Curriculum Vitae: Barbie

[Perl Programmer, Web Developer, QA Automation Specialist, Technical Manager]

Personal Details:

Name: Barbie Email:
Address:   Tel. No.:  
Full CV available on request.  

Professional & Technical Skills:

Languages: Extensive knowledge & use of Perl (cross platform), Regular Expressions, shell script (bourne, csh & bash), Unix scripting tools, XHTML, CSS and JavaScript (including AJAX and JSON)
Knowledge & previous use of C, YAML and XML.
Operating Systems: Linux (Debian, Ubuntu, CentOS & Red Hat).
Previous use of Unix variants (SCO Unix, Solaris, Aegis & Xenix).
Previous use of Microsoft Windows 95/NT/98/2000/XP.
Software: Version Control: git, cvs & AccuRev
Databases: MySQL, PostgreSQL & MS SQL Server 7
Application/Web Servers: Apache, Orion, SilverStream & IIS
Graphic Tools: The GIMP
Desktop Publishing: MS Office & Open Office
QA Testing with Selenium and Perl test libraries.
CPAN: Catalyst, Labyrinth, Template Toolkit, DBIx::Class and Moose.
Hardware: Various PCs/Laptops on W/LAN networks
Digital VAX & Pyramid mini-mainframes
Apollo workstations

Experience Sought:

I would like to continue in a technical role, either as a senior member of a development team, or in the management of a development team. I would also be interested in a role that would utilise my knowledge and experience of testing and QA.


My skill set favours the roles of Senior Perl Programmer, QA Automation Specialist, Systems Designer, Technical Architect or Development Manager, building on strong analytical skills and an extensive experience of diverse industries. An enthusiastic, highly self-motivated individual, working well within a team, and on isolated projects. Good mentoring skills, together with leadership qualities, and a quick learner, using both logic and creativity to solve problems. Good communication skills both with colleagues and in customer facing situations.

As "Barbie" (my middle name), I have created a significant profile within the global Perl Community. The leader (and co-founder) of the Birmingham Perl Mongers user group, a CPAN author and CPAN Testers core developer. An experienced public speaker at several leading international conferences and workshops since 2004, as well as an invited speaker for several Perl & Linux user groups. Project managed the organisation of the 2006 YAPC::Europe Perl Conference and the 2009 QA Hackathon.

Work Experience:

Nov 2011 - present Webfusion 123-Reg Development Manager & Senior Perl Programmer

Initially employed in a Team Leader and Senior Developer role to manage the Backend Team. This grew to include the Integration Team and the Frontend Team. Mentoring a team of up to 10 developers, guiding them to write better quality software, and helped to migrate legacy code written for CGI and mod_perl instances, into the collective Catalyst applications used to manage user experience, manage and administer domains, DNS, hosting and third part products. Following a reorganisation of the team, I became the 123-Reg Development Manager, focusing on the 123-Reg side of the business.

May 2009 - Nov 2011 Peters Bookselling Services Programmer/Analyst

Employed to redesign and redevelop their custom built book catalogue and ordering system, integrating with their internal stock control system. Refactored their core code to use Perl best practices, thus making for a more reliable and stable codebase, and enabled packaged releases, providing controlled upgrades and rollbacks (if necessary). Redesigned their templates to use well structured XHTML, adding many accessibility components. Made use of Devel::NYTProf to highlight where code required review, implementing many efficiency improvements to database interface and business logic, considerably improving request responses. Currently responsible for the Petranet online ordering system, an extensive Bibliographic Data management system and the forthcoming launch of a new public online ordering system.

Mar 2003 - Mar 2009 MessageLabs QA Automation Specialist

MessageLabs provide messaging security as a managed service, encompassing Email, Instant Messaging and Web Security Services. I joined MessageLabs as a Senior Software Engineer, utilising my skills as a Perl programmer helping to maintain the existing infrastructure software, as well as developing new applications. This position developed into a Technical Architect role, overseeing project design, development and implementation. Following company growth, I was promoted into the role of Development Manager for Infrastructure, responsible for both the infrastructure and mail engine teams, providing further guidance to other teams, projects and services regarding core components of the company's software infrastructure.

