Below are the current list of Birmingham Perl Mongers, who have been brave enough to have some of the details available on the site. Most of us are at each meeting, so hopefully you'll recognise at least one of us, if you want to come and join us. We're a friendly bunch, and always willing to meet new Perl Mongers.

If you wish to include your details, send a brief bio of yourself and photo to See examples of the bios below for an idea of what to include.

The Regulars

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Alan Stanger
Name:Alan Stanger
Level:Board Member

Coming soon ....


Job:Purveyor of Good Taste
Links:My Friends

I just, y'know, love Perl


Andrew Ford
Name:Andrew Ford

Coming soon ....


Andrew Stringer
Name:Andrew Stringer

Currently I work in local government and have been using Perl since 2004 both at work and for private projects. My main areas of interest are Linux & Open Source, to further the cause I'm involved with arranging tech talks for CovLUG. I run Slackware 12.0 on my desktop, but also use my trusty Mac G3. Windows? Huh?

Outside of Perl, I enjoy listening to music and am a member of an amateur dramatic group on the technical side.

Level:Board Member
Job:Senior Perl developer, a professional lighting engineer, a roadie, a father of 2, a CPAN Author and a general Perl ligger :)

I started programming BASIC and Assembler on my ZX80, ZX81 and ZX Spectrum from 1980 onwards. Studied a HND in Computer Studies at Coventry, and started commercial programming (C/Unix ... there was no Windows then) in 1986.

As a software programmer & systems designer, I have been involved with the design & development of many different applications, including The System-X Telephone Exchange Design System (using AI & Expert System principles), fruit/quiz machines, The System5 Medical Management Software, many n-tier architecture solutions and Mephisto (a comprehensive web site management tool for LEAs) covering a range of software languages and skills.

In early 1999, a friend went on a Perl course. When I saw what was possible with it, I realised that it was the language for me. Up until that point I had been a dedicated C/Unix programmer and knew most of what there was to know of C, shell script, sed, awk & regexs, so Perl was quite an easy transition.

Aside from being the leader (and co-founder) of the Birmingham Perl Mongers, a speaker at numerous technical meetings, international conferences and workshops, as well as an invited guest speaker at numerous Perl & Linux user groups. I am a CPAN author, and the caretaker behind CPAN Testers, looking after many of the CPAN Testers websites and administering the tools that service the data and perform statistical analysis.

I was one of the organisers of the 2006 YAPC::Europe Perl Conference in Birmingham, and now a member of the YAPC::Europe Foundation Venue Committee, helping to provide support and advice to future organisers. Following the 2006 YAPC::Europe conference, I started the YAPC Conference Surveys, which has resulted in greater responses each year. From 2009 the survey will now be conducted for YAPC::NA as well as YAPC::Europe. The data and analysis from the surveys can now be found at the YAPC Conference Surveys website.

My non-IT career involves being a professional lighting engineer, drum technician and roadie. Have worked with many unknowns, a few famous people, but had the most fun with IQ, Ark and Prolapse.

Ben Ellis
Name:Ben Ellis
Job:Perl programmer doing web based development in the Education sector.

I've been programming since I was about 17 with the Z81 Spectrum Basic, DOS Basic, QBasic, DBase, Delphi and then Perl, all self taught. Being doing Perl over 4 years now.


Bob Wilkinson
Name:Bob Wilkinson

I took a 3 hour course in programming in FORTRAN in 1980, and started to program as part of my physics course. I also attended a course on microprocessors and digital electronics, and soon realised what I wanted to do in my working life. I got an Acorn Atom in April of 1981, and started to write 6502 assembler code.

I spent a year unemployed from 1982 and spent most of it writing assembler code and Forth. I started working in 1983, and wrote in FORTRAN, and also wrote a CAD system in HP BASIC for laying out circuits. I spent a year working as a hardward test engineer on modems when the circuit boards were 15" x 12". I went to work at the Computational Maths department in Liverpool and wrote image processing systems in FORTRAN, and then used Ada a bit.

I then started to work on writing assembler routines to run on the nodes of massively parallel computers, the nodes initially being T800 transputers, and latterly the Intel i860 processor. I enjoyed the challenge of maximising the performance of the processors. The development was done on Sun workstations - running under SunOS 4.1.3. I was soon generating *lots* of data, which needed processing, and I learned how to use the Unix shell and sed and awk to manipulate it. I read "Programming Perl" in 1994, and started writing Perl, and liked it.

Shortly after that I went to work for a publishers, initially using Perl to convert data from many different input formats to SGML. I was an early adopter of CGI technologies, and showed my organisation its capability, and soon I was developing web-based catalogue systems, many of which used XML as an interchange format.

