Stephen Deary - CV (résumé)



Experienced software developer and project manager with emphasis on delivering mission critical solutions in finance and life assurance.
Particular expertise in design and development, and ensuring products remain ahead of the market by utilising latest technologies including delivery over the internet using web services (HTML, Javascript, XML, SOAP, AJAX), and on a global basis (involving multi-language multi-cultural considerations).
Development and delivery of the market leading life underwriting software for Swiss Re (C++, PHP, Visual Basic, HTML and Javascript).


  • In depth knowledge of C#, ASP.NET, C++, Flash, Visual Basic, Javascript, HTML (+DOM), XML (+DOM), Web Services, PHP, MYSQL, Joomla
  • Experience of wide variety of development tools and languages including Java and cross-platform technologies such as MQSeries
  • Strong system design/architect skills, leading to innovative solutions to real business needs
    Track record in quickly assimilating new technologies - latest example is Pictony, a puzzle game app for Apple and Android smartphones
  • Results and quality focused, to ensure solutions are delivered on target and need minimal user acceptance testing. Experience of automating testing to help achieve this
  • Track record of delivering solutions into multi-lingual/multi-cultural markets
  • Strong technical director providing both long term development strategies and short term client focused solutions
  • Experienced team leader and mentor with proven track record for enabling teams to develop new ideas and design strategies
  • Business knowledge of financial accounting and insurance (especially life underwriting)


Headway Performance since Jan 2003

Director / Consultant

Technical development consultancy providing services for the financial services industry. Including:

  • Swiss Re: Migrating actuarial calculators from Excel spreadsheets into web pages (HTML, Javascript and Flash)
  • Legal and General: Development of interactive life underwriting rules using AURA (Automated Underwriting Risk Analysis system developed by RGA).
    Development of automated test tool to enable underwriting rules to be tested with minimal human intervention (Visual Basic, HTML DOM)
  • Developing automated testing software to ensure that all web pages and links are present; formatted correctly; and to ensure that spreadsheet and web pages produce same results (Visual Basic, HTML DOM)
  • Developed comparison programs to highlight differences between versions of the same web site (some 30000 pages)
  • Development of web sites (HTML, Javascript, Flash, C# and ASP.NET, PHP, MySQL, Joomla, vBulletin)

Swiss Re August 1997 - Jan 2003

Head of Development - MAGNUM

Magnum is a leading software product for automatically underwriting an application for life assurance. Responsible for taking system master-minded under M&G (see below) and making it into a truly “global” solution.

Key achievements:

  • Changed Magnum from single-user to a scalable multi-user system
  • Re-engineered underwriting engine from English to Unicode. Versions now operational in multiple European languages, and also in Chinese and Arabic
  • Developed a new interface to Magnum allowing it to be used as a web service, using XML over SOAP
  • Developed cross-platform interfaces using Java, CORBA and MQSeries
  • In Hong Kong personally involved in first installation through from specification to implementation
  • Developed a technical strategy that enabled Magnum to become a key component in client’s own systems
  • Established and mentored a development team of 11 in London, following move of company from Cheltenham
  • Established support teams in Switzerland, Hong Kong, Canada, South Africa and America, providing training and support in both technical and business aspects

Mercantile & General 1990 - August 1997

Technical Director - MAGNUM

Responsible for producing working system, resulting from embryonic idea grown in R&D department of parent company (Prudential):

  • Successfully produced first system using Nexpert expert system shell. Implemented on life assurance agents laptops, for use in field
  • Redesigned product to separate underwriting rules from core rule processing engine, enabling faster and easier customisation
  • Developed own expert system using C++ enabling removal of Nexpert, and allowing non-IT staff to take control of the underwriting rules
  • Never missed deadline in spite of constraints of small team and tight budget

Mercantile & General 1968 - 1990

Accountancy, Finance and various IT roles

Trained as accountant and worked on year-end accounts production until 1985. Foresaw how introduction of microcomputers would help:

  • Introduced first spreadsheet into M&G in 1980
  • Introduced first IBM PC into Finance department in 1983
  • Wrote file transfer program to move data between PC and mainframe
  • Moved into IT to head PC support team, grew from 5 to 500 PCs
  • Introduced first local area network (Novell) into M&G
  • Wrote an information delivery system – fore-runner to intranet (Basic/assembler)


B.Sc in Computing – Gloucestershire College of Arts and Technology – 1990

Personal & Interests

Married with 6 children and two dogs

Living in Truro, Cornwall

Play badminton & tennis. Latest hobby is watching our son fence sabre.

Technical Appendix

Smartphone development

Objective-C for the iPhone and Java for Android,
plus jQuery Mobile

2+ years


Back-end development behind a number of web-sites that I support

4+ years


Adobe (Macromedia), includes ActionScript

6+ years

C# and Visual Basic .Net


6+ years

ASP & ASP.NET (incl. ASP.NET 3.5)


6 years

HTML and javascript

Includes CSS and DOM programming, plus jQuery

9+ years

Web Services

Microsoft platforms, based on SOAP

3 years


Includes XSLT and programming the XML DOM

4+ years

C and C++


15 years

Visual Basic


15 years


Microsoft Word and Excel

5+ years



2.5 years


Borland JBuilder, includes re-engineering Magnum to run in Java

3 years

Expert systems

Nexpert Object

2.5 years



5 years


Wrote expert system engine for Magnum

8 years

Cross platform

MQ series, CORBA, OrbixWeb, Peerlogic

4 months


IBM mainframe - IBM PC

wrote mainframe to PC file transfer program (possibly first in the world)


Microsoft Access

15 years


MySQL & SQL server

3 years


Wrote DB engine for Magnum

8 years



Managed implementation of 500 PCs, including links to IBM mainframe


Microsoft NT/2000

6 years – 23 PCs on self contained ring – part of 19000 corporate network



No infections in 20 years



Successfully removed viruses from 3 corporate networks

Macro Assembler


3 years up to 1997



Wrote several games drivers, including first-ever port of Sierra games (such as Kings Quest) to Amstrad PC.