Following further business growth, I took on the role of Development Manager for New Services, responsible for the development team of the Content Control, Image Control, Boundary & User Encryption, Archiving and Recovery solutions. Aside from people management, my role also involved peer reviewing design documents and source code, ensuring development test suites were created for all software releases, using a Test Driven Development methodology where appropriate.

In June 2006, I became the CPR (Critical Problem Resolution) Manager, which entailed managing critical problems in the live production environment, across the company's global infrastructure. This meant handling out-of-hours 'on call' situations, providing coding support and technical analysis skills to manage critical issues to their timely completion. This required a knowledge of the complete end to end process of both the customer configuration experience, and the various infrastructures the company employed for the processing of the email, instant messaging, archiving and web services.

In February 2007, the CPR Team was absorbed into other areas of the business. Due to my CPAN Testing and Perl QA experience and knowledge I was offered the unique role of QA Automation Specialist. The role has involved developing automation software where appropriate, and educating other members of the test and development teams to look at how testing processes can be improved. This has involved implementing email & SMTP testing tools, scanner test frameworks, web site testing tools and performance testing tools (using UDP across multiple servers). My role has more recently involved the QA Malware team, helping to automate more of the test processes, thus providing reliability and confidence in the deployment of anti-malware software, to aid the rapid response of virus and spam detection. My role has also involved being responsible for the implementation and administration of the Bugzilla issue tracking system, company wide.

Mar 2001 - Dec 2002 Questions Intranet Information Services Head of Intranet Programming

Joined as a Senior Perl Programmer, but was soon offered the position of Head of Intranet Programming. The role encompassed Systems Software Designer, Team Leader & Lead Perl Programmer, in which I was tasked with the redesign and development of the company's existing intranet product, as well as being responsible for a team of 4.

The redesign of the intranet product involved a major restructuring of both the web interface and the backend system, to include issues of security, portability, reliability and efficiency. Introduced the concept of using XML to describe the data, mod_perl to cope with high profile demand together with the tightening of data security using tainting and regular expressions. A by-product of the new system also saw all the content management successfully passed to the user. After the company was dissolved in December 2002, 5 of the original developers formed a new company, i2Q, to further enhance the software. The system has proved reusable and reliable, as the original codebase is still in use for Liverpool LEA, Worcestershire LEA, Wolverhampton LEA and several other initiatives.

Camden Grid for Learning
Camden Grid for Learning
Islington Grid for Learning
Islington Grid for Learning
Worcester Grid for Learning
Worcester Grid for Learning
Sep 1999 - Mar 2001 Ltd. Team Leader/Senior Web Developer

Although I joined as a Senior Programmer, I was soon promoted to the position of Team Leader. I was heavily involved in the design and development of several major sites, providing functional, technical and database specifications. Due to my ability to explain technical concepts to others, I was also involved in several client facing situations.

I was involved with developing several internal mentoring projects, involving training for colleagues and team members in my areas of expertise (Regular Expressions, Perl & JavaScript), together with a company wide evaluation of coding standards and practices.

Programming for the web has extended my knowledge of Perl, JavaScript, HTML and Java (including J2EE & EJBs), while gaining knowledge of Apache, Linux, IIS, MySQL, MS SQL Server 7, Orion and SilverStream.

Clients included The Register, Gartmore, Irwin Mitchell, Millward Brown, Ski Direct, Aegis Xpediata among several others.

The Register
The Register
Mar 1998 - Sep 1999 AAH Meditel Ltd. Analyst/Software Engineer

AAH Meditel provided medical administration software to GPs, Health Centres and the newly formed Primary Care Groups (PCGs). Working on the System 5 product, I was responsible for ensuring all code was fully Y2K compliant and met the government standards of RFA4. In addition I was also responsible for overhauling the code libraries used, to ensure ease of reuse and that coding standards were increased and maintained.

Due to my interest in web technology, I also became heavily involved with the introduction and development of the company intranet. As a consequence I was asked on several occasions to help with the development of several PCG trial extranet networks. This allowed me to utilise my knowledge of HTML, JavaScript, Java & Web Design to provide entertaining and interactive web sites.