I worked for a company developing secure web sites, and wrote lots of middleware - all in Perl, though I learned some XSLT here.

I now work in the anti-Virus team at Messagelabs. We scan lots of emails every day, and my team is responsible for ensuring that any email containing viruses is stopped from getting to the customer. Most of the code is written in Perl, though recently we have started to re-implement some of the code in C++ for reasons of performance.

Level:Board Member
Job:Keeper of Gems

I've been programming since the age of 9 (1976), semi-professionally since the age of 16. I am a second generation programmer, my mother having worked as a programmer at Ferranti in West Gorton in the 50s.

My first programming experience was on the Texas Instuments 58 calculator and then progressed to the Commodore PET. My family had one of the first PETs in the UK - we actually imported it from the US. I then progressed via the Apple to the BBC micro programming mostly in BASIC and 6502 assembler.

I have, somewhat unusually, worked in the same job since graduating University in 1985 and usually give my job title as "Analyst/Programmer" (or if I'm feeling important "Senior Software Engineer"). I work at the Wolfson Computer Laboratory in Birmingham which is most easily described a small medical informatics R&D group. WCL was originally part of the National Health Service, then for more than an decade was part of the School of Medicine at The University of Birmingham and is now back in the NHS as part of University Hospital Birmingham IT services.

Until recently most of my professional programming has been in M and Delphi but now I'm glad to say it's mostly Perl with occasional forays into JavaScript and XSLT.

I have been a frequent contributor to the comp.lang.perl.* newsgroups since 2000 (infreqent since 1998). I went to my first YAPC (YAPC::Europe::2003) as a non-perlmonger and there I ran into Barbie who persuaded me to become a member of I have also published a few modules on CPAN.

Job:Software Developer

Chris & Mel
Tech Blog

Windows, Mobile and Web Developer for a small company in Wolverhampton.

Colin Newell
Name:Colin Newell
Job:Software Developer

I have been programming since I was a kid and now I do it for money, well mostly.

David Leadbeater
Name:David Leadbeater

Coming soon ....



 My programming background spans close to 25+ years starting with 6502 Assembler and Basic on a Commodore Vic-20. Started out developing on the Unix Platform at University and later combined this with Perl in my development role as a Perl Developer. Linux and Perl has remained my tool of choice throughout my career along with many other open source tools. Currently heading a web performance company which specialises in performance optimisation of popular open source applications.


I first started to program a Commodore 64 when the example in the book never worked so I re-wrote it. I had never thought about programming before that day. I then went to college to learn properly however only really started to learn when I interviewed and subsequently employed Barbie at the company I worked for.


Job:Playing with his new G3 card
Links:My Site

Coming soon ....


Job:Lead Systems Engineer, Fujitsu - Internet Managed Services (Server Team North)

Guess I started programming by trying to copy thermal print-outs for the ZX spectrum comprising of it's own sort of 'Basic' and some machine code, doing all this badly and one day finding the spectrum was trashed. It just refused to boot so I got the money back deal from Sinclair to buy a bike. This is a long time ago so I can't remember what year it was, but after this I remember adolescence, unemployment and College. Been programming Perl since 1996. I had started work at a place called Staffordshire University as a technical support person and worked to start with on Linux and Dos/Windows boxes that quickly became NT 4.0 workstations and servers. NT lacked a shell I could program in aside of VB. I don't like VB and try to avoid writing in C as I am by nature a lazy person. I got bitten by the Perl bug soon after I discovered Perl could be downloaded freely from ActiveState for NT and Perl scripts would for the most part work doing basic stuff on both Windows and UNIX. What is more, I found that I didn't have to learn more than one language / scripting tool to automate simple tasks that would work on both platforms.

To my sheer astonishment and unbridled joy I also realised that this Perl thing may be really catching on in more places than the ground floor of the building I worked in. A thing seen at the time as rather 'anoraky' that is, the 'World Wide Web' or 'Internet' was becoming a bit of a thing. Apparently people on this new fangled 'web thang' were using Perl as a sort of 'core technology' in all sorts of things, even web sites but I couldn't at the time understand why or how. Yes, there were then, as there are now, many different languages and technologies to choose from. I could not though be bothered to learn about them all as I had found a programming language that was to me like a 'Swiss army knife'. After all, I thought, Perl may be around for a couple of years yet.

