ExtraGravity

My name is Duncan McGowan and I'm a freelance software engineer, architect, designer and disentangler of knotty problems. I like to help teams and organisations design, build and deploy not only ultra-reliable and highly-usable software but also to provide guidance on technology options, workflows, visuals and data. I'm based in south west England but often work much further afield.

I have an honours degree in earth sciences and studied for an MSc in computer science before heading to Italy in 1988, where I stayed for seven years working under contract at Oto Melara and then NATO SACLANTCEN, both in La Spezia in the amazing (some might say the best) region of Liguria. In Italy I worked on high-performance real-time data acquisition systems, robot navigation, sonar displays and mine countermeasures.

I've continued my freelancing capers since moving back to the UK in 1995 and have been involved in some great projects (Eg, TfL Traffic Alerts service; Met Office NAME framework; Symantec SNMP data centre monitoring system) and some not so great (Eg, Swanwick air traffic management system; gov.uk digital transformation). I often work in Python shops, on web-based projects that need a feel for back and front ends, and am frequently involved in complex data processing, from raw mangling to dissemination to visualisation. I do a lot of design work and often fill the technical architect role, and pride myself on some extremely long-lived and commerically successful systems and services.

When I'm not engrossed in the wonderful world of informatics I can be found in a pub/restaurant/cinema with family and friends, or down at the coast fishing for bass.

This little site is a home-made Django app hosted on DigitalOcean and running on CentOS. The blog area is a modified version of wegblob, my cheap-n-cheerful blog framework freely available here.