Aug 1996 - Mar 1998 JPM International Ltd. Software Engineer

JPM are a fruit machine manufacturer, producing machines for the UK and International markets. I was employed as a C programmer, producing games machines for a variety of UK markets (Arcade, Bingo, Club & video quiz machines). I also submitted several game design ideas. All the machines utilise real time programming, with a high degree of player & hardware interaction. My lighting engineering skills helped in the visual aspect of several games.

1992 - 1996 Freelance Lighting Engineer, Backline Technician, Rigger & Driver

Worked both on tour and at several one-off gigs, being employed as house crew and lighting engineer. I have also been crew boss for crews of 2 to 10, liaising with the venue, promoter, band & production managers. I have driven transits, 7.5 ton trucks, mini-buses and a 30ft, 9 bunk sleeper coach, throughout the UK and Europe. Having worked for many different acts, including several major artists, diplomacy, friendliness, good communication, intense deadlines, long hours and teamwork were all essential requirements for staging a successful show.

1994 - 1995 Hinckley Technical College Student/Teacher

Studied a GNVQ (part time) in Sound Recording at Hinckley College. Following this, I acted as substitute teacher on several occasions for younger students studying a condensed version of the Sound Recording course. In addition, due to my experience with concert production, I provided the college with my lighting skills for the various concerts, fashion shows and other activities, and negotiated with concert promoters and agents in order to book artists.

1989 - 1994 ARK Drum Technician, Lighting Engineer & Driver

Initially a hobby, I proved my abilities to the band, enabling me to turn professional in 1992, when GPT Ltd were undergoing a major redundancy drive. Toured extensively throughout the UK and Europe, I was responsible for lighting design, crew liaison and supervision. Unfortunately the band split in early 1995.

1987 - 1992 GPT Ltd. Software Engineer

Employed as a C/UNIX programmer, I helped develop many in-house applications, most notably a sophisticated C library of graphics utilities (SEALIONS, or C LIONS) used as an interface for Pafec software packages, DOGS and LIONS. Hardware platforms used ranged from mini-mainframes (Pyramids), through to workstations (APOLLO) and PCs (Compaq), running under UNIX, AEGIS and DOS operating systems respectively. Although employed as a programmer, I was also involved in program design and a small amount of system design.

1986 Fisher Controls Software Engineer

Employed for 9 weeks during my summer vacation, to evaluate a number of Expert System packages. Additionally my skills as a programmer were used to write Lisp and Pascal interface programs for the graphics application AutoCAD.

1984 - 1986 UniChem Ltd. Various warehouse duties

Worked full-time after finishing school, became part-time while attending Coventry Polytechnic.

Leisure Activities:

Perl Mongers, The Perl Community & Open Source

Following The Perl Conference 4 (part of OSCON 2000) in Monterey, California, I co-founded, a Perl user group with the aim of providing social and technical meetings for Perl programmers from Birmingham and the midlands. I have since become a regular speaker at many international conferences and workshops, as well as being invited to present at several national Perl & Linux user groups.

Project managed the bid, organisation and hosting of the annual YAPC::Europe Perl Conference, in 2006, attracting speakers and developers from around the world, including Larry Wall the creator of Perl. During the preparations, Birmingham Perl Mongers became an incorporated not-for-profit organisation, for which I hold the non-salaried position of Director. Co-organised the 2009 QA Hackathon, providing a weekend of workspace for over 20 international Perl Quality Assurance and Test developers to work on projects for the benefit of the Perl and wider communities.

From 2006-2010 I was a member of the Venue Committee of The YAPC::Europe Foundation, holding the position of Chairman in my first year, and later the position of Conference Liaison, providing support and advice to conference organisers when needed. Following my experiences with organising both a YAPC Conference and a QA Hackathon, I started writing the book Perl Jam, for the benefit of all technical communities. Since 2006 I have run the YAPC Conference Surveys, which aim to provide feedback from attendees to future conference organisers, as well specific feedback of talks to the speakers.

I am a CPAN Author, with over 70 distributions submitted as Open Source, and a core developer of the CPAN Testing toolchain.

