Lawrence Railton – Senior i-Series Developer
I got into IT to enable me to move to Australia.
At 20 I went to Oz on a working holiday visa, when I returned to the UK I wanted to get back as soon as possible. Looking at the quickest way to do this I hit on the idea of programming.
It was 1989 and I signed up for a 16-week government-sponsored RPG training course, it came with a free weekly travel card! This led to my first job as a trainee programmer with the Salvation Army and the rest you might say is history.
Around that time the paper, for it was a physical paper, Computer Weekly would often have articles declaring that the AS400 that I had so recently begun working on would be no more by the end of the year. Well, here I am still writing RPG code on the great-grandson of the AS400, the IBM i.
“So it goes” (Vonnegut, 1969)
The IT Career with Travel
From my trainee job, I was headhunted by a city commodity broker, those were the days!
I then met a wonderful New Zealander whom I followed back to the South Pacific. New Zealand, being like Australia but better.
I got a job with an IT Consultancy in Wellington, where I worked on the NZ Lotteries account. After 3 years, we headed off to travel in South America for 9 months which was an amazing experience.
From there to London for 18 months, working for Superdrug on a stock replenishment system and then back to NZ via India, this time to Auckland where I worked for IBM. At this time, I lived on Waiheke Island, a 30-minute ferry ride from the city, on a good day you might see dolphins on the way to work.
I came back to the UK in 1997 and still working for IBM i moved to Brighton and began working on the Cable and Wireless account. I met my wife around this time, she already had two children and we had a further two, then moved to West Wales to get out of the rat race. I continued working for IBM remotely, and we also built an “eco-house”.
Starting at KFA
In 2007 I started working for KFA, at first commuting and then working from home, a real pioneer in the homeworking world! KFA have kept me busy over that time, giving me work as and when required. I now work for them three days a week which gives me time for my other career.
In 2005 I qualified as a counsellor and I have worked in schools, universities, and in private practice. The two roles of IT and Therapy complement each other very well.
In August last year (2022) my wife and I moved away from West Wales after 17 fantastic years and bought a Passive House in Norwich, pretty much the other side of the UK. We felt it was time for something new and some City living, so far so good!
I’m a big reader, love indie and foreign films and going to see live music. I cycle a lot and have a regular yoga practice, something I started in Wellington all those years ago. I never ended up in Australia, but our oldest daughter now lives in Wollongong, NSW with our granddaughter, so I have a good reason to visit.
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