Working in Scotland has its own rewards

Michael Hughes enjoys the benefits of the countryside while developing cutting edge software technology

Michael Hughes enjoys the benefits of the countryside while developing cutting edge software technology

There are few jobs where you can see lambs being born as you go about your daily work - unless you're a farmer of course, writes Roisin Woolnough.

But Michael Hughes, technical director at software company Graham Technology, says it is one of the joys of working in Scotland. "I have cows and sheep grazing outside my office window,"he explains.

"One of the best things about Scotland is the natural beauty of the countryside and it's perfect for people who like the outdoors, sailing, golf and activities like that. The cost of living is less than other places yet the quality of life is often better."

Not that Hughes works somewhere remote like the outer Hebrides - his office is in Glasgow.

For him, one of the other attractions of working in Scotland is the community atmosphere. "It is very family-orientated and there are lots of people you have known for years. There are sets of people who have never wanted to leave and those who have been away and decided to come back."

Hughes himself is a good example of a Scotsman with a strong sense of loyalty - he has been working for Graham Technology for the past 14 years and has seen the company expand from four people (and one of those was the postman) to the 200 that now work there.

Hughes is responsible for leading a team of highly experienced software engineers, using cutting-edge technology like Wap, C, C++, Java, Unix, NT and HTML. He was also the architect of a software product called GT-X.

This multi-channel development tool, is used in numerous call centres and allows applications to be built which can integrate back-end systems and be deployed on the front end at the same time. For example, a call centre can deploy GT-X on the Internet, Epoc and Wap phones and television.

Hughes claims GT-X is the first real multi-channel development tool in the world.

curriculum vitae

Name: Michael Hughes

Job: technical director, Graham Technology

Age: 39

Qualifications: computer science degree

IT skills: three years' research into Ada compilers, two years' research with the Turing Institute, C programmer and Unix developer

Hobbies: touch rugby, swimming, history

Favourite place to hang out: cruising the lochs and coastline of west Scotland

Favourite film: Shawshank Redemption

Favourite book: The Victors by Stephen Ambrose

Favourite pub: Uisige Beatha, Glasgow

Hughes on Hughes: honest, friendly, determined

Best thing about Scotland: the people and their attitude

Worst thing about Scotland: long dark winter nights and poor weather

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