions.
|I have been studying metalwork as a hobby, ranging from techniques such as blacksmithing, casting, welding and brazing. In 2004 I built a home aluminium foundry from scratch. I'm also interested in construction engineering; stonework and subterranean engineering a particularly fascinating.
|I am interested in the workings of standards bodies. That sounds boring to most, but when a bunch of people with different agendas get together to agree on how to standardise something, an interesting intersection of human and technical issues arises. As a teenager I joined the PNG specification group and contributed to the PNG Extensions specification. I was a member of a join ISO / ITU-T working group; the international standards work I did centered around ASN.1 and includes efforts to define extensions for UML in specialist domains. I was also a member of Working Group 1 of R7RS, the body that defined the current version of the Scheme programming language.
|I like rock climbing and target shooting; my interest in these things is probably driven by their relatively high gadget content. At school I was a keen member of the shooting team, and attended many competitions up to the national level, as well as being responsible for some of the administration of the range, armoury, and magazine. I've done no shooting since University, but would like to take up archery and/or clay pigeon shooting in the future.
|First Aid, Survival, and Militaria
|Although I am a pacifist at heart, I have for various reasons (mainly sheer curiousity) ended up being trained in various armed and unarmed combat skills, survival and camouflage skills, demolitions disposal, and first aid. I was a voluntary member of St. Johns Ambulance for several years, and held an Essential Care Skills qualification with them, and was a trained office first aider for Teradata. My current role as a Scout Leader involves teaching youngsters the elements of campcraft, shelter-building, and basic wilderness survival. I am calm and collected in an emergency!