I don't normally go in for the tagging memes but I think this is a good one and Rob asked me to answer it - albeit a while back but it has given me time to think about it 🙂
There are lots of people who have had (and still do) a big influence on me and I actually couldn't choose which to write about as many of them read my blog and I couldn't choose between then and leave others out. Like Rob, I decided who had an impact maybe in a more unusual way - not so much support or mentoring but almost the opposite.
In that case I have to thank a chap called Mr Money (seriously) back at Wirral Grammar School which I attended from age 11 to 17. As we reached A level stage I couldn't really decide what courses to take and in the end plumped for geography, history and business studies (I think!). I was a bit disappointed there wasn't A Level computing but this was the era of the BBC Micro at my school and one Acorn Archimedes. We'd just got a PC at home so I figured I could learn computing stuff at home.
After about 2 months of Business Studies I decided to give up on it. I just wasn't learning enough and in one spectacular moment of petulance I remember saying to Mr Money that I was learning more reading The Sunday Times from cover to cover than I was attending his classes. Needless to say he was non too happy about this and advised me to consider changing courses. I promptly did and took up the computing AS level (which also meant I had to take Science and Technology in Industry as a complementary AS level). Both course turned out to be great and I got to spend time in a small class with my mates Richard Jones, John Kirby and our manic computer teacher Robert <forgot surname>. He was a loony who regularly battled with the establishment of the school and we loved it. He taught us Cobol, computer science stuff and we had a great time. I think I ended up with an A for that course which is not surprising - in fact it's easy when you enjoy something I think.
That choice to ditch Business Studies in favour of an AS level in computing is probably why I am sat here today. As well as some fantastic teachers at Loughborough University (Derek Stephens I salute you).