Introducing John “JJ” Jenkins…
John works in our Uxbridge, UK office as a Technical Support Engineer. Uxbridge is in London, just north of Heathrow Airport. One of the most experienced members of our global team, he has a focus on consumability, and aims to have bugs fixed once, and never see the same root cause arise again.
Straight after completing his education, John started working in the IT world. He worked on mainframes as a computer operator and then moved into COBOL and PLAN programming. He helped implement one of the first mainframe-based OLTP systems. In the late 1970s when working for Rolls-Royce he promoted the introduction of Apple micro-computers – which were considered as a ‘toy’ at that time. Later he appeared as a guest on regional television, which did a program on micro-computer hobbyists.
In the 1980s, John started working for the retail giant Debenhams, again on mainframes. But it was here that he was introduced to the MultiValue database of Reality. He worked on cutting-edge OLTP systems for the credit card side of the business, and developed cheap micro-computers as communications front-end processors for Reality systems to interface with EPOS via modem. He joined a management buyout and formed DISC International (later to be FBH Associates) which developed interactive Videotex systems and communications based on X.25 – bleeding-edge at the time. The company developed and installed public and private videotex-based OLTP systems for most multi-value databases based on a “Plug’n’Play” virtual machine developed in “Pick” Assembler, PMA and C. The systems stood behind British Telecom and SAPONet/BELTEL (South Africa) amongst others. They also built William Hill’s first online betting system using Prime, and (possibly the first) public online teleshopping sales systems for ASDA and Littlewoods. As technology and needs moved on, the software was enhanced to include a U2-based telephony interfaces for interactive voice applications (“PhoneData”).
John later left FBH Associates to join UniData, where he worked as a consultant on COBOL Direct Connect and RedBack (now WebDE), and had the pleasure of upgrading the system at William Hill to run on RedBack. After UniData and VMARK merged to form Ardent - acquired by Informix - John moved to manage Informix “Web Solutions” Professional Services team working on projects including Lastminute.com and BBC FutureWorld. When IBM acquired Informix’s database business, John managed U2 Support and led this team for several years. On Rocket’s acquisition of the business he happily returned to the technical role he now holds.
John is married to Anne, a qualified teacher, who works as a teaching assistant at their local senior school. They are very proud parents to two daughters – Siân and Ceri. Siân has two Masters Degrees and a Doctorate in Mathematics from Bath University. Ceri has a Bachelor of Science in Geography from Swansea University.
Outside of work, John enjoys writing fiction, reading about Science, painting murals (personal and by commission), has published Intellectual Property in opto-electronics and location-based services, and has been part of MENSA. He says, “I don’t have a house, I have a shelter for a computer network”. John also enjoys travelling and has been to Ireland, the US, Europe, Russia and Africa but has not yet managed to add the AsiaPac to his portfolio.