Elliot Smith has worked in IT since 1996: at OpenAdvantage (an open-source solutions center) as a business analyst, as a learning technologist and web developer at the University of Birmingham, England, and as a technical writer for Armada Computer Publications. He runs his own training and consulting company, mooch labs, when he gets a chance. He has an M.Sc. in Artificial Intelligence and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Birmingham.
Rob Nichols first started using computers during his apprenticeship at Rolls-Royce in the early 1980s. At 23, he decided to change direction and started a degree in Geology and Geography at Cardiff University. By 1995 he had gained a Ph.D. from Bristol University, studying the behavior of quicksand. During his time in Bristol and in a subsequent lectureship at Leeds University, he started using the fledgling Internet to communicate with co-workers, gather information, and present Geological information in the form of his first web pages. Following his return to Britain from a lectureship in U.S.P. Fiji, Rob found himself without another lectureship position to go on to. So, changing direction again, he started working for a U.K. computer manufacturer, where he rose to the position of Engineering Manager, managing a team of seventy maintenance and networking engineers, and support staff. Following the collapse of the U.K. computer market in 2002 he moved on to the role of IT manager for a small business providing products and services to the water industry. In this role, Rob has had great success developing intranet-based business applications that streamlined business processes, saved time, and increased efficiency. In doing so, he transformed the IT department from a business cost to a profit generator by reducing costs and thereby increasing margins. When not working with computers, Rob and his wife reside happily in a small Midlands town in England, where he writes scripts for the local movie-makers club and photographs the local wildlife.