With a PhD in biochemistry, Ashley spent several years as a scientist. His move to IS followed a MSc in which he studied software engineering, Java and relational database design.
Consultant – 8 years
Business process mapping, requirements gathering, design and development of systems. Designing interfaces to laboratory and chromatography data systems in addition to many other complex laboratory instruments.
In the lab – 12 years
PhD Biochemistry, Post-doctorate at Thomas Jefferson University and at University College London, Published scientific articles and presentations at scientific symposia
“If you don’t get the details right, the outcome is not going to be right.”
I suppose you could say that mine is essentially a technical brain, mainly given over to problem-solving systems for clients.
That’s probably what appeals most to me about the role and the field of Information Systems.
Previously I was a research scientist working in academia, but I discovered – somewhat by chance – that I had an aptitude for writing software, and decided to pursue the idea.
“Getting the job done is my motivation – I’m a can-do person who loves to work.”
The diversity of projects and the intrigue of their different challenges is the real stimulus to me – I think if you have that kind of mind, there can never be enough stimulus.
The majority of the people I work with on projects are either developers or scientific people, so it’s always very technical and we’re generally getting right into the detail of problems.
“We have to translate requirements into technical solutions that developers or implementors can use to configure the software, or to build software components.”
But aside from unravelling the technical problems, there is another skill in explaining complex ideas to people. A big part of the job is in being the interface between the lab and the developers.
It’s quite analogous to teaching, in that you have to understand both parties equally well. You can’t teach simply by knowing your subject, you have to know your students equally well.
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