Who am I? Career

created: 19 January 2009


Links to main website



Links to other 'Who am I?' pages

About-me Home

My Faith

My Education

My Illness- CFS/ME

John Barrs

Mini CV    (download full CV in rtf format) (web page version full CV)

Born:            UK January 1944

Educated:     Schools in Lincoln, Alresford and Brockenhurst UK

                    University of Southampton UK               B.Sc. Hon’s Botany, 1964

                    Covenant Seminary, Missouri USA         MDiv (cum laude), 1977

Married with three Children

Work:           University of Southampton, Botany Dept          1965-74

Research  Supervisor, Computer Specialist, Lecturer in Statistics and Computation

Those were the days of main-frame computers and a-numeric biologists. I was a mathematician who had gone into biology out of a love for the subject, so was much in demand. I enjoyed lecturing, programming and monitoring PhD students.

L’Abri Fellowship, Greatham UK             1977-79


L’Abri is a residential Christian Study Centre dedicated to the proposal that Christianity is intellectually defensible and that if it is true, and God has spoken then it must affect who we are and how we live. A worker, is a personal mentor to the students and helps them in work and study. I did a fair amount of lecturing there too.

 Computer Software Industry, UK            1979-97

Various Support posts in three companies. acknowledged as world-wide expert in my field.

I started in the mini-computer field writing and supporting business software, but graduated to support of micro computer software, initially on 8-bit machines, but then into the PC environment. The product was a database (Superbase) which grew up from the Commodore 64 to the Windows™ version. In time I became head of Support and responsible for training materials. I was also responsible for the ‘bug-base’ and alpha-beta testing as well. Ultimately ‘guru’

 I became ill with chronic headaches in 1997 and have not worked since.





My illness does not mean that I am completely incapable. I have typed up material for other people and acted as an editor on papers (extended essays) that have been privately published. For some years I have supported the an address-system application at L’Abri-UK which I wrote for them. I have recently ‘sorted out’ (i.e. rewritten) a small accounts system for a local church and I have created and maintain my own web-page. The common factor in all these activities is that I can work at my own pace from home and if I have to take a couple of days or even a week off through tiredness or incapacity it does not impact the results which have not been time critical to that kind of degree. The ‘Accounts System’ is a recent example. I would estimate that ‘in the old days’ it would have cost two, maybe three days of my time. (I used to be charged out at £600.00 per diem, not that I got that myself! and when self-employed I used to charge myself out at £250.00 for single day of consultancy)  This recent ‘sorting out’ took about six months of lapsed time working by email with one the church officers concerned.

To be entirely honest, I think I no longer have the capability to learn something like a ‘new computer language’ – Superbase’s next incarnation will be a platform independent product using a language called SMPOL; but despite my love of Superbase I have made no attempt to be involved in the testing of this next generation because of the new language, even though it is clearly very similar to languages I have used in the past like Pascal.

Assuming there are no vacancies for Superbase work at the kind of speed I am capable of I see more that my abilities could be used in an editorial way, maybe in documentation and the typing up specialist papers.