Lock up your hindbrain, it's Andy's Bucket-o-Memes
Curriculum Vitae: Andy Gates

Personal - Skills - Positions - Education - Training - Word Version

Personal Details

Name Andrew James Gates
Date of Birth 18 January 1971
Driving Licence Full, clean
Contact Please email me at or call me on 07740 820026 in the first instance.


Web Development

ASP, Vbscript, (using Visual InterDev) HTML 4.0, JavaScript 2.1, Zope and DTML, a thorough grounding in web design concepts. Administrative support of Apache Server and Internet Information Server 5. Complete familiarity with Paint Shop Pro and PhotoShop.

Use of both PERL and Visual Basic for producing small applications and "glue" as well as CGI and running database extracts.

Web skills were used for the production of a suite of template sets for ZyWeb ( and a number of high-profile database-driven sites including the Institute for Learning and Research Technology ( and Biz/ed (, intranet knowledge bases and helpdesk, catalogue pages, graphical widgets, dynamic menus and other web applications.

Systems and Software Support

Windows 2000 Terminal Server (set up a three-country TS implementation), NT4 Server and Workstation, Windows 9x, including first to third-line support, day-to-day administration, user maintenance, capacity planning and specifying and implementing standard system builds. Four years' support in NT and Windows 9x.

Workday experience of UNIX / Linux environments, Samba and Maestro.

Installation, troubleshooting, administration and upgrading of Microsoft Exchange Server 5.0 and 5.5, including setup of the Outlook Web Access component to support a Europe-wide sales team.

Administrative support of Microsoft SQL Server 6 and its connection to front-end packages and Web applications.

Comprehensive experience supporting the Microsoft Office suite and its precursors and competing products such as Serif PagePlus and Lotus Organizer.

Helpdesk software: Swiftbase Helpdesk Agent support desk package for VMS: System manager of a 120 calls-per-day helpdesk system. Responsibilities included management and maintenance, new application design and implementation. Similar duties also applied using IBM Solve:Central with the addition of asset tracking, and to an implementation of Liberum Helpdesk (an open-source ASP product)

I have manned stands at IT trade fairs, which required me to think on my feet whilst presenting a range of products to a large, varied and questioning - sometimes critical - audience.

User Support and Customer Care

I have extensive experience in dealing with clients at all levels in both a design and support capacity; from system-build enquiries by novices through to nuts-and-bolts design and usability testing for Web design projects; and from casual enquiries from the general public to priority support requests from Directors and high-profile external organisations.

I am a firm believer in taking responsibility in my work; I take pride in handling requests as quickly and efficiently as possible and keep a close eye on any work which I may have delegated to others.

All of my recent roles included a significant amount of user training; in both cases familiarising users with new technologies and producing clear, concise user documentation in plain English.

I have two years' experience of third-line support, with the essential juggling of priorities and resources required to meet business needs as effectively as possible.

I am familiar with the higher education, recruitment, power generation, healthcare computing, information technology and high-street retail environments.


Experience of ISO9001/BS5750 quality standard. I have experience of procedure writing and review, QMS implementation and document control. Whilst working for EDS, we gained ISO certification and I was strongly involved this as a part of the Support Desk.

Switchboard operation; typing rate of at least 50 wpm; familiarity with all common office devices: faxes, photocopiers, shredders, franking machines, etc.

Additional Skills and Interests

I have four years' experience in sales, including supervising a 5-man team, working to targets, configuring demonstration PC systems, window-dressing for promotions, production of ad-hoc mailshots and point-of-sale material and experience in the use of EPOS and Transax equipment.

I am a keen cyclist and weightlifter, and have a strong interest in environmental, conservation and sustainability issues. I am co-founder of the Cruithni ancient site protection project (

Employment History & Details

ZyWeb Ltd

Minerva House
Pynes Hill
Exeter EX2 5AZ

01392 209500

Referee – Merlyn Kline
Duration – July 2001 – May 2003
Rate – £20,000
Details – ZyWeb offer an online website building and hosting product for novice users, with over a million active accounts. The system is driven by a cluster of IIS servers with back-end processor machines; a parallel Linux-based vanilla hosting service is also offered. The product had a large and mostly undocumented codebase; documentation of grey areas was one of my roles.

