Our technical team are a clever bunch!



03 Jun 2021




We haven’t posted much on this blog about our technical team here at World Programming and we plan to fix this by posting a series of articles celebrating our brilliant team members.

We have a very strong team of amazingly talented people with the range of skills needed to build complex software products. This includes mathematicians, software engineers, GUI designers, web developers, QA engineers, technical authors, tech support, data scientists, sales and marketing, admin and all the roles that go into running a successful team.

The strength of our team was brought into focus last week as we said farewell to one of our very senior software engineers, Alastair Houghton, and we wish him well as he takes a prestigious position he has long sought at Apple in Cupertino as a senior software engineer on the Swift team. Alastair had this to say on leaving:

“I started at World Programming in February 2019, a little over two years ago; I remember my first day, with our engineering manager setting me up to build WPS on my PC. WPS is an interesting product, because it works across a wide variety of platforms, some of which (z/OS especially) I never even imagined I might get to touch during my career; it also contains a great variety of code, from low-level, cross-platform JIT compilation, I/O and memory management, file and network wire protocols, SQL optimisation, math and ML libraries, text and chart rendering, desktop and web UI and even a web server. There really is something in it for everyone.

In my time here, I’ve worked on a wide variety of things and indeed with a variety of people; everything from the core WPS product and the associated WPS Hub through to Docker, Kubernetes and cloud technologies. I became the managed services team lead and this team was then integrated in with the WPS Hub and cloud teams. I’ve spoken to customers, helped the solutions team with customer facing problems, built tools that are used by other engineers, fixed bugs in open source software including GCC, implemented language features in WPS itself, built and managed DevOps infrastructure, and much more besides.

Fast forward to May 2021 and I’m leaving to take a job with Apple in California, working on the Swift language runtime. I’m sad to leave World Programming; it’s a great place to work and I will miss many of the people who work here.”

We will miss you here, Alastair, and Apple are very lucky to have one Alastair Houghton on their team.

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