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"El Capitolio" in Havana, Cuba

Who is Neil Smith?... Where is he from and what does he like?

Well my brief history goes a little bit like this ....

My History

After leaving school, I opted to enter the hospitaliy market and study hotel management under a City and Guilds modern apprenticeship. My first role was working in reception at the Jarvis International Hotel in Watford, Hertfordshire, before moving to a smaller individual hotel called Tewinbury Farm Hotel in Welwyn, Hertfordshire.

At Tewinbury, I worked in the reception team, before moving into Reservations and Conferencing. Part of this role involved learning how the internal hotel reservations system (IGS Hotel) worked as well as learning about the reservations and local conference market in general.

From using the IGS Hotel system, I began to show and gain interest in hotel technology as well as general IT and networking essentials, including Novell Netware, print sharing and network topology. With this knowledge I began to fill the role of IT administrator at Tewinbury and was asked to produce a website for the hotel.

This was my first introduction to websites, the web and the internet. I constructed the website using Microsoft Frontpage and produced the website in a couple weeks. It was a very simple brochure website, but I was inspired and driven to learn more.

From Tewinbury, I took a greater challenge of helping a new luxury boutique hotel. A renovation project in Hertfordshire, that needed advice and help in setting up the hotel from an IT and operations perspective. I started at Coltsfoot Country Retreat in June 2000 with a big challenge ahead. I introduced a Windows Server environment, (Domain Controller, DNS, Email and File / Print Sharing), as well as developing the first website for Coltsfoot, coupled with an online reservation system for the hotel. Full integration was made into the Hotel PMS (RoomMaster 2000).

After being at Coltsfoot for a few years and seeing the place grow I decided to pursue a career within web development and in particular Adobe ColdFusion. I started locally with as a contract HTML developer and designer, before moving to London for my first ColdFusion web development role with the Royal Veterinary College.

After working at the RVC for some time, I decided to combine some time abroad in Andalucia, Spain with my new ColdFusion based role. Having lived the Spanish life and culture for 12 months, I decided to return to the UK to grow my career within web development and online solutions.

This formed the basis of where I am now and how I work now. I have gained great experience in different industries, as well as learning from and meeting some great people along the way. I am now consulting to various clients on a per project and contract basis, providing online web based software applications, websites and solutions.

So what interests me?

I enjoy travelling and discovering new places, having travelled to various European countries as well as the USA and Australia. I take a great interest in hospitality and in particular small individual hotels, pubs, inns and unique venues. I also enjoy playing Football and Rugby.