Paul’s been involved with LIMS and instrument automation since the early 1990s. He co-authored a bespoke MS Windows, client-server LIMS, which was so successful it was in use for more than twenty years. Few people know LIMS like he knows LIMS.
LIMS – 20 years
Development and support experience, LIMS Developer, Project manager
Lab instrumentation – 20 years
Instrumentation automation and software support
In the lab – 9 years
“Having a scientific background builds bridges with clients – we each know where we’re coming from.”
We can all focus on what doesn’t work, and scientists are no exception. That can be useful if you’re trying to diagnose a fault, but when you’re road-testing a solution, you need to step back and see a bigger picture. It isn’t easy, but in a technical role you have to step outside the dark room and create solutions. You have to meet somewhere, or these projects will fail.
“I suppose I tend to side with the user in most situations, but that’s because I want to see the system in successful use. That’s the key thing.”
Providing remote system support globally has its challenges. As a team at Scimcon, we use common working methods wherever it makes sense – whether its high level consulting, or remote systems administration – but like user interaction, support from the team is vital.
It can be all too easy to keep going at a problem for hours. But I’ve learned to balance things more. In fact, walking away from it often gives your mind time to properly consider it. Things percolate. Then answers emerge late at night, or taking a shower in the morning – not always at the desk.
Distance doesn’t prevent you from solving problems. In one recent case, a problem with a print function revealed itself over the phone – I had learned to recognise the sound of the client’s printer and could hear it in the background…
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