I have been talking about doing a blog for many years now mainly related to my chosen career in software development and in particular National Instruments LabVIEW, so finally here it is, my little space on the web to put my take on things across.
So, a little about myself.
My name is David (Dave to my friends) and I live in a small market town just outside Southampton in Hampshire in the UK and work at a company called SSBV Space and Ground Systems UK Ltd where I am a senior software engineer designing software primarily in LabVIEW for which I have now been certified for 10 years (2 as developer, 8 as architect). We do a wide range of things such as consultancy, in house production of spacecraft components (Sun Sensors, Reaction Wheels, Torque Rods etc), and of course software development.
My interests outside of work include cycling in the New Forest which I’m lucky to have on my doorstep, having a keen interest in all things technical and geeky, playing guitar and bass (both in a band until very recently), and of course my family and friends.
In terms of my career, I started off in 2001 at a small branch of a well known services Behemoth. As a graduate it was a fantastic company to work in as there was plenty of opportunities for training, lots of interesting projects to work on, and it was overall a very friendly and supportive place to work but in 2006 I felt it was time for a change and began working at a large multinational space company on testing satellite payloads and designing software to be used in ground stations – again mainly in LabVIEW, but with some significant TestStand, C++ and C# work thrown in.
This was a very contrasting environment going from a relatively small test house to a major blue chip manufacturer. On the one hand it was incredible working on things that were actually going to go into space and the technical challenges they posed, but on the other hand incredibly tight and rigid deadlines, always being on massive learning curves due to the cutting edge nature of the technologies, and as a result doing ridiculous hours meant that it could be an incredibly difficult and stressful environment for everyone to work in, but usually in the end when a project was complete, very rewarding with the icing on the cake being to see a satellite that you worked on blast into orbit.
In 2011 I tentatively interviewed for a role with a small specialist fish guidance and underwater acoustics firm for which if I’m honest I had no expectation of getting and prior to the interview I wasn’t all that bothered about getting it or not, but after an incredibly engaging interview, and feeling it was time for a new challenge I made the decision to accept a job offer from them. The work was almost entirely C# based but also utilitising National Instruments Measurement Studio. It was a great place to work with many interesting projects but it became clear to me that the space industry was really where my heart was and in the spring of 2012 I was lucky enough to be approached by a friend and previous colleague looking to put together a specialist LabVIEW and TestStand software team at SSBV Space and Ground Systems where I am to this day.
Hopefully I’ll think up some interesting things to put on this blog, and thank you for your time in reading this.