Birmingham Perl Mongers
Birmingham Perl Mongers
Gloucestershire Linux User Group
Gloucestershire Linux User Group
YAPC Conference Surveys
YAPC Conference Surveys
CPAN Testers

In 2003 I became a CPAN Tester, running smoke tests for Perl 5.6.1 on Windows from 2003-2004, Since 2007, I have been running smoke tests on Debian and Ubuntu platforms. In 2005 I became a core developer of the CPAN Testing toolchain. Developed the CPAN Testers Statistics analysis site, and instigated the CPAN Testers Wiki, which led to me becoming responsible for the CPAN Testers Reports site. Now administer and develop many of the vital database and reporting infrastructure tools for CPAN Testers. Co-managed the development of CPAN Testers 2.0, which moved report submissions from email to a HTTP API. As a result of my efforts in promoting CPAN Testers and providing advice and support to testers, at YAPC::Europe 2010 I was presented with a White Camel Award for services to the Perl Community.

CPAN Testers Reports
CPAN Testers Reports
CPAN Testers Blog
CPAN Testers Blog
CPAN Testers Wiki
CPAN Testers Wiki
CPAN Testers Statistics
CPAN Testers Statistics
CPAN Testers Preferences
CPAN Testers Preferences
The Internet

Actively involved with website design and development since 1998. Designed and developed the Birmingham Perl Mongers, YAPC::Europe::2006 and 2009 QA Hackathon websites, using my own a website management tool, Labyrinth, which I had previously built for my own personal site. Labyrinth is now deployed across several community sites, including the CPAN Testers family of websites, the YAPC Conference Surveys site, several band/music sites and is also used by some small local businesses. The software was released as Open Source on CPAN on 1st January 2011.

Since 2005 I have been extending my knowledge and use of CSS, to better provide layouts that look stylish, functional and also accessible. Furthering my interest in accessibility, I have also taken to investigate methods to improve website performance and usability across browsers, including those that would be used by both visually and physically impaired users. Part of this has been to investigate website testing using Perl and Selenium.

ARK Appreciation Pages
ARK Appreciation Pages
Fence Right
Fence Right
Magdalena Professional Photography
Magdalena Professional Photography

My music interest spans from a very extensive record collection, to attending numerous concerts. This briefly spilt over into my professional life for 4 years, when I had the opportunity to tour the UK & Europe with several bands. Between 1992 and 2004 I was the resident lighting engineer and crew chief for the "Birmingham Jazz Series" with concerts at every major venue in Birmingham. I continue to offer advice and help to some local bands, and I am always eager to watch the ever continuing growth of my record collection.


I have travelled extensively around Europe, on driving holidays, while touring with bands and more recently to attend conferences. Thanks to my involvement in the Perl community, as well as my music contacts, I now have many friends around the world, and hope to take the opportunity to visit those who live in cities and countries I haven't had the chance to see yet. During the late 80s & early 90s I organised several minibus trips throughout Northern Europe for friends in the UK to attend concerts by mutually appreciated artists.


My reading material is varied, although principally I enjoy reading Sci-Fi/Fantasy writers such as Larry Niven, Terry Pratchett & Julian May together with Horror writers Robert R McCammon, Clive Barker & James Herbert.

Board Games

In 1998 I was introduced to the "German Games" style of strategy board and card games, which were originally developed for the highly competitive German games market. Princes Of Florence, Amun-Re, Puerto Rico, Medici, Die Siedler von Catan, Carcassonne and Lost Cities being particular favourites.

Salary Expectations:

Current Salary: Available on request.
Expected Salary: Available on request.

Work Location:

Preferred: Central or South Birmingham.
Commutable: Wolverhampton, Bromsgrove, Worcester, Redditch, Gloucester,
North Warwickshire, Worcestershire or West Midlands.
Remote Working: I currently have a 20Mbps cable broadband connection to my home.

Education & Qualifications:

1977 - 82 Crewe County Grammar School, Crewe, Cheshire
1982 - 84 John Cleveland College, Hinckley, Leicestershire
1985 - 87 Coventry Polytechnic, West Midlands
1994 - 95 Hinckley College, Hinckley, Leicestershire
O Levels: 9
A/O Levels: 1
A Levels: 3 (Pure & Applied Maths, Economics and General Studies)
HND: 1 (Computer Studies)

Other Information:

I hold a full current driving licence and a full UK passport.


Available on request.

© 1999-2013 Barbie.
Last Updated 24th February 2013