March 29, 2010

This came sooner than I had expected, but I’m moving on: I have resigned from the University and will finish working here in the middle of June.

I have had a really interesting few years working in the University, first for the library (but sitting in the computing service) on the DSpace@Cambridge project, then in the Unilever Centre. In the 6 years I’ve been here I’ve worked with, and for, some really great people, and worked on some really interesting projects. In my current position I work with the incomparable Peter Murray-Rust and a bunch of the brightest folks you could hope to work with, on a programme of work I’m interested in because I helped to form it and take it forward. I wake up wanting to go to work. So why the change?

I’ve had a hankering to go back into small business whence I came for a while, and was presented with an opportunity to join another group of bright folk who are developing and delivering exciting new technology for online clothes retail. In June I’ll join Metail ( as lead developer, and move into the role of Head of Technology early next year. I can’t say too much about the business offering yet, or about the details of technology; suffice to say that I’ll have the opportunity to do some hardcore (“decidedly non-trivial”, for the geekwardly minded) algorithmic programming in the medium term, and I relish the challenges that lie beyond it.

It’s going to be an exciting couple of years!

9 Responses to “Changes”

  1. Chris Keene Says:

    Sad loss for HE! Best of luck your future role. Sounds great (if quite challenging!)


  2. Congratulations, Jim! Maybe now you’ll be able to afford that new trombone you’ve been itching for!!

  3. Nico Adams Says:


    all the best for the new job and much success to the start-up. You have been a great colleague and continue to be great friend….and without a doubt working with you and the others have been the most enjoyable years of my working life.

    It speaks volumes about the Higher Education sector and the University of Cambridge, that they don’t do their very best to keep you on…

    Thanks for the great time!

  4. Graham Triggs Says:

    At least you won’t be competing with the retailers in a very cut-throat market.

    Good luck!!

  5. William Says:

    Congratulations, a loss for Cambridge but exciting times for you with new challenges and new opportunities, all the very best of luck with metail. I like the name, and its immediate connotations of personalised retail. Cheers.

  6. Ben Whitaker Says:

    I curse you to live in interesting times.

    And a general hooray for change and the bravery to give it a go, it’s usually more stimulating.

  7. Sands Fish Says:

    Congrats Jim! You’ve gotta love that standing on the edge of a cliff feeling that comes with making a big life change. Good luck!

  8. Kevin Ashley Says:

    Congratulations on the change – but sadness for Cambridge & the rest of the HE/research community who will be losing your insight and energy. Hope it goes well for you & that our paths cross again some time in the future.

  9. Elliot Says:

    Best wishes Jim. Hope you can make a cameo appearance at OR ’10 🙂

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