Sarah Woodall

My marginalia and some of the things that I do

just a doodle

CV – software engineering


An adaptable software engineer with twenty years’ experience

  • Quick learner—proven ability to pick up new systems and languages
  • Very good at debugging
  • Able to defuse conflict and maintain the trust of customers and colleagues
  • Particularly effective under time pressure

Experience includes

  • Six years in software build and release management—designing and implementing automated build systems; persuading a large development team to use source control; specifying and deploying issue-tracking systems; participating in triage decisions to determine content of releases
  • Nine years writing and maintaining C programs
  • Six years managing teams
  • Two years acting as technical liaison for clients
  • Nine years running a business


Scripting languages

Perl (4 years); GNU Make (4 years); Python (recently learned); Bash; InstallShield for Windows

Programming languages

C (9 years); PostScript (7 years)

Source control systems

Subversion; Mercurial; CVS; RCS; Harlequin’s home-grown system

Operating systems

Unix, including GNU/Linux; Windows


Emacs; Microsoft Visual C++


Also see my LinkedIn profile.

Since May 2012: Code Red Technologies Ltd as Principal software engineer

Responsible for product build and continuous integration system

1996–2000 (4 years): ARM Ltd as Principal software engineer

Leader of the Build Team within the Development Systems Business Unit
  • Designed and implemented a configurable multi-product, multi-platform automated build system that checked out sources and created tagged, labelled product builds as CD images ready to install.
  • Recruited and trained staff to use and maintain this system, providing a build service to the Business Unit: building products nightly, feeding back errors to developers, archiving the results and supplying tagged builds for test and release.
  • Administered a multiple-repository CVS source control database (serving about 50 users) including branching, merging and policy decisions on working practices.
  • Implemented and maintained InstallShield installers for several products.

1989–96 (7 years): Harlequin Ltd (now part of Global Graphics Software Ltd)

1994–6 (2 years): Software developer in the Electronic Publishing Division
  • Worked on the Core RIP (the portable heart of the PostScript-compatible interpreter), continually switching between Windows NT, Unix and Macintosh development environments in order to deal with portability issues.
  • Served as bug-fixing coordinator, organizing bug-fixing efforts and keeping management informed of our progress, and as software development representative in the bug triage team.
  • Was a member of the divisional group leaders’ committee, where technical decisions were made.
  • Performed integration and overnight builds on Unix, and source code administration.
1993–4 (1 year): Helping to establish a new office in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Was initially responsible, with one assistant, for front-line technical support and consultancy for OEM customers. Gradually built up a cross-site Customer Support Group by recruiting and training specialist technical support staff in Britain and the USA.
  • Designed the company’s first bug-tracking and support-call databases, and persuaded developers, testers, management and support staff to use them.
  • Managed releases, and finding and fixing bugs in the Mac, PC and Unix versions of the PostScript-compatible interpreter, especially the parallel version.
1992 (6 months): Manager of the new Technical Services Division

Responsible for company-wide computer systems, customer support and documentation services.

1989–92 (3.5 years): Developer

Worked on a Unix-based multi-processor high-resolution version of the PostScript-compatible interpreter. This included two years of overall responsibility for maintaining this product, and managing two other programmers. Fixed difficult parallelism-related bugs; implemented major improvements especially in memory management; maintained a close relationship with the OEM customer, including frequent site visits overseas.

1984–8 (4 years): Topexpress Ltd, Scientific and Computer Consultants

Worked on a variety of software projects with particular emphasis on compilers, run-time systems and symbolic debuggers.

  • Wrote an x86 back end for a C compiler.
  • Wrote the first symbolic debugger (ASD) for the ARM processor.
  • Ported a C compiler and added a runtime library and symbolic debugger.
  • Wrote a financial package with a graphical user interface on the Macintosh.

1982–4 (2 years): Aries Computers Ltd

Wrote an assembler for the Z80, and then used it to write communications software.

1981–2 (1 year): CICS Ltd

Wrote application software in BCPL on Z80-based microcomputers.

Education, training and other skills

University of Cambridge (Girton College)

BA Hons, Class II, in Maths (1980); Computer Science Diploma (1981)

Professional training

While at ARM I attended professional courses on software test automation, C++ programming and staff recruitment. I have also undergone extensive training in support of my publishing work, and have attained Advanced Membership of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders.

Other skills

  • Web implementation using HTML, CSS, Dreamweaver and WordPress customization
  • Extensive professional experience with Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, Microsoft Word and OpenOffice Writer, and in writing, editing and proofreading publishable copy for print and web

Recent (but not directly relevant) experience

I took a break from my main career in 2000 to pursue some other projects. In 2001 I served for six months as Agent to Anne Campbell, MP. I stood three times for election to the City Council, and I exhibited my art work in Cambridge Open Studios 2004.

In 2003 I set up my own company providing editorial and typesetting services to publishers. I have since completed over 100 book projects, ranging from advanced computer science texts to children’s fiction. Publishers include John Wiley, Pearson and CUP; tasks include page design, layout, copy-editing and proofreading. Meanwhile I have also operated a profitable holiday narrowboat hire business over several seasons, and I worked for six months as a Local Organizer for Yes in May 2011 Ltd.