About Me

So, who is this Brian Long then?

Office hours answer

I'm an independent trainer, trouble-shooter and consultant developer specialising. I work with Windows and OS X desktop operating systems, iOS and Android mobile operating systems and specialise in C# and Delphi programming languages. I work with native applications and managed .NET (and Mono) application; on mobile platforms I have worked with MonoTouch and MonoDroid Mono bridging layers that help .NET programmers get onto the mobile phone (aka cell phone) programming bandwagon.

Once upon a time I worked for Borland in the UK in various guises. This included several years in the technical support department (post-sales telephone support) as well as product marketing and sales engineer posts (the latter being pre-sales face-to-face support). I left there in 1995 to pursue the independent path, running training courses, visiting developer teams, helping them out, getting stuck in and so forth. Along the way I’ve done a lot of technical presentations at various levels: many talks for user groups, talks at around 30 international developer conferences on various subjects and dedicated seminars.

Most recently as of the time of writing this (February 2011) I spoke about programming Android devices (ok, ok, let’s just call them telephones) using the MonoDroid bridge at a developer conference in Las Vegas called DSConf. The post-conference summary was positive about my contribution, which was gratifying.

After the conference I spent a few days wandering up and down the strip, walking between 5 and 7 miles daily and taking pictures of the sights.

My professional web site is at http://blong.com and if you follow some of the links in the contents pane you can find lists of online articles, lists of conference attendances, conference talks, user group talks, more information about me and so forth.

Out-of-hours answer

When not working I like to take pictures of things. This is partly to compensate for my sketchy visual recall. I have lots of photos online. This is partly to protect me against data loss, even though the images are stored on local RAID volumes.

As well as simply taking pictures of my trips to places I sometimes get caught up in certain street art memes. For example, I was rather taken by the work of street artist Invader and spent some time finding his work around London and also around Bilbao when I went there on a trip. Additionally I took a shine to the boundary dragons encircling the City of London so located each of those and photographed them all.

My pictures can be found online on Flickr and on SmugMug.

Historically I’ve been very lazy with regard to fitness and being active. But a few years ago I was on a job in Singapore having a busy, but lovely time, and just started spontaneously exercising. It was odd, but not before time, given the rise of middle-aged spread that had crept up on me.

Upon return I dusted down an old bicycle and tested out whether I could still ride it. It was an old-style mountain bike (MTB), and it turned out I could ride it a couple of miles before feeling thoroughly done for. Skip forward a few years and I am a keen mountain biker taking advantage of the local Chiltern Hills, taking regular trips to the mountains of Wales, regularly completing the annual Tour de Vale 55 mile charity ride and even partaking in a 24-hour team MTB event.

At some point in 2009 I thought it would be interesting to see if the couple of years of biking had any effect on my ability to run. At school I was the laughing stock at sports day - utterly hopeless at running. Anyway, I chewed through a couple of miles quite happily, so was pleased about that.

Skip to the end of that year and I’d done a 5km event - The Bupa Great Capital run in Regents Park. I’m not sure how many hundreds of people ran but I came in at position 460, 38th in my age group, 394th in my gender group and 36th for my age group and gender combined.

Skip forward to the end of 2010 and I’ve completed three 10km running events with a PB (that’s a personal best) of 50 minutes and 16 seconds. Specifically I was 82nd out of 197 in the Burnham Beeches 10km at 55:07, 93rd out of 303 at the Milton Keynes Mo-Run at 52:11 and 179th out of 405 at the Swindon 10k Run at 50:16.

And now the middle-aged spread is pretty much under control, despite no particular effort in the direction of a weight-loss diet.

I'm delighted to find I can now run, cycle up lots of hills and enjoy it all!

I record my runs and cycle rides using SportyPal - the results can be seen here .

Okay, enough of the narcissistic essay-writing. I’ve got some work to do. I shall do my best to come back soon and write some stuff.