Tom Graves: a work-history

[Note: This page lists example business-activities from mid-1970s to mid-2000s only. Also note that referee-details have been removed, for privacy reasons, but also because most of those details would be many years out of date.]

Role keywords

These roles have all been undertaken regularly since 1976, and have often been interleaved within a single task or contract.

Other past/current activities include

  • Research and writing on psychology of skills education and related areas (nine books published since 1976 in a total of ten languages; tenth book scheduled for publication in late 2000)
  • Illustration/photography for medical education: Medical Recording Service Foundation/National Foundation for Educational Research (UK)
  • Magazine articles on computing, psychology, aspects of archaeology, and other related areas
  • Musical performance (flute, bass-flute, clarinet, saxophone and oboe) and composition

Business analyst

  • Extensive experience in systems analysis and systems synthesis, translating business and operational requirements to system specifications and high-level design requirements, and identifying gaps in conceptual designs and operational procedures
  • Extensive past business experience as manager and director of own typesetting company (ten staff)
  • Current experience in developing procedures to ISO 9000 and other quality-system standards
  • Current experience in use of standard software methodologies (Yourdon/MellorBoochRumbaugh) and visual tools (UMLVisioABC Flowcharter)
  • Some experience with Primavera Project Planner (P3) and Microsoft Project


Information-management requirements for Aeronautical Engineering Support Facility integration (Aeronautical and Maritime Research Laboratory, 2000)
Analysis of procedure, storage, access and cross-reference requirements for management of inspections and information-sources (paper documents, electronic data and physical samples) for support-facility responsible for specialist investigations on all RAAF platforms and equipment; requirements included need for secure information storage for at least fifty years, support and quality-management for very wide range of inspection types, complexities and durations, and information-exchange with external agencies; analysis involved interviews with more than twenty individuals representing ten separate ‘client’-groups and external agencies; end-result was report providing basis for full systems analysis and recommendations for implementation.
User analysis for electronic commerce (Telstra Multimedia, 1997)
Identification of boundaries of roles and responsibilities between different classes of user of Internet-based electronic commerce system; acted as ‘bridge’ between business/marketing staff and technical/development staff; end-result was set of user-manuals for revised classes of user.
Quality system for research laboratory (Aeronautical and Maritime Research Laboratory, 1996-97)
Assisted quality consultant in development of ISO-9000 compliant quality system; acted as ‘bridge’ between production-oriented quality consultant and information-oriented research scientists; end-result was adaptation of ISO-9001 specification to client environment, with ongoing implementation.
Direct typesetting for publishers (Wordsmiths [GB], 1978-1986)
Assessment and analysis of the production needs of a wide variety of publishers, each requiring a different balance of control of and responsibility for encoding of complex typesetting (including books, part-works, crossword puzzles and financial rate-tables); end-result was specification, design and implementation of adaptable general-purpose system for typesetting from standard microcomputer-based word-processors such as WordStar; eventually superseded by PostScript-based desktop-publishing systems.

Help-systems/on-line developer

  • Extensive experience with PHPAllaire ColdFusionMacromedia DreamweaverMacromedia FireWorksMicrosoft FrontPage and other web development tools, including HTML and Javascript programming for on-line databases
  • Extensive experience with HDK3 and IntraWeb for combined paper manuals and context-sensitive online help/intranet-based help
  • Current experience with Microsoft InterDevBorland Intrabuilder and similar tools for intranet/internet-accessible databases
  • Current experience with Web browsers and CD-ROM development (intranet/project documentation)
  • Some exposure to FrameWork, Adobe Acrobat and similar tools

(See also the ‘Technical writer‘ section)


Intranet web-site for research team (Aeronautical and Maritime Research Laboratory, 1998-2000)
Developed system-architecture, ColdFusion templates and initial content of intranet for F-111 Test and Teardown (aircraft life-extension project); site supports reporting and tracking of inspections, defects, images, reference data, event information, database requirements and database management for twelve sub-groups, and acts as common entry point for access to all intranet-accessible databases used by the team; supports complex multi-way many-to-many associative data relationships and variant object datatypes within standard ODBC/SQL structures; currently in regular use.
Browsable CD-ROM of test database (Aeronautical and Maritime Research Laboratory, 1998)
Developed raw HTML and ObjectPAL (Paradox) scripts to export strain-gauge reference data from aircraft structural-test database to intranet and CD-ROM; output included tables, images and index pages, with full cross-references generated from database many-to-many relationships; code embedded in database form to automate regular updates; data currently in regular use.
Information infrastructure for research laboratory quality system Aeronautical and Maritime Research Laboratory, 1996-97)
Defined and implemented Word templates (including document-control macros), HDK templates and IntraWeb-based intranet site for ISO-9001 documentation; assisted users in preparing content to ISO-9001 requirements; system was designed to be maintained by scientists and engineers with minimal knowledge of Word or HTML programming; system fully installed and currently in use.
Help system for structural test database (Aeronautical and Maritime Research Laboratory, 1995)
Developed Word templates, HDK templates and all basic content for context-sensitive help system for Paradox databases; help system designed for routine ‘one-step’ conversion from paper manual to online system with all embedded context-sensitive links; system fully installed and currently in use.

