Tom Hudson

What an American might call a résumé

Who I am

I am a geek from Bradford, UK. I currently work for SkyBet in Leeds as a Solutions Architect. I occasionally post snippets of code and relative wisdom to my blog. I have a few GitHub repos too.


Things I like

To put it bluntly: computers; especially solving problems with computers. I write quite a lot of PHP and, more recently, JavaScript (using Node.js as it happens), but I enjoy getting my hands on everything from routers and switches to real-time graphing software. When I’m not tinkering with computers, I’m usually destroying making something in my garage or sampling the local cuisine.


Things I’ve talked about

I have recently started speaking at a few local group-meetings and conferences, including LeedsPHP, BarCamp Barnsley and The Digital Barn.

PHP RockBand Drums
I originally gave this talk at BarCamp Barnsley. I hacked together a few PHP scripts to interface with some RockBand drums and made a simple CLI-based game. The source for all the examples I used are available on GitHub.
PHP Evolution
Inspired by Rich Dawkins’ Weasel program, I wrote basic sexual and asexual evolution simulations in PHP. I have talked about them at length on more than one occasion.
New stuff in PHP 5.4
Noticing a trend here? The last talk I gave at LeedsPHP covered traits, closure binding, array dereferencing, short array syntax and a whole bunch of other stuff.
Writing Testable PHP
On the 11th February 2012 I spoke at The Digital Barn on the subject of writing testable PHP. I spoke again at LeedsPHP on the same subject on the 20th of February 2012.

Things I can do

I have no problem learning new stuff, but there are some things I know quite well already.

PHP

I’ve spent a lot of time working with PHP; it’s been my go-to language for many years. I’ve written ticket trackers, shell scripts and even a basic webserver in it. It gets a lot of bad press, but I’ve never really had a problem avoiding what most people consider the bad bits.

JavaScript

My current job involves writing data collection daemons for Graphite using Node.js. It is a surprising amount of fun and has helped me to realise that I never really hated JavaScript, I just hate the DOM. JavaScript is a powerful language that I have grown to love, but if you’re looking for someone to write large amounts of front-end code, I’m probably not your man.

Version Control

Any dev worth their salt should love their VCS, and I love mine. I used to use Subversion, which was fine; then I started using Git. I like Git so much that I’ve even begun to keep my dotfiles in a Git repo.

Lift ’eavy things

I can lift ’eavy things, me.

Linux

I hate to use such a generic heading, but it seems apt. I spend much of my day in a bash shell. Vim is my editor of choice, and there’s probably an average of 4 pipes per line in my command history. Ack, sed and awk are some of my favourite things.

Learning

Clichéd as it may be, my main skill is learning things in a timely fashion. If I need to learn something to solve a problem, I will do just that.


Open Source

I’ve not worked on as much Open Source stuff as I would like. Although I do release a lot of the code I write outside of work, it’s not always that useful.

Etherpad Lite

I have helped to maintain the Etherpad Lite PHP client. It’s by no means a complex client, but I’m proud to be a part of the project.

Raspberry Pi User Guide

Whilst not strictly open source, I contributed a Python program to the Official Raspberry Pi User Guide. It’s a simple program designed to demonstrate basic network programming by connecting to an IRC server and listing the connected users.


Places I have worked

I have decided to miss out the part where I worked for a paintball centre while I was at school. It was fun, but it taught me very little about computers.

SkyBet

I started at SkyBet in February 2011 as a software engineer. I worked in an Agile team on SkyBet’s LAMP-based SSO system that now powers Sky Bet, Sky Vegas, Sky Sports’ Fantasy Football and Challenge.co.uk.

In August 2011 I was lucky enough to become SkyBet’s first DevOps engineer. I worked on trend monitoring with Graphite, automation with Chef and helped our developers to improve Sky Vegas.

In October 2012 I got even more lucky and was promoted to Senior DevOps Engineer. While much of my day to day life remained the same I’ve made more decisions and helped our newer DevOps Engineers get up to speed.

My luck doesn’t seem to have run out; from October 2013 I have been a Solutions Architect, working on new betting products and features.

FrogTrade

From 2008 until 2010 I worked at Halifax-based VLE provider FrogTrade as a Web Applications Developer, and later as Software Architect. Much of my time as a developer was spent helping to iron the bugs out of FrogTrade’s half-million line codebase, and adding much requested new features.

As Software Architect I designed a controller and view system for a new product and back-ported it to the existing software. I also laid the foundations for a flexible, XML-based reporting system.

Primary Technology

I originally started at Primary Technology as a network engineer in 2005; maintaining Windows-based networks in Bradford primary schools. I later became the Hosted Services Director where I managed an Exchange-based hosted email system, remote access system and wrote a web-based ticket management system.


How to contact me

If it’s informal, feel free to mention me on Twitter. If you want a bit more privacy or aren’t a fan of this new-fangled social networking, just email me instead.