Graduating from Strathclyde University with a BSc. in Physics and Applied Physics in 1995, Nicol went on to complete a Post Graduate Diploma in Neural Computation in 1996. Neural Computation is a new combination of well established scientific disciplines that have a common interest in the principles of information processing in large populations of concurrently active and highly interconnected processing elements. Applications include image processing, process optimisation, motor-control, and various aspects of data analysis and prediction.
After leaving university, Nicol joined Concentric Systems in Hamilton as an IT trainer / systems administrator to write and teach introductory IT courses in Windows, MS Word, Excel and the internet. Nicol managed and maintained their network of PCs and servers and assisted the general public with IT queries.
In 1998 Nicol joined Icelandic owned Hugur UK Ltd based in Glasgow and spent 8 weeks in Reykjavik, Iceland to receive first-hand XAL development training from some of XAL’s founding programmers. Nicol completed his hands-on training with 3 weeks on-site development work on a major Warehouse Management System project. On returning to Glasgow, Nicol started as a Junior Developer to specify, modify, test and implement XAL with clients as their core business solution. Nicol quickly gained expertise in systems integration, creating seamless links between XAL and other business software such as EDI, online banking, and other third-party packages.
Nicol progressed to a Senior Developer position for XAL development and began creating Business Intelligence (BI) solutions using SQL Analysis Services for SQL 2000, and Visual Studio 2005 BI development studio for SQL 2005. Both database platforms were combined with ProClarity as a front-end client. He also provided technical training to customers and mentoring fellow colleagues in ERP and BI development tools/languages and SQL database maintenance. During his time at EJS, Nicol has successfully upgraded dozens of XAL systems to the latest application version along with several native to SQL migrations. Nicol has been lead developer on all major XAL projects during these years including the creation of Warehouse Management, Service Management, EDI, Hire Tracking and Project Tracking modules,
3 years after joining Hugur (then re-branded as EJS UK), Nicol was appointed as Development Manager to manage the workload of the development team dealing with the delivery of ERP, BI & EPOS solutions while developing the EJS support website to allow customers to record and track ongoing support calls. During this time, Nicol studied for a Professional Certificate in Management with the Open University. Combined with his technical and business process experience, this understanding of the methods, techniques and language of the various functional areas of companies and organisations ensure clear communication, critical to successful development and support.
Nicol has achieved numerous Microsoft accreditations critical to allowing companies to qualify as a Microsoft Partner including:
- Microsoft Certified Professional (SQL 7.0, 2000)
- Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (SQL Server 2005)
- Microsoft Certified Business Management Solutions Specialist
In 2007, Nicol left EJS to join forces with John Docherty to continue providing XAL clients with outstanding XAL & BI development and support solutions along with SQL server maintenance using their combined 20 years experience in XAL.