Ignoring my pre-IT-history, I worked for just four companies before setting-up text-box consulting. They are listed in date order here.
Pindar Plc (1986-1996)
I joined Pindar as a software developer when the company set-up a new division (Pindar Infotek) after winning a contract with the European Patent Office to convert typewritten patent applications into SGML-encoded data. I produced systems that improved the efficiency of data conversion, and helped with administration of patent applications through the production departments.
Eventually, I led a team of developers to support this and other projects, then moved into systems analysis andconsulting when clients began to ask how they could develop their own production units.
Although clients from various industries required data capture, conversion or publishing services, the main focus was on publishers and engineering (they being the pioneers of the SGML approach).
Thomson Consulting (1996-1999)
I joined the Thomson Consulting Technology Group (TTCG) in 1996 when I moved to London. The focus of this company on the publishing sector (specifically, publishing companies within the same Thomson group) made it particularly attractive. Unfortunately, Thomson closed TTCG in 1999.
I joined Rubus, along with several other TTCG employees, soon after it began trading in 1999. Although the work was similar to TTCG, it involved a wider range of industries (much more like the earlier Pindar days, except that work in engineering companies had dried-up by then)
Unfortunately, Rubus suffered badly in the dot.com crash, and was subsequently sold to Detica.
While the culture at Detica was quite different to Rubus, the work remained the same and so did many of the clients. However, after one year at Detica I decided to set-up my own company.