Paul Williams

Paul Williams

During my school years and the initial stages of higher education I explored a number of possibilities for future careers within maths and the traditional sciences, but computing has always fascinated me most of all. Post sixth form college I started a course at The Open University that offered me a way to explore the inner world of technology and computing whilst still allowing me to support myself financially. I became captivated with learning more and upon obtaining my Open University certificate I immediately moved to the full-time study of computer systems engineering at Nottingham Trent University (NTU). As a career in software became more attractive I took the lead on team-based course projects and became a student representative to prepare myself for work aspects that could only be learned via experience. I spent the year after graduation exploring the infinite areas of software design and development building up a software portfolio as a highly advantageous byproduct.

Using my portfolio I was very fortunate to obtain a position as a Java developer within the informatics team at the BGS. My role incorporates my passion for software, problem solving, learning and the sciences. This initially involved developing corporate web applications using Java but quickly progressed to developing within other software languages. So far I have developed public crowdsourcing systems, public-awareness services, data-access tools and mobile applications while also collaborating with other notable public-sector organisations through the Environmental Science to Services Partnership. Currently I'm working on a big update to the BGS iGeology3D augmented/virtual reality mobile application.

The number and variety of projects means there is always something new and interesting to work on. I am particularly excited about being a part of large-scale European and international projects that attempt to solve worldwide issues; these involve collaboration with governmental, scientific and commercial organisations from around the globe.

I highly value the support provided to extend my current knowledge of software within the sciences and the natural sciences. The opportunity to learn, explore, travel and collaborate with other public-sector organisations is an interesting challenge and a refreshing change from typical workplace activities. The most rewarding part of my role is creating freely available applications that support public-good science and spark interest for a broad range of people.

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