I used Perl in a vain attempt at a template driven static web site generator sort of thing that I must have coded hideously. It never took off amongst my then co-workers. One day much later, working for a company that makes trucks called 'Foden', I was asked to develop a web site on Microsoft IIS and chose to run ActiveState Perl to do this as I found that I could use Win32::ODBC to connect to a Microsoft database. This was a comparatively new thing at the time and you had to code in Microsoft VB or C (which makes me shudder even now) to achieve this, if, that is, Perl hadn't come to the rescue. I corresponded with the author of 'Net::Telnet' on a related project at the time and so discovered a strange and big thing called 'CPAN'. I was bowled over by this 'Comprehensive Perl Archive Network' thing, the likes of which I had never seen before.

Recent stuff I've done is a site management system re-write for the place I work at now (Fujitsu). This is a big one and takes a lot of time. I presently am known to dare to wear a #!/usr/bin/perl -w use strict; T-Shirt. People on occasions trust me to give them a sensible answer to Perl questions that they sometimes have. They claim that is easier asking me than reading a book, but that's their problem. If anything goes wrong, I didn't do it - OK !!

Jon Mitchell
Name:Jon Mitchell

Coming soon ....


Karen Pauley
Name:Karen Pauley
Job:Marty's Crab

Coming soon .... from our Foreign Correspondent.


Lynsey Corbett
Name:Lynsey Corbett
Job:Scrum Master

Chris & Mel
Photography Blog

A UX designer of many years experience, I am currently working as a Scrum Master for an agile technology company in Telford. Originally i2Q then later on Synetrix, we are now part of Capita Group producing educational applications.

Mike Bissett
Name:Mike Bissett
Job:Perl programmer
Links:My Webspace

I've been programming since the age of 5 when i got my first computer (amstrad cpc464). I started programming in Perl when a friend of mine introduced me to the internet and CGI at college 5 years ago. I've been working commercially as a developer for 3 years always doing perl (and a bit of delphi).


Mike Kemp
Name:Mike Kemp
Phil Ironside
Name:Phil Ironside
Job:Graphic Designer and Web Developer
Links:Malvern LUG
Creative Spaces

I started designing on a drawing board when mice were rodents and then discovered computers, then web development and then Perl. I use Perl as it allows me to do do things the way I can do them and there is a great community. It also supports vast colonies of small elf-like creatures who eat brambledock cheese.

I am also the leader of Malvern LUG.

Richard Clamp
Name:Richard Clamp

Coming soon ....


Richard Dawe
Name:Richard Dawe
Job:Software Engineer
Links:my site

I started off programming on the BBC Micro, then a bit on the Spectrum, then moved onto various PC BASICs and since then I've been programming C, Perl and latterly C++ with gcc and other Unixy tools on Solaris, Linux and a couple of embedded platforms.

I've been programming (fairly suckily) in Perl for 11 years, mostly for small scripts to manage web pages or when I couldn't face shell scripting. In the last year I've been doing more serious things with it and my Perl has improved a lot.

Job:Perl/XML/XSL/XSL-FO/LAMPish developer

Amongst many other activities I do a bit of perl. Been a developer since I wanted a bit more power than Cshell for my cgi-scripts, back in the mosaic days when an image tag was a clever thing indeed, and an HTML vocabulary could be written on the back of your hand. I keep meaning to write my first CPAN module, one of these days I might get around to it.


Tony Cadwallader
Name:Tony Cadwallader
Job:Lookin' darn cute
South Birmingham LUG

C'mon, if you don't know me by now you must be part of the Borg.



Now that Birmingham Perl Mongers have become a registered not-for-profit company, our membership policy has had to change. Prior to incorporation anyone joining the mailing list or coming along to a meeting could consider themselves a member of the group. However, due to our incorporated status, we need to recognise membership in a more official capacity. The key below indicates the meaning of each level listed in each person's biography above.

Board Member An officer of the registered company.
Member An annually paid-up official member of the company.
Administrator Our non-member mascots.
Contributor A non-member of the company, but someone who has contributed to the content of the website or presented technical talks to the group.
Subscriber A non-member of the company, but someone who is a regular attendee of the social and/or technical meetings, or a frequent poster to the mailing list.

If you wish to become a paid-up member of Birmingham Perl Mongers, an annual fee of £25 (twenty-five pounds) for waged members and £10 (ten pounds) for unwaged members is requested. See one of the board members at one of our meetings or readour Terms and Conditions of Membership for more details. The membership fee is used to help fund the group for technical meetings by helping to pay for expenses for guest speakers and paying for incidentals such as new bulbs or repairs to the projector.

If you simply wish to be added to the website as a regular attendee of the group, please email Barbie with a picture of yourself (it'll be resized if necessary) together with some background info about yourself. Use the existing bios above as a guide as to what to include.