Hi, my name's Gary Crook, founder of Pragmateq, a UK-based business specialising in web & app development across a broad spectrum of platforms, technologies and disciplines.
Pragmateq has a distributed team infrastructure, where project managers, developers and designers work from their preferred locations, allowing us to keep overheads to a minimum and pass these savings on to our clients.
Honesty, attention to detail and quality results come as standard, together with competitive hourly or fixed price rates.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any projects to discuss.
Live long and prosper in business and life,
Over the last couple of years I've begun to concentrate on native mobile app development, primarily for the Apple iOS platform using the Appcelerator Titanium SDK. I understand the whole iOS development lifecycle, having produced several client-led apps for both consumer (App Store) and in-house (Enterprise) consumption.
My most recent collaboration was with Six Pack Productions and Adrian James (http://www.sixpackproductions.com), developing a suite of exercise apps that reached the #1 position across more than 10 countries in the App Store's Health & Fitness category: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/artist/six-pack-productions/id493912736
Catch the active community that's built up around these apps over at https://twitter.com/BestFitnessApps
- Solid and articulate communication skills
- Logical mindset
- Forward thinker
- Attention to detail
- Willing and able to learn and progress
- Comfortable in a team environment
- Quick leaner
- Able to work alone
- Uses initiative
- Positive outlook
- Remains productive in pressured situations
Pragmateq (2009 to Present)
Founder // Software Developer
Area Covered: World-wide
Industry: Internet, Web Sites, Apps
Black Pig Ltd (Dec 2001 to March 2010)
I joined the Web Development team on 13th December 2001, primarily as a Classic ASP and SQL database developer. I was immediately charged with designing the architecture and new Intranet functionality for one of Black Pig's major London clients.
Senior Web Developer (current role):
During the early phases of a project I perform effective research and prototyping alongside the web design team, produce detailed and well-written technical specifications from client requirements/functional specifications of varying quality, and am productive in creative brainstorming/mind-mapping sessions.
I am involved with regular administration of both Windows and Linux platforms, and contribute to related job functions such as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), web standards, usability, and Quality Assurance (QA).
Many web sites also have a need for a flexible Content Management System; initially this was met using our bespoke in-house SAJON product to which I contributed some core development and many client-specific customisations. More recently this has been superseded, with us adopting open source solutions such as Joomla and Drupal, for which I have provided several code customisations to meet exacting customer needs.
As a small to medium-sized business, working at Black Pig has allowed me to work closely with fellow employees from several disciplines: web development, web design, graphic design, front-of-house, company directors, sales, project management, and account management. Often I have taken a lead position, co-ordinating my efforts with other project team members to meet short deadlines. The environment has also given me ample opportunity to interact with clients face-to-face at project meetings.
PA Consulting Group (PACG) (Nov 1998 to Dec 2001)
Early work within this role involved further development of the in-house Automated Appraisal software for employee annual and half-year reviews, a complex system involving both server and client components, which allowed me to round my MS SQL6.5, DHTML, ASP and Visual Basic skills.
To extend my existing skills, more recent project work involved using MS SQL2000's XML ability to extract business data and distribute it as compressed 'packs' via a server application to company partners. For this I wrote a client-side Visual Basic decompression tool, XSL Templates and DHTML to enable the packs to be presented and browsed offline in Internet Explorer 5.5.
I kept apace of the new emerging Microsoft technologies such as .NET and how they might be used to the company's advantage.
While in this role I was responsible for the testing and quality of Management Information System client/server applications and Intranet sites.
In order to carry out these tasks I quickly gained hands-on experience with Microsoft SQL 6.5, using its query interface to analyse the database employed by these systems. In addition, I developed numerous stored procedures.
I made good use of the automated testing tool Rational SQA Suite, creating test requirements and scripts, and also new custom functions using its derivative of Visual Basic. The whole Test Team used these successfully. Seen to have a good technical understanding within the group, I picked up new ideas quickly.
After a few months I was allowed to further my software development work as I showed initiative and demonstrated the potential skills needed to move into a full-time software development role.
My time at PACG gave me extensive exposure into the testing, development and maintenance of both traditional client/server and Intranet systems that robustly served the company's consulting and administrative employees 24 hours, 7 days a week.
Technetix Plc (May 1996 to Nov 1998)
Technetix was the private sector's second largest growing company, manufacturing cable and satellite systems. I was a team member of the Research & Development Department assisting in the development and testing of electronics teaching software to be used in-house, using Visual Basic v5 Professional Edition. Other duties included: circuit building/testing; mechanical/electronic drawing using PowerPADS Logic, Printed Circuit Board (PCB) and Visio Technical software; and PC software maintenance.
Previously, I was a member of the Surface Mount team and responsible for new circuit board programming and set up of the Surface Mount Technology (SMT) machines. Other duties included the set up and maintenance of SMT machine system software and hardware.
Argonaut Software Ltd (December 1992 to May 1996)
Colindale, London NW9
Quality Assurance Tester:
I was originally employed as part of the company's QA department to thoroughly test their leisure software titles within the structure of a full test cycle. I held this post for approximately 3 months before progressing to game design and soon after, the role of Lead Game Designer.
Lead Game Designer:
I was responsible for overseeing and creating inventive game concepts and gameplay ideas, as well as detailed game specification documentation using Windows 3.1 & 95 packages such as the Microsoft Office suite, QuarkXpress, CorelDraw and Autodesk AutoCAD.
I gained hands-on experience at implementing game elements via script languages, in-house editors and languages such as Visual Basic and C++, with continual liaison with other team members. I also have a command of Autodesk 3D Studio v4 and Adobe Photoshop, which I used for prototyping and visualising game elements.
Full design, 3D models
(1995/6, 3D Action adventure, PC CD-ROM);
Graphics, Level design, gameplay tweaks
(1994/5, Pre-rendered action adventure, PC CD-ROM);
Concept, graphics, level design, strategies, 3D models
(1993, 3D shoot-em-up with FX Chip, Super NES);
Gameplay scripting and suggestions
(1992/3, 3D shoot-em-up with FX Chip, Super NES).
Software Generation Ltd (August 1990 to December 1992)
I was responsible for logging, reproducing and solving technical problems raised by end users of the company's PC software development tools. Communication with the users was frequent, and included occasional site visits. During my time here I progressed to Head of Technical Support.
Company: Abovo Creative
Description: Programming for Simply Business web site and integration with internal Flightdeck CRM, plus integration with partner online accounting system provided by KashFlow.
Job Title: Web Developer
Company: The Bee's Knees
Description: Tessa has a home-based beauty business and required a modern and professional web site to promote her range of treatments to people in the North Herts area.
Job Title: Mobile App Developer
Company: Peek Creative Ltd
Description: Creation of Horsey Hotties iPhone mobile app from supplied brief.
Job Title: Web Developer
Company: The Jewellery Display Company Ltd
Description: Moved a Classic ASP e-commerce site and MS-SQL database to a new hosting environment, set up Plesk, IIS7 and installed 3rd party components as required. Tested site functionality.
Summary: The Meridian School
Tech. Drawing: A
Computer Studies: A
Business Studies (distinction)
Degree: O.N.D (10 distinctions, 2 merits)
Field of Study: Computer Studies
University / College: North Herts College Letchworth, Hertfordshire
Degree: N.C.E (first year completed with distinctions)
Field of Study: Electronics
University / College: North Herts College Stevenage, Hertfordshire