picnicerror.net is a personal blog where I post various ideas, thoughts and discoveries through both my day to day work in marketing technology and general hobbies and interests.

The technology content covers all sorts of things, but mainly Amazon Web Services, SQL Server and Business Intelligence, Big Data, Data visualisation and analysis, as well as pretty much anything that grabs my interest. Working for a marketing company, a lot of my work also encompasses working with various analytics packages and marketing tools, so you may see some posts about discoveries in that area too.

I started out in web development before discovering that working with data was so much more fun. Through using SQL Server as storage for .NET websites, I found my way to Business Intelligence, and eventually ended up working with AWS, which is my main area of work these days.

In terms of personal interests and hobbies, you’ll see content covering topics such as football (soccer to the unenlightened), NFL and anything else that I think’s worth sharing. I was also running a separate site called picnicerror gaming but have decided to consolidate everything here under the main site so there’s less admin.

The gaming content is mainly random musings about video games, the games industry, and juggling gaming with other responsibilities in life, such as parenting and work.

I’m a long-standing gamer, although struggling a little to find as much time as I’d like these days. I never had a home console as a kid, so I was restricted to going round to my friends’ houses to play games on the NES, Master System, SNES, Mega Drive and so on. Then one day I got a Gameboy and my life was complete! I moved onto the PC once PC gaming really took off, and quickly became a massive fan. Command & Conquer: Red Alert, and UFO: Enemy Unknown (X-COM to those not in the UK) were the first two games I completely fell in love with, and are still favourites to this day. After a while, I discovered Doom 2, and developed a taste for first-person shooters. This was confirmed when I got my hands on Half-Life, and discovered that as well as great fun, games could also tell a compelling story.

I eventually moved on to consoles when Microsoft released the Xbox. I’d seen the talk about Halo and Project Gotham Racing and knew that I wanted to play them. Thus began my 20-year (and counting) love affair with Xbox. These days I don’t have the time or inclination to keep a PC up to date, so I do the majority of my gaming on the Xbox Series X. It’s quick, easy, and has some great games. I wouldn’t class myself as an Xbox fanboy - I’ve owned a Nintendo Gamecube & Wii, and I would absolutely buy a PS5 if I had the time to play it. But real life intrudes, so I must focus my efforts in one place. Plus, having spent over 15 years building up my Gamerscore, it’s hard to get out of that habit!

I’d love to hear from people who stumble across the site. General feedback, thoughts on my posts (positive or otherwise), or just to say hello, please join in! You can use the social links in the header if you want to get in touch.