Nicholas Freear got into software and educational technology through a series of happy accidents. During research for a PhD in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Birmingham he was thrown in at the deep end, learning to program in C++, using the Windows API, and programming against the interface card for an early digital camera (a "frame grabber", since you ask).
Bizarrely, this didn't put him off. In his next job, he was a programmer at a high-tech startup company helping to create products from voice recognition and speech synthesis software.
However, the World Wide Web was calling. After a character-building stint as a self-employed developer and accessibility consultant, Nicholas joined the team that was working on The Open University's next generation e-learning environment. And so, he was introduced to Moodle and the open-source software community. Following several fruitful years, Nick joined the Institute of Educational Technology at The OU, where he got to talk to more academics, pursue his accessibility and usability interests, and work on many different education and research projects.
When he's not trying to understand the mysteries of the Web, Nick likes to sing, cycle, listen to loud music, and learn about all things Chinese. Occasionally all at the same time.