Introducing Paul Croucher

Hi my name is Paul Croucher, I was born in Southampton in 1956 and I have worked in IT all my working life ever since leaving college in 1974. I started my career in computers contracting for one of the UK’s enery suppliers wiring up English Electric KDF-7 computers. These were 32K drum store machines that were started up using reels of punch tape (can anyone remember them). When the contract finished I went to work for British Aerospace as a computer operator progressing to Shift Leader on ICL 1901A 36K mainframes with barely enough memory to run the GEORGE operating system.

I left British Aerospace in 1978 as I wanted to be a Cobol programmer and subsequently went to work for British Shipbuilders where I did 12 months as a Shift Leader again on ICL before getting into programming on both ICL and IBM Mainframe. My first big project was as part of a team converting all inhouse ICL applications to IBM. After that I was on a team implementing and support the Dun & Bradstreet Millennium financial applications. During this time left to live in Fort Worth but eventually went back after falling out with my Texan girlfriend.

I left British Shipbuilders in 1987 to work for a company called CFM as a Consultant who implemented and supported the Dun & Bradtstreet applications within the Health Service. I met my wife Denise whilst implementing a system in London and got married in June 1992. The company was eventually taken over by ICL and there was a management byeout but this was short lived and we were all made redundant in 1993 so I went contracting for a year.

In 1994 I worked for Cap Gemini again looking after Dun & Bradstreet applications and lead a project to convert these applications from IBM Mainframe to Unix. In 1996 I left to work for a Consultancy company based in Swindon where I was project leader on a number of large Y2K Upgrade projects for Barclays Bank and GE Capital Bank in Dublin. In 1998 my wife and I moved to the New Forest in Hampshire because we have horses and wanted somewhere nice to ride them. In 2000 the company became a Navision Solution Centre and this is the point that I first became aware of Navision, I did past the exams and became a Navision Consultant on 2.3.

In 2001 the company folded as it had relied on Dun & Bradstreet and Peoplesoft work which was dying out and Navision wasnt making enough money to keep it going. I then went to New Zealand to work for Ernst & Young in Christchurch as a Navision Consultant. Unfortunately due to health problems my wife could not join me so I came back to England and worked for an NSC based out of Derby. After implementing 2 systems for them they made me redundant and I ended up working for CMS in Southampton for 3 years before leaving to work for Sci-Net based near Oxford. Luckily for me I work from home 4 days a week as its a 198 mile round trip to the office.

Well, thats my life history, fairly varied but all within IT. I certainly became an expert at being made redundant but hopefully things are much more stable now.