Jennifer Liddle

Executive Summary

Jennifer is an experienced programmer/analyst with a wide range of skills and an in-depth knowledge of software development and system design. In recent years she has concentrated in Perl, C and C++ under various flavours of Unix; CGI scripts in Perl utilising Javascript, CSS and Ajax, and handling very large Oracle databases.

Contact Details

Jennifer can be contacted via email at Her address, telephone number, fax number, mobile number, number you first thought of and largest prime number are all available upon request.


C, C++, PERL, X, Motif, Qt
Unix, Linux, SQL, Oracle, mySQL, XML, Client/Server, Embedded


Having worked in the IT industry for the last thirty years, she has a solid grounding in all aspects of software engineering, ranging from coding through program and system design, to testing and system maintenance.

She has worked on several projects from their initial customer requirement capture stages, and followed them through system design, program design, coding, testing, documenting and customer acceptance, and on to customer training and support. She has also worked on mature systems, performing maintenance work and responding to customer requests for bug fixes and enhancements.

Recent Contracts

2004 - current
The Sanger Institute

Senior Developer

During my first four years at the Sanger I worked with the Database Applications Group, mostly designing Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS) and tracking systems to record plates and samples as they moved through the various sequencing and genotyping pipelines. This work was done largely in Perl.

Since 2008 I have been part of the Variation Informatics team, working with the genotyping and sequencing laboratories to provide sample and QC pipelines. This work has been split fairly evenly between three main areas.

  • Stand-alone programs making up the post genotyping pipeline, written in Perl and C++. These programs involved handling very large amounts of data, and had to be optimised for memory and speed.
  • Tracking and QC systems. Many of these involved developing CGI scripts in Perl, making use of Javascript, CSS and Ajax to produce intuitive and efficient user interfaces for the researchers to use.
  • Being responsible for creating and maintaining essential infrastructure for use by the rest of the team, including core Perl modules and the team's own apache web servers.

All of my work at the Sanger has involved close collaboration with other programming teams, the Systems and Database teams, and the laboratory teams. The databases used were Oracle and mySQL.

I maintain some of my work as an open source project on SourceForge.

I have also promoted the work done by my teams by giving talks and presentations to the rest of the institute.

2001 - 2004
J-Squared Limited


Since leaving ACIS in November 2001 I have been working on various projects and contracts for various clients:

Software development in C++ on a Viper single board computer from Arcom running embedded Linux and using the Qt graphics library. An NDA prevents me giving more details.
Commissioning and installing a Linux server with Samba, FTP and remote CVS access.
Hydra is J-Squared's own telemetry project. This is based around a PIC16F876 microcontroller for which I developed code using the CCS 'C' compiler and the MPLAB development system. Our two main customers have used this product for remote monitoring of the temerature of cold stores and for monitoring airport runway lights.
Simoco Limited
Interfacing a Wharton Clock to a Sun Sparcstation 10 to provide an accurate time source, and propogating this via a DMC microwave unit to the rest of the system.
2000 - 2001
Advanced Communications and Information Systems Ltd


I joined ACIS in November 2000 to develop embedded software for their real-time passenger information systems. This was implemented using C on a single board X86 based processor, transporting live GPS data over a MPT1327 based trunked radio system.

I also designed and implemented a graphical front-end for displaying passenger information, using HTML templates and a web browser.

1997 - 2000
Muscat Ltd


Since joining Muscat (later bought by Dialog, then changing their name to Brightstation, then splitting into Smartlogic and Webtop) as a Software Engineer I have been involved with developing their core information retrieval product and with bespoking it for specific customer requirements.

The majority of the development is in C++ on Unix and NT systems for deployment on corporate intranets, and also includes work in Java, Javascript, Perl scripts, XML parsing and generation, and Oracle.
  • Worked on a Linux version of the Webcheck PDA for Webtop, producing versions in both Java and C++ using the GTK graphic libraries.
  • Designed and wrote an XML parser to index the Royal Society of Chemistry's bibliographic database.
  • Installed and maintained an Oracle database, and developed a set of Perl modules and SQL scripts to read and index a large Oracle database for Yellow Pages using a combination of PL/SQL and the Perl DBD and DBI modules.
  • Team Leader for Empower 2.0, the second major release of Muscat's core information retrieval product.
  • Producing a bespoked information retrieval system for the Institute of Electrical Engineers for use with their INSPEC database containing bibliographic data relating to technical literature in physics, electrical engineering, electronics, communications, control engineering, computers and computing, and information technology.
  • Produced NewsExplorer II for Reuters. This is designed to allow Reuter's customers to filter their newsfeed and alert them automatically to news articles of interest to them, as well as providing powerful search capabilities.
Infomatrix Ltd
Barton, Cambs


A short project concerned with the collection and analysis of a large volume of data from a radio network. This was a client/server system consisting of a Microsoft SQL database on an NT Server to store the data, with clients running under Windows 95 using ODBC to talk to the database. The clients were a program written in Borland PowerBuilder to write the data to the database, and an analysis system developed in Microsoft Access 95/97 and Visual Basic for Applications to produce management reports, charts, and graphs.

