I am partner in our family holiday rental company and looking to new ventures in IOT (Internet of Things) electronics and computer software. As well as having extensive business experience spanning many decades, my technical specialities include a broad understanding of modern IT and the ability to explain complex technical issues to the layman. I have a clear understanding of how computer and communications technology fits into the business world with an emphasis on small organisations (SMEs).

In the last year I have been involved in a number of technical projects involving ESP8266 and Arduino microprocessors and the Raspberry Pi and in January 2016 worked overseas on an IOT security project. For 14 years I enjoyed the role of National IT Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses as well as Chairman of the Communications Group for that organisation which encompassed responsibility for the organisation's IT.

The role also took me overseas, to the House of Commons and to Number 10. In June 2015, the IT Chairman role in the FSB ceased to exist due to changes in the organisation and though expected to re-stand for the role, I decided to pursue other opportunities to make better use of my emerging IOT skills.

For two years I had the role of vice-chairman of the IT section of the EU ESCO group who met bi-monthly in Brussels tackling the IT (the most all-embracing and hence complex) aspect of the ESCO project, responsible for matching jobs, skills and competences in the IT sector.

I have attended a number of meetings of the European Small Business Alliance (ESBA) in Izmir, Gibraltar, Dublin and in Brussels (2013-2014) as a guest and observer and in that capacity visited the European Parliament. I've also been invited on a number of occasions as a guest to the offices of the European Economic and Social Community.

I have represented the FSB in a number of SME-related externally sponsored round tables including Microsoft, Dell and others and developed relationships within those companies, the most recent event being the Dell ThinkTank event in Amsterdam and previously to Microsoft HQ in the USA.

For years as FSB IT Chairman I acted as a judge in the Computing Magazine Small Business Awards and also maintained a blog in that magazine's website. I had a guest blog on Dell's website but now focus on maintaining my own highly successful blog, tech.scargill.net.

PRESENT
2009-PRESENT

Partner - Hollyberry Cottage

www.hollyberry-cottage.co.uk

Hollyberry Cottage is an award-winning, successful family-owned self-catering holiday rental cottage in Bellingham, in the heart of Northumberland. This is our second family cottage rental business.

 

2015
2001-2015

IT Chairman - FSB

www.fsb.org.uk

I was a director of and held the post of National IT Chairman of the FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) for 14 years during which time I transformed the IT capabilities of the organisation and helped ensure it is now well placed to handle the challenges of the 21st century. The directorship role ended in March 2015 and the title of IT Chairman ended in June 2015.

 

2015
2002-2015

CEO - Willow Design

www.willowdesign.info

Willow Design offered custom electronics design from concept through implementation as well as custom hardware and software. We empowered small businesses to compete in the global marketplace with affordable solutions

 

2001
1982-2001

Director - Quantech Ltd

General Electronics Research

I formed Quantech in 1982 and spent 19 years in a business partnership developing groundbreaking electronic products in the entertainment and PC speech industries

 

1982
1980-1982

Head of R&D at Eltech

Electronics Research

I joined Eltech Research in Newcastle Upon Tyne to develop advertising graphics after providing consultancy for several months, supporting innovative products as we took them to the World's Fair in Tokyo and to America and Germany

 

1980
1972-1980

Director - France & Co Ltd

General engineering and sheet metalwork

I held various posts including technical director at family engineering firm J. France & Co using skills including management but also encompassing engineering (metal work, welding, general machine operating) and accounting

 

Background

I learned how to make and tweak radios as a child. After a diversion which taught me how to both take and process photographs, my first article on electronics was printed in Practical Electronics in November 1976 and was one of several publications in my teen years (Practical Electronics, Elektor, Practical Wireless etc). Years later when the microprocessor revolution began, I started writing software and articles beginning with the design of my own custom FORTH language interpreter and cumulating in a comprehensive article entitled "Adven-80" which featured on the front cover of the November 1981 Dr Dobbs magazine and which described one of the earliest "adventure creation" environments - a considerable undertaking in Z80 assembly language. While developing a range of office and engineering skills, the hobbies of electronics and computing turned into a career and I was responsible for the publication of numerous publications including a series of articles in Practical Computing on the subject of home automation in which I am returning to maintain a keen practical interest (using modern Atmel chips alongside radio and Internet technology).

My work in developing software-based speech systems for the IBM PC (software used by both Intel and Microsoft at one time) led to more articles in various UK and Canadian computing magazines and I co-developed one of the first multi-tasking operating systems in the coin-op industry (80s). At around that time I was secretary of the Northeast's then largest amateur computing society, the NPCS (Newcastle Personal Computer Society).

Between a passing interest in politics and my work with the FSB I have met with David Cameron, William Hague, Michael Portillo, Vince Cable, Stephen Timms, Patricia Hewitt, Tony Blair, John Redwood and many others in politics. I've met the current American Ambassador to the EU and have also met with senior figures in several large companies including Microsoft where I visited their Seattle Headquarters for several days and subsequently became their guest at several functions including the Commonwealth Games. I've also been a guest at the offices of Microsoft in Brussels, London and Dublin as well as those of Google and Dell. I have travelled widely and developed relationships with key figures in other business organisations such as the IOD and Chambers. I have attended meetings and receptions at 10 Downing street and on several occasions at the House of Commons with the FSB.

I taught BTEC Level 2 electronics part time for a year during which time I taught C programming, basic electronics and foundation studies. In recent years I've written and maintained the cms-based website system and mass-emailing systems used throughout the UK's leading business organisation, servicing 33 regions and 194 branches. I have helped many small businesses via my role as IT Chairman of the same organisation. I have also co-developed a holiday rental property for the second time in the past few years. I spend what little spare time I have, enjoying being married, cinema, the company of friends, writing blogs and travelling as well as continuing to keep up with programming, social networking and general IT and electronics. I'm currently developing several projects using single-chip microprocessors, developing on the skills I gained in the last years of the 20th century. I maintain a keen interest in cutting-edge science and technology. I've written my first programs for the Google operating system and some PC-based communication software and a lot of C embedded code.

Before becoming the National IT Chairman of the FSB I was firstly Vice-Chairman of the Northeast FSB region for 6 years followed by a spell on the National IT Committee where I was encouraged to take on the post I held for over 14 years. As IT Chairman my role included overall responsibility for websites and social networking, business systems, Intranets and just about anything with "IT" attached to it as well as making sure the FSB's annual Conference was available to the outside world in imagery, video, social networking and reporting - a task I performed as a member of the National Conference committee for many years. I pioneered the use of Skype, GotoMeeting and general Intranet technology in the organisation and have a wealth of knowledge on the technical and operational issues of said communication tools. I set up a media studio in the FSB's Blackpool head office and have a lot of hands-on experience with modern video recording and editing equipment and processing software.

If you wish to go further back into my history then you might find this address http://www.scargill.net/stuff/early-interests/ of use. If you're reading the printed version of this, the latest update can be found at http://www.scargill.net/cv

Interests

I am interested in solar power, LED lighting and general alternative energy, digital photography and video, writing, general science and technology. I am currently absorbed in the hardware and software of Espressif's ESP8266 and ESP-32, Node.JS and Node-Red and developing on the Raspberry Pi and similar devices. I also enjoy reviewing related products on the blog. I have a long history of using Atmel's microprocessor chips and have developed several Internet-based control home control systems which can be remotely controlled via mobile technology. More on that at the tech blog.