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Pre-Working Life
School and growing up stuff.
Won third prize in the Australian Computer Society Schools competition to design software to manage sporting venues and bookings. We should have gotten first, the guy who wons' software did not actually work but had great graphics. Ours WORKED!! And I designed the database structure and query engine!!!

Did the sound and lighting support for the schools' yearly musical show for a few years. Good with a soldering iron.

Got seriously into Mediaeval Reconstruction, made my first suit of armour and sword. The sword broke the first time it was used in earnest. Bad welding job ( or welds and swords just don't go together).

National Library of Australia
Readers Advisor and General Dogs Body for a year from end 1995.

Moved out of home for the first of three attempts.

Became president of the Canberra Mediaeval Guild (CMG) for three years: Known as "El 'pres" to my fans.

Got taken for a ride on my first Motorcycle (a Honda CX500) by a woman I still love. Boy could she ride, scared the willies out'a me! Loved it, every moment!

Australian Bureau of Statistics
Various Programmer positions from 1996 to 1990.
Sat in the Public Service (Circus) for four years.

Started a Bachelor of Science in IT to satisfy the requirements of getting a job as a 'Computer Systems Officer', promptly quit the boring degree after getting the job!

Built a very fast sports car, Mazda RX3 with a 13B Bridgeported Rotary engine. Capable of 150mph in a 1972 model body - dangerous, stupid, car! ;-) Broke the record for speeding tickets in Canberra by one person.

Bought (first) and learned to ride (second) my first Motorcycle, a 1972 Suzuki GT550 Two Stroke Triple. Never looked back.

Department of Administrative Services
Systems Programmer and Capacity Analyst from 1990 to 1994.
More siting in the Circus.

Won the 1992 Jim Beam Australian 9 Ball championship in Canberra. Represented my home state in the national titles and got my arse kicked in the first round. Great trophy though!

Learned to understand IT as a profit oriented business rather than just a technical play-ground.

Fell in love 'properly' for the first time. You know who you are....

The chain fell off (yes, not broke) the Suzuki 'cos it was soooo slack.

Six Months Holiday
Consulted for various firms.
Fixed some real low-level PC Hard Drive problems on a 'bitsa' I was putting together at the time. Learned how PC's really work at the hardware level.

Also had some private business consultancies.

Had a wonderful relationship with a wonderful girl, must keep in touch more often.

Professional Contractor
Half a dozen contracts with various firms 1994 to 1998.
Moved city, Canberra to Brisbane. One of the best things I have ever done, it really opened me up.

Bought a Kawasaki GT750, became a Kwaka bigot. Has to have the top end done after less than a thousand miles though. Bastard bike shop told me they had just done it, liars.

My first ever 'move in with the girl' relationship. Lasted about 3 months but managed to drag on for more than a year after I moved out.

My first ever contract was renewed with rate increases several times (could have made a career out of that one organisation if I wanted to).

Had the best yet housemate experience, discovered that living with other people can be good (even great), provided you pick the right people (you know who you are).

Called back for a repeat performance at more than one site, always a good sign.

Owned a Kawasaki ZL1000 for a short time. Got better and bought the ZX10 (which I still own).

Consultant
Finally hit the big time with a few really high-powered consultancy jobs and short term 'emergency' contracts, 1998-2004.
Saved a 30 Mill project that had completely forgotten the System Security side of things, did the job in about 6 weeks.

Satisfied a life-time goal of playing piano as background entertainment in a restaurant/bar whilst the diners just got on with their dining. Loved New Zealand, might choose to live there one day.

Developed a software conversion utility now used by IBM Australia for all their managed clients.

Had the most easy, relaxed and enjoyable ( ;-) ) relationship I have ever experienced with a woman. I just hope now I have the hang of it I can keep on doing so (choosing the right people again).

Set the direction of the System Security management of a major Government organisation for the next few years.

Helped dig a major project out of a 'show-stopping' hole in less than 4 weeks, as a favour for an old client.

Satisfied another life-time goal ny moving to the UK (where my mother was born) and experiencing yet another new culture.

Just finished working on the Security Integration project of the largest IT change programme ever in the world.

Bought the newest motorbike I have ever owned (only 4 years old and 5 thou' on the clock). Very many smiles.

Husband and Father

Married a friend of 15 years in 2001 after romancing her away from Australia with a week in Paris, a week in London and a week motorcycle touring through the Higlands and Islands of Scotland.

Our Son, Jamie, was born in 2001, he is the best thing I've ever been involved in.

Copyright Mike Cairns 2001. Design by Socket Top Productions
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