I was responsible for the design and implementation of the SQL database and the Access front-end, and did a significant amount of maintenance and optimisation to the Borland PowerBuilder sub-system.

British Telecom
British Telecom Research Laboratories
Martlesham Heath


Eighteen months as a contractor at the British Telecom Research Laboratories at Martlesham Heath working on their Meterlink project, which was concerned with the remote collection of data from water, gas and electricity meters via telephone lines. The system consisted of a core system written in a combination of C, C++ and ProC (embedded SQL) running under Unix, together with a front end developed using Oracle Forms and running on PCs under Windows. Information was stored in an Oracle database and accessed using a client/server architecture. During this time I fulfilled a number of roles:

  • Developer. Part of the programming team using C and embedded SQL to develop the core programs.
  • Maintenance. Designed and coded enhancements and bug fixes to an existing communications library written in C++ using a fully object-oriented design.
  • Designed and developed a test harness written in C++ under Unix to simulate a Speech Applications Platform used to test the Meterlink application.
  • Configuration management. Responsible for maintaining and enhancing a source code management system using PVCS. This included developing unix scripts to provide ease of access for developers, to integrate PVCS with the Oracle fault reporting database, and to provide management reports. Also responsible for producing builds of named versions of the software for release to the testing and integration team.
  • Forms developer. Used Oracle Forms 4.5 to produce a Fault Reporting System for use by the developers, testers and users.
Cambridge Business Park


Nokia produce a range of optical fibre based switching cards for use in telecommunication systems. During my nine months here I worked as part of the team producing software to allow engineers and users to control and interrogate these cards.

The software was developed under Microsoft Windows 95 with Microsoft Visual C++ and the MFC, using a fully object-oriented design.



Quadratron produced their own office automation suite called QOffice (later renamed to Cliq) consisting of an integrated set of modules including a word processor, diary and scheduler, scripting language, electronic mail, database, and forms designer. The entire system was written in C and was successfully ported to at least a dozen varieties of Unix. The system was sold to several large corporate customers including the National Westminster Bank and the European Community headquarters in Brussels. It's unique selling points were its portability, its ability to be customised through a built in scripting language, and its ability to handle multiple languages and character sets, even within a single document.

During the four years I spent working on this system, I had the following roles and responsibilities:

  • Maintenance work, responding to customer requests for enhancements and investigation and fixing of faults.
  • Developed a Fax gateway module and fully integrated it into the existing system.
  • Converting the system from a character based system running on dumb terminals to a graphical system running under Motif on X workstations.
  • Feasibility studies, including producing prototypes, of a Windows 3.1 and Windows NT port of the system. This included using ODBC to access various data sources.
Poppytime Limited
Smithfield, London


Poppytime were a small software house specialising in bespoke applications programming. Because of the small size of the company (it only employed eight people at its largest) I was involved with all aspects of the project life-cycle; from pre-sales support and discussing customer requirements though to design and programming and with installation and training and with ongoing maintenance and support. Some of the projects in which I were involved included

  • Accounting, with full Sales, Purchase and Nominal Ledgers, with batch entry and control for all transactions. Written in C running on DOS based networks.
  • Stock system specifically designed for wholesale meat traders and abattoirs and integrated into the accounting system.
  • Membership and subscription systems for various professional bodies, including an interface to BACS for the automatic collection of professional fees.
  • A point-of-sale system for use in Bureau-de-change which ran on specialised terminals and handled currency conversions.

Pre-1985 Various

Earlier in my career I have been known to write document control and warehousing systems in Cobol on HP3000 minicomputers; a simulation of crystal diffraction from a spallation neutron source in Fortran on an IBM mainframe; a system for a reinsurance broker in a combination of Basic and Z80 assembler; utilities in 6502 assembler; my own 6502 assembler written in Commadore Basic; a Z80 disassembler running on CP/M; and an indexed sequential filing system in C.

Back to Jennifer's home page.