S. J. Farthing



At Wayne Kerr I got an introductory course soon after joining the company on the programming of their automatic test equipment products. This was about one week full-time.

I also went on a one-day course on the special subject of in-circuit testing. This was specifically for application to automatic test equipment in general, but the material was valid for manual testing too. It dealt with the testing of electronic components which had already been installed in a circuit, and how to test them without removal, and minimising or eliminating the effect of neighbouring components on the results. It also covered the design of electronic circuits so as to facilitate such testing.

Prior to starting my own business I went on a government run Business Enterprise course. This was about 6 weeks full-time and covered marketing skills, advertising, taxation including VAT.

This was followed by a period of Open Learning where I furthered my knowledge of the C programming language with particular application to the PC.

In the early stages of my business I also took one day courses on Marketing, and on Negotiating Skills.

In 1998, while at Alenia Marconi I attended a prestigious (and expensive) course on the Fagan Defect-Free Process, by Michael Fagan and Associates. This was about a week full-time. It is a method, and especially a philosophy, of using inspection techniques in order to detect errors in computer software at an early stage. It is a form of peer review where sofware is examined intensively by a group of people, each with a particular role. The method strongly advocates that thorough inspection of the actual computer code is better than testing. It emphasised that the earlier an error is detected the cheaper it is to correct. It also taught the value of collecting statistics on the number and type of errors found, and using the information to bring about improvements to the design process.

Also here I attended courses on Jackson Structured Programming, the Coral programming language, and the assembly language used by the target computer of the company's software. These were each about 2 or 3 days in length.

When the company merged with an Italian company and became Alenia Marconi the staff were offered courses in the Italian language, and I took the course. It was interesting and enjoyable.

I later did computer based "CBT" training courses on:

In 2000 to 2001 while working at Amfax Ltd, I went on courses on Computer Vision, and Programming with TestStand. These were presented by National Instruments at their premises in Newbury and were about 2 days duration each.

The computer vision course included the types of cameras which could be used, lens characteristics, and lighting requirements. It also dealt at length with the processing of the resulting image in ways which allow a computer to extract the necessary information from the image.

The TestStand course included much material on Windows programming including the use of DLL's, ActiveX, and database interfacing.

I attended a one day presentation by Agilent (formerly Hewlett Packard) on Fibre Optics. This covered the types of optical fibre, and the type of signal degradation which might occur with these. Measurement techniques using very advanced special purpose test equipment. Spectrum analysis, very high speed optical oscilloscopes and eye/mask diagrams.

Also at Amfax I was encouraged to learn advanced topics of Windows programming including OLE, COM, and ActiveX.

In 2002 while working at Fareham College I did a teaching course and obtained a City and Guilds certificate in Further and Adult Education. This course was one evening a week for about 10 weeks, plus assignments. It dealt with giving professional presentations to adults using various types of equipment, computer driven projectors, overhead projectors, and flip charts etc. It also covered the use of various teaching methods, the different types of learning skills which students might have and the consequent need for variety of teaching methods. Also planning, using a Scheme of Work and Lesson Plans.