My responsibilities included:

  • Ongoing product development: new features, changes and bug-fixes were constantly being added to ZyWeb's product. I was variously responsible for the ASP 'engine' code (and its SQL interaction with the user database) or the design and testing of the user interface templates.
  • Developing, implementing and running 'white-label' branding, allowing the product to be coloured and skinned to suit any reseller. Significant resellers include Bravenet and Tiscali.
  • Designing new web page templates using a proprietary mark-up language, testing them and rolling out theme-consistent sets.
  • Day-to-day third-line support of the product and the Linux hosting system (domain administration, unusual user problems), including developing the first-line support tools to reduce our workload.
Institute for Learning and Research Technology

University of Bristol
8-10 Berkeley Square
Bristol BS8 1HH

0117 9287193

Referee – Jason Grant
Duration – May 2000 – June 2001
Rate – £20,800 + benefits
Details – The Institute for Learning and Research Technology is a centre of excellence in the development and use of Information and Communication Technology to support learning and research.

My position was 50% technical support, covering the Windows-based servers and PCs, and 50% web developer. This was arranged in a number of discrete projects: a complete rebuild of the Institute's website, tying it to underlying databases and the intranet and devolving content creation to the users; major section creation for Biz/ed, including complex, robust layouts and database extracts producing bespoke scripts for interactive exams; other, smaller projects.

Liaison with clients, end users and other team members was central to the role, as was a careful observation of functional design best practice (following Nielsen), with usability testing playing a significant role in visual and functional design. Married to this was a need for innovation and a drive to turn data into meaningful information.

Project People

Lewins Mead
Bristol BS1 2NT

0117 9087000

Referee – Please enquire
Duration – November 1998 – May 2000
Rate – £19,000 + overtime + bonus
Details – Project People are a rapidly expanding international IT recruitment consultancy. As the sole IT support person, my responsibilities covered the range from simple user assistance and training through daily systems administration to capacity planning, server upgrades, web design and new infrastructure. Significant achievements whilst at Project People include:

Website design: Our old website did nothing for the company's image. I led a team reviewing competitors' websites and, based on this review, redesigned our site to improve legibility and content delivery whilst maintaining a coherent look and feel with our other publicity material.

Alignment of existing systems to best practices: I inherited a diverse and unreliable collection of systems and one of my first tasks was to bring these in line with best practice, ensuring that critical data was stored in locations where it was backed up, adding logging for web resources, instituting a "standard build" for desktop systems, and identifying trouble spots which needed rebuilding.

Mail Server modifications: The mail server was being underused. I first moved all storage away from the desktop and into the Exchange database, then organised shared calendars and public folders. The server was rebuilt in order to change from an expensive dial-every-30-minutes setup to DNS-based instant email using our existing leased line, increasing productivity significantly and saving ca £10,000 pa. Finally we upgraded from 5.0 to 5.5 and added the web-access component to allow our roaming sales teams to access critical information wherever they were.

As sole support, hardware maintenance also fell under my remit, and I significantly advanced my PC and server hardware skills. I am also now confident in maintaining HP laser printer hardware.

Above all, this position was one of great variety, often with specifications changing daily and deadlines based on fast-moving real business conditions rather than ideal timescales. I was expected to support and develop not only the IT infrastructure but also aspects of many other business processes and technologies.

National Power

Service Desk
Windmill Hill Bus. Park
Whitehill Way
Swindon SN5 6PB

01793 877777

Referee – Helen Wright, Operations Systems Manager
Duration – March 1998 – November 1998
Rate – £17,000
Details – National Power are the UK’s largest electricity generator, with over 3000 IT users at around 20 sites across the UK, and another 20 sites overseas. The role of Service Desk Analyst required me to receive and manage both problem and request calls, co-ordinating their resolution and communicating to interested parties. Often these problems had a very high business impact (£m) so timely accurate management was essential.

During my tenure, NP changed its information systems from mixed DOS/Windows to NT; as one of the Service Desk team I was instrumental in ensuring that users were quickly put at ease in the new environment and that any teething problems were resolved quickly with minimal business impact. This included an element of user education and colleague training.

Also rolled out was a corporate intranet, on which I specified, designed and maintained a number of areas including automated request forms, knowledge bases and profile. Where appropriate these were tied into other tools to provide smooth integration.
Tiny Computers

The Galleries
Bristol BS1 3XD

0117 9300099

Referee – Jonathan Pearce, Regional Manager
Duration – 28 April 1997 — 07 March 1998
Rate – £13,500
Details – Tiny Computers are a major UK-based supplier of direct-manufactured PCs to the home and small office customer. During my position as senior sales advisor my duties included the handling of normal and 'difficult' customers; determining customers' needs and matching systems to their needs as closely as possible; establishing and maintaining the store website; setting up and troubleshooting display PCs; and managing the store's online ordering system (bespoke applications on NT/ISDN). Other duties included keyholder responsibility and performance statistics. A significant aspect of the role was the presentation of technical information in a clear, non-jargon way to customers and colleagues.
EDS Healthcare (Bristol)

