Media & News


National Coding Week: a view from the team- Jim Booth

To celebrate National Coding Week, we asked two members of our brilliant technical team to share a window into their world.

Jim Booth, Senior Technical Architect              

How I became a programmer

I’m a programmer by birth and not by choice. I’m an old-school geek: it’s in my blood. I cut my programming teeth as a teenager back in the early 1980s on my ZX81, typing in BASIC programs out of magazines whilst wrestling with the very flaky 16KB expansion RAM pack.  Then I moved on to writing software on platforms such as Spectrum, Amiga, Electron, BBC, C64, TRS80, PC and VAX as well as learning languages including AMOS, LOGO, Ada, COBOL, JAVA, VAX VMS, Python and C# to name but a few.

My first job was writing software for the BBC Micro and PET microcomputers but most of my experience has been as a keen hobbyist or amateur rather than as a professional. During my 27 years in the RAF I found my niche in the computer security realm, often pushing the boundaries by writing tools and scripts that regularly tested the patience of my superiors to the limit.

What I enjoy most about coding

I don’t know why I love programming so much. I do, however, know that I love creating something from nothing and solving problems through software. Often (in my younger years) I’d spend hours and days at a time writing code and trying to solve a particular problem to the disregard of all else, including personal hygiene and meals! These days I’m a little more laid back and refined but there are still those occasions when I get the bit between my teeth and time passes in a blur.

What makes a good programmer?

So, what makes a good programmer? Well, the first step is knowing that there’s always room for improvement: there’s always more to learn and you can always find a better way of doing things. So, if you aren’t disgusted by your own efforts of just a year or two ago when you look back, then programming may not be for you.

That said, I still do one ‘old-school’ thing in that I rely on efficient algorithms. More and more I see people writing code and they just loop through everything. If they have 1,000,000,000 entries, they just run through a ‘for-next’ loop to find what they’re looking for, whereas I still go back to old classics like good ol’ binary search.

The internet has been a revelation as well as a revolution: it’s shrunk the world and also opened up opportunities like software programming to everyone and anyone. 30 years ago, it was tricky to become a software developer because there weren’t that many resources available. Today, thanks to the internet and the multitude of programming books and tools available, you can start learning to program much earlier and I would actively encourage anyone to give it a go.

To find out more about National Coding Week and how you can get involved, visit codingweek.org


SecureCloud+ raise over £5000 for Combat Stress

SecureCloud+ have successfully fundraised over £5000 for Combat Stress by taking on a 75-mile cycle challenge to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VJ Day which took place on Saturday 15th August.

Staff members of SecureCloud+ cycled throughout Reading and Staffordshire, with each member taking on a particular cycle challenge to raise money on the charity’s Just Giving Page. This event was part of SecureCloud+’s ongoing support for Combat Stress-the UK’s leading veterans’ mental health charity.

Peter Williamson, CEO of SecureCloud+ said: ‘’As an Armed Forces friendly organisation, we are in awe of the work Combat Stress does for former servicemen and women with mental health problems. Moving forward, we will continue to support the charity as much as we can as an organisation. Our organisation employs veterans and members of the armed forces community, which is why this charity has a special connection with SecureCloud+’’

For the successful completion of the Ride to Victory, Maggie Bennion, Senior Corporate Fundraising Officer, from Combat Stress awarded SecureCloud+ with a hero’s Poppy and remembrance penny. She said: ‘’Due to Covid-19, and various other challenges, this has been a difficult year for us financially. But we have been determined to keep our fundraising going, and were delighted to see our efforts matched by incredibly selfless supporters like SecureCloud+. The money they raised will help us to continue to be there for those veterans in need.’’

SecureCloud+ presented a £5388 cheque to celebrate this achievement in their Reading office.


National Coding Week: a view from the team- Mark Conroy

To celebrate National Coding Week, we asked two members of our brilliant technical team to share a window into their world.

Mark Conroy, Software Developer     

Why I got into coding

As long as I can remember, I’ve always been fascinated by computers. At a young age, I used to enjoy creating HTML webpages and websites for myself and friends. I took IT, Maths and Physics at A Level, with my best result being IT (which didn’t involve too much coding!). I studied Computer Science at university, which is where I began to develop my coding skills. I originally wanted to be a video game developer, but after completing a game design and development course at university I decided it was not for me – I enjoyed the development part but not the design part!

What I enjoy most about coding

I love being able to create something from ‘nothing’ – just from thoughts and ideas. Being involved in a process which turns ideas into something that can be used by others is satisfying. I particularly enjoy the creative freedom I get at SecureCloud+: I can choose whatever language, libraries and tools I want to get the job done. Because of this, I’m constantly using and learning new technologies which helps me to stay up to date in the ever-changing technological landscape.

My coding journey so far

While I was at university, I worked with a local business to develop various solutions which would let them manage attendees at their events across the UK. This included a lot of custom development for their CMS to add event registration, invoice and payment functionality. I also developed bespoke e-ticketing software which could be used at the events.

I joined SecureCloud+ as a graduate in April 2018 and one of my first assignments was to build a software solution to automate document redaction. Although I had no experience in C# and little experience in JavaScript, I managed to produce a working proof-of-concept within a few months. Since then, I’ve developed several other solutions for the company, including meeting recording software which will soon be integrated into our Networked Collaboration Service  offering.

To find out more about National Coding Week and how you can get involved, visit codingweek.org


Supporting the APPG for Foreign Affairs

 

SecureCloud+ are pleased to have become an official supporter of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Foreign Affairs. The APPG for Foreign Affairs,(chaired by Imran Ahmad Khan, MP for Wakefield) will provide a forum for MPs to form strong relationships with leading businesses and organisations that are committed to good international relations.

The APPG co-ordinates a network of business leaders who can provide parliamentarians and ministers with expert opinion and counsel. ‘We are delighted to be an official supporter of APPG for Foreign Affairs,’’ said Peter Williamson- CEO of SecureCloud+. We look forward to addressing the challenges of achieving prosperity, security, and prevention of conflict. As an organisation that supports critical IT systems in the UK and Operations across the globe, we look forward to providing our expertise in any way we can to the group.’’

By becoming a supporter, SecureCloud+ has demonstrated a commitment to helping the UK develop strong international security and trade relationships.


Ride to Victory for Combat Stress

SecureCloud+ will be supporting Combat Stress by taking on a 75-mile cycle challenge to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VJ Day on Saturday 15 August!

Veterans rely on the charity and they rely on their supporters to help fund life-changing mental health treatment to veterans from every conflict and service. For every £1 raised, 81p goes on veteran treatment and support, 16p towards fundraising and 3p on raising awareness.

SecureCloud+ have very generously agreed to ‘match’ whatever we can raise, so every £1 YOU donate, means your donation will be doubled. So please dig deep and help us achieve (and exceed) our fundraising target for Combat Stress!

For more information on how you can make a difference to life-changing treatment for veterans, please visit our Just Giving Page – https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/securecloudp


SecureCloud+ #SaluteourForces for Armed Forces Week

 

SecureCloud+ are delighted to show their support during Armed Forces Week. As Gold award recipients of the Armed Forces Covenant, SecureCloud+ actively pledges to support currently serving troops, service families, veterans and cadets.

Peter Williamson CEO of SecureCloud+ said: “Since, 2014 when the business was founded, we have set out to actively support the Armed forces in any way we can, from joint community project like RAF Girls Festival of Rugby, support of the cyber cadets with their training and supporting charities such as Combat Stress, SSAFA and Jon Egging Trust.’’

For the duration of the week we will be sharing stories from veterans and reservists who work at SecureCloud+.

#KnowYourForces

To more information on Armed Forces week, please visit https://www.armedforcesday.org.uk/armed-forces-week-celebrate-our-armed-forces-in-summer-2020/ to see how you can get involved.

 

For more information about our outreach initiatives, please visit https://www.securecloudplus.co.uk/about-us/supporters-of/


SecureCloud+ join the Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce

Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce

 

SecureCloud+ has become a member of the Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce. The Chambers provides a range of opportunities designed to help businesses promote and develop themselves to other members. The organisation connects local businesses together, helping to forge new alliances, gain trusted suppliers and find potential new customers. In addition, the membership will provide the company with essential services designed to help the business grow.

‘SecureCloud+ is pleased to become a member of the Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce and look forward to meeting and collaborating with local businesses in the Staffordshire area. Being a member of the Chambers will provide valuable insight into business growth areas, increase our knowledge and skills through interaction with other businesses and enable us to connect and promote SecureCloud+ to the local community’, said Robert Gittins– Chief Operating Officer for SecureCloud+.

This union is a testament to SecureCloud+’s intent to connect with local business and expand on their business aspirations. SecureCloud+’s engineering facility is based in Stoke-On-Trent and this partnership will and help develop future leaders and opportunities.


UKCloudX Virtual Summit: SecureCloud+ host live webinar

Rob Gittins hosted live webinar at the UKCloudX Virtual Summit

SecureCloud+ hosted a live webinar at the UKCloudX Virtual Summit on the 20th May. The Virtual Summit brought industry leaders from the Defence and IT sector together to share their expertise in their respective fields within Defence and IT.

The UKCloudX Virtual Summit informed and educated attendees on the latest trends, threats and solutions. Speakers from UKCloud,  L3Harris, Pure Storage and VMWARE were live offering their insights.

SecureCloud+ hosted an hour webinar segment at the summit on: Enabling a Secure Mobile Environment for users with demanding security requirements. The webinar tackled the challenges of remote working for Defence and Government users who are increasingly under pressure to work securely from home. Robert Gittins- COO of SecureCloud+ addressed the challenges of working securely whilst geographically dispersed and to offer solutions for businesses to continue to collaborate in a secure environment.

Want to view the webinar? Visit the webpage here

 


Project Helix

Background As a pioneer in mobile satellite communications, SecureCloud+’s client was contracted by the UK Government to provide system engineering and programme management support for a major UK satellite programme. As part of the delivery, the Company’s client required a communications system that enabled industry partners to collaborate with UK Government agencies and a suite … Continue reading Project Helix


SecureCloud+ recognised as Best Performing Company

 

The Company were recognised as The Best Performing Company in Data and Hosting Services at the Megabutye100 Awards. The Megabuyte100 awards  brings together a collective excellence of the leading companies in the UK tech sector. The anticipated event took place at the 8 Northumberland Avenue in London.

A team from SecureCloud+ attended the event which saw several awards in six different categories which covered ICT sectors. Due to the outstanding performance of the company in the last 12 months, the awards alumni recognised the Company’s ongoing growth. The winning companies were determined by their Megabutye Scoring systems.

‘’We are delighted to be recognised as one of the Best Performing Companies by Megabutye. As the Company grows, we will continue to leverage technological advances in Cloud Services, Artificial Intelligence and machine-learning to deliver modern ways of working,’’ Says Peter Williamson, Founder of SecureCloud+.

SecureCloud+ continue to deliver managed services at all tiers of the government’s IT security classification system, including TOP SECRET. Receiving this award, amongst a wide selection of diverse innovative companies is a testament to the company’s vision to be an industry leader in secure managed ICT services.

Vision

SecureCloud+ will become the trusted service delivery partner within Defence and Public Sector with a reputation for fast and successful delivery of secure managed ICT services at all Government Security Classifications tiers.

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