Technical writer

  • Familiar with terminology for computing, engineering, medical, emergency-services, print/publishing and general business environments
  • Extensive experience with Microsoft Word (most versions to Word 8 for Windows 95 and Word 6.0 for Macintosh), including WordBasic/VBA development
  • Current experience with other Microsoft Office software (Access, ExcelPowerPointMail/Exchange/OutlookFrontPagePublisher)
  • Current experience with graphics packages such as Visio Professional (including database and software documentation tools), ABC FlowCharter and PaintShop Pro
  • Some exposure to Unix and MVS operating environments

(See also the ‘Help-systems/online developer‘ section)


Specifications for emergency-services callout system (Intergraph Public Safety, 1997)
Preparation of interface specifications and software design documentation for callout system for New Zealand Fire Service and other emergency-services; task included assisting in some aspects of systems analysis and overall system design, and WordBasic/VBA development for automated requirements traceability.
Manuals for electronic commerce system (Telstra Multimedia, 1997)
Preparation of user-manuals for pilot of Telstra ‘SureLink‘ Internet commerce system, for five distinct audiences (buyer, merchant, web designer, server operator, customer-service staff); information partially derived from existing US documentation, but required significant localisation and re-analysis of existing audience definitions to match much-altered boundaries of responsibility and user-knowledge; information within suite of manuals ranged from basic user registration through to HTML programming and server configuration; manuals delivered as Word files pre-mapped for conversion to online documents, and organised for simple update for known software revisions scheduled at three-month intervals; manuals currently in use.

Specifications for test-control system (Aeronautical and Maritime Research Laboratory, 1992-94)

Preparation of specifications for high-speed real-time control-system for full-scale structural test of airframe; document identification and version-control methodology were developed from scratch for use in a scientific/engineering environment in which formal specifications had previously been uncommon and in which requirements changed rapidly with increasing scientific knowledge; task included high-level analysis of many aspects of the overall system, including controller user-interface, system logs and activity records, and system interfaces and data-flows.

Skills educator/trainer

  • Extensive experience in use of written and verbal language styles for skills education (including nine books published so far, in a total of ten languages, with worldwide sales in excess of 250,000 copies)
  • Extensive experience in presenting within full range of educational environments, from one-on-one facilitation to large-scale lectures, and from written workbooks to weekend workshops
  • Extensive research on the development of observation, awareness and intuitive judgment
  • Current experience with Microsoft PowerPoint and similar presentation software
  • Past experience in recorded and live TV and radio programmes


Short courses for engineers on quality-system documentation and advanced Word (Aeronautical and Maritime Research Laboratory, 1997)
Short courses as part of support for quality-system project; introduced participants to styles, templates and macros, leading to document version-control and document management.

Customer education for direct typesetting (Wordsmiths [GB], 1980-86)

One-on-one education for most Wordsmith clients over a seven-year period, adapting general principles of direct typesetting (word-processor-based predecessor to desktop publishing), adapted for individual clients’ needs and experience.
Segment for ‘Making the Most of the Micro’ (BBC Television, 1984)
Part of BBC TV’s educational series on computing for general users; demonstrated direct typesetting from microcomputers and scanners, explaining the processes involved as an introduction to programming for text manipulation.
Reference: video available


  • Extensive database analysis, design and programming experience in Paradox for Windows (4 years full-time) and Microsoft Access, including some experience with Oracle and other SQL databases, with web-output and automated CD generation through PHPColdFusionMS InterDev and other tools
  • Extensive experience in many common dialects of Basic such as Visual BasicVBScript (including ASP) and VBA
  • Current experience in Delphi and Java object-oriented software development
  • Extensive past experience with integrated development environments for C programming, including Think C (Macintosh) and Turbo C (PC) (1 year full-time)
  • Extensive past experience with assembly language development environments (80×86, 680×0, 65xx, Z80, 8051 families) for embedded control and other applications (8 years full-time)
  • Some experience with C++ development environments

(See also the ‘Online developer‘ section)


Data-acquisition configuration management database (Aeronautical and Maritime Research Laboratory, 1994-96, 1998)
Analyst, designer and lead programmer for complex database and data-acquisition configuration management system, including interfaces to other databases and to data-acquisition systems and test-control system; system design required high degree of adaptability to changing requirements based on increased scientific understanding of test problems; multiple configurations required to reference many different combinations of up to 1500 strain-gauges with different maintenance histories, without affecting real-time data-acquisition; pre-compilation of configurations required to minimise configuration downtime between test-segments; full audit-trail of configuration changes maintained; system fully implemented and in constant use in major long-term project of national strategic importance (F/A-18 aircraft); development environment/language: Paradox 5.0/8.0 for Windows.

Statistical multiplexer (Mutek MSS Ltd [GB], 1990)

Analysis, design and implementation of embedded controller for low-cost seven-to-one statistical multiplexer for serial communications, using four-packet sliding-window SDLC protocol; unit still currently in production; development environment: MSDOS integrated development system with in-circuit emulation; language: 6502 assembler.

Book/magazine typesetting system (Wordsmiths [GB], 1980-86)

Analyst, designer and lead programmer for long-term development of complete ‘direct typesetting’ system, including embedded controller for typesetter interfaces, numerous word-processor interface drivers, and numerous one-off ‘special’ pre-processors for specific customer requirements (such as crossword typesetting system for London Daily Telegraph); predecessor to ‘desktop publishing’; development environment: CP/M and MSDOS; language: purpose-built high-level assembler/cross-compiler for Z80 and 80×86 assembler, and 6502 assembler (for embedded controller).

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