Newfoundland Court
31-49 Newfoundland Street
Bristol BS2 9AP

0117 9892700

Referee – Lorraine Lemon, Support Manager
Duration – 30-Aug-1995 – 31-Dec-1996
Rate – £16,000
Details – EDS (Bristol) provide IT solutions for patient and hospital management on VMS and Windows 3.1 /NT platforms. My responsibilities included the logging, management and monitoring of IT support incidents for all EDS products using an on-line support system. I was required to generate ad-hoc statistics from that system for use by both customers and EDS staff and directors. The data involved was highly confidential and errors could be potentially life-threatening, so accuracy, confidentiality and attention to detail were a key element in the position.

After ten months, I assumed the role of system manager for the support system. Liaison with the system's suppliers, managing and training staff were central to the role, as was developing new support applications to meet our changing needs.

During my tenure the company achieved ISO 9001 (BS5750) quality certification and I was involved in the Support Team’s efforts to attain this, particularly in procedure-writing and document control. Following certification QMS work was a part of my regular role.

In August 1996, the company radically reorganised to increase its customer focus, and I played a central role in smoothing the transition with our clients and support staff, building strong relationships with the customers within my account. An additional degree of administrative and managerial responsibility came under my wing, and I assumed responsibility for ensuring support coverage for one-third of the organisation, arranging support deputies, sickness cover, etc.


100 Victoria Street

0117 9277790

Referee – Juliet Fleming, Personnel Manager
Duration – Jan-1994 – 18-Jan-1995
Rate – £7,000
Details – Initially full-time, and then evening work taking on average 150 calls a day for a large number (ca. 30) of different clients, and handling those calls as required by script. Many calls were in response to advertisements on TV and would arrive in waves of activity, so call control skills were essential. Caller details were taken using VDU and a suite of custom VAX applications.
British Telecom

Brigstowe House
Welsh Back

Referee – N/A
Duration – 25-May-1993 – 8-Jun-1993
Rate – £6,500
Details – A temporary post (via Alfred Marks) answering telephones for the Northern Ireland Electricity share offer. Calls were automatically routed and at a very high rate. The position required that I worked from a script, and accurately recorded customer details.

1 Redcliff Street

0990 412412

Referee – Andrew Gray, General Manager (Europe)
Duration – Summer 1991 – Summer 1992
Rate – £7,000 pro rata
Details – Part-time (evening) telephone customer service, covering active and passive telesales roles, customer technical support and general office duties. CompuServe offers a global on-line electronic mail and information service including Internet provision, and the post involved extensive product and hardware knowledge in the field of PC use and communications.

During my tenure, the company expanded its operation from a small foothold in the UK to a sizeable Europe-wide organisation; as such the workplace was constantly evolving. Flexibility and a can-do attitude were essential.


Secondary School

The Cherwell School
Marston Ferry Road

1984 – 1989

"O" level – Mathematics (A), Physics (A), Chemistry (A), Graphic Communication (A), Statistical Mathematics (B), English Language (B), Metalwork (B), English Literature (C), Geography (C), Art (C).

"A" level – Mathematics (B), Physics (B), Chemistry(B).

"S" level – Chemistry (2)

Higher Education

University of Bristol
Tyndall’s Park Road

1989 – 1982

BSc (Hons) Biochemistry (failed) – I sat the course for three years and gained valuable laboratory and scientific skills in the biocience field, including spectrophotometer and electrophoresis operation. While I ultimately failed the course, I learned a great deal from that failure about how I handle workloads and stress, and about the best ways for me to learn, which I have since applied in similar circumstances.


ExecuTrain NT Server 4.0 Administration (1999)

ExecuTrain are a nationally-recognised Microsoft-approved training centre offering MCP and MCSE courses. This course, one of two MCP NT Server components, was a four-day intensive course that drew together my hands-on experience and theoretical "best practice".

SHL Systemhouse

Microsoft Office 97(1998)

SHL Systemhouse are one of Europe’s premier IT training providers. I attended a four-day full time course in MS Office 97 for W95/NT from the viewpoint of frontline support personnel.
Signature Services

Customer Services (1992)

Signature Services offer a customer service programme tailored to the service provider in face-to-face and telephone situations. It provides training in how to deal with both contented and dissatisfied customers, as well as inter-office relations.