This week we’re celebrating Kevin Burges working at Formedix for 20 years! Here he is being presented with some very nice whiskys and a certificate in appreciation for all his hard work and dedication over the years.
So where did it all begin?
Kevin started out working for IBM where he was part of the network and multimedia lab, designing and testing hardware and software. He got a place at Strathclyde University to do an (Hons) degree in Computer and Electronic Systems while he kept up his position with IBM during summer breaks.
Towards the end of his degree, one of his lecturers told him of Mark Wheeldon who was busily founding Formedix. Kevin was invited to do some research, to which he said yes! This soon developed into a full time role. Kevin was happy to get lots of all round good experience in a start-up company and really be able to make his mark.
Kevin started out working as a Developer from his flat in the centre of Glasgow, whilst Mark worked from his spare room in the Southside of Glasgow.
Somehow the 20 years slipped by!
Over time Kevin’s role has changed from Developer to Senior Developer, to Technical Director and now Head of Product Management. Kevin works with customers and uses their feedback to enhance the platform and create new features.
Back in 2002, Kevin was working on finding a way of using XML to configure the fledging Formedix EDC system (which he had managed to do) when he discovered the joys of CDISC ODM. A standardized way of defining trials already in place – what’s not to love?! The focus in Formedix changed right there from trying to develop an EDC system to enabling rapid standards-based study design and generation of existing EDC systems.
Kevin started to review specifications for CDISC and was asked to join the ODM team. He has won awards for outstanding achievement towards advancing CDISC standards for clinical trials and for contributions towards the CDISC mission.
Nowadays, he’s part of the Data Exchange Standards team which includes ODM, Dataset XML and Define XML.
Best thing about Formedix
Kevin enjoys the city centre location and the office is a nice environment to work in, with friendly people.
As someone who’s been at Formedix from the beginning, Kevin has seen the whole business evolve from what started out as ideas and instinct – and it’s really rewarding.
Worst thing about Formedix!
The worst thing is the sheer amount of cakes and treats that are brought in! Too many calories… and the “snack palace” of temptation is situated very close to Kevin’s desk!
When he’s not working
Kevin married Chloe in 2012 after meeting in the city centre on a cold dark November evening. It was a number of years before they got together properly. Chloe had moved away but when they reconnected Kevin asked her to marry