About Me

 Andy
 
So first of all, let me introduce myself. I’m Andy Bevan, Head of IT at Barton Willmore, one of the UK’s largest, independent Planning and Design Consultancies.

 

I spent my formative years in the North East coastal town of Hartlepool and although I haven’t spend much time there in the last 30 years or so, it still counts as ‘home’ and I still number myself amongst the supporters of it’s football team. (So now you know two of us, me and Jeff Stelling on Sky Sports!)

Although, these days, my job is entirely IT focused, I did start out my professional life as an Architect, studying at Sheffield University during the 80s. It was whilst at university that I got the IT bug, getting involved with one of the early architectural CAD systems, Gable, which I used to create most of my student design work, which caused a fair amount of controversy amongst the traditionalists tutors.

As part of my training, I spent a couple of years working as an architectural technician for various practices around London, and began to build a reputation as one of Gable’s premier users. On gaining my Part III Professional Practice qualifications in 1989, I immediately took the plunge and started my own architectural practice and CAD consultancy.

I ran the business full time from 1989 until 1999 and was fortunate enough to secure regular work from one of the major High Street banks and one of the UK’s largest property management companies.

In 1995 however, I started a family and began to think about finding employment that would involve regular hours and allow me to spend more time at home, rather than travelling to sites all over the country. Later that year, I took on a short term CAD contract job at PRC Architects in Surbiton, which was only meant to last 3 months, but ended up lasting for 4 years!

By now, my CAD knowledge had developed into much broader IT skills and within a few months, began managing their whole IT system. In 1999, I finally decided to settle down and joined them on a permanent basis as their Head of IT.

Over the next 10 years, I managed their IT infrastructure, growing it from the Surbiton head office and a London marketing suite, to a multi-national enterprise of 8 offices with locations in Ireland, Poland, the Middle East and China.

Unfortunately, after major investment in expansion during 2007, the company was hit badly by the economic collapse in 2008 and shrank from 300 people worldwide to 1/10th of that in just 9 months. Sadly, I was not one of the lucky ones and for the first time in 20 years, found myself out of work in early 2009!

However, I was lucky enough to quite quickly land a job as IT Manager at Hill Spink, an Architectural practice specialising in designing and building multi-million pound bespoke houses. However, although it was a fascinating place to work, the company preferred to remain on a small scale and my longer term ambition lay with bigger things, so a year later, I began to look around again.

One particular add on a job website caught my eye, for a Head of IT at a large Design and Planning practice based over multiple UK sites with ambitions to grow the business substantially over the next 5 years. Perfect, I thought, and applied with high hopes, though much to my disappointment, I heard nothing more.

Then, 3 months later, I suddenly got a call out of the blue, from the agent, who had been holding onto my CV while the start date for the position had been put back for a few months. They now wanted me to come in for an interview!

Well, after waiting that long, there was no way I was not going to get this job, so I pulled out all the stops and here I am today at Barton Willmore, two and a half years later!

 

So why do I want to start writing a blog? Well, therapy really! It seems like a good idea to get all the rubbish out of my head and into the written word! IT and Architecture is full of peculiar quirks and idiosyncrasies, and something that I know a bit about!
 
Hopefully it will turn out to be interesting and maybe raise smile or two, who knows, but I think I might as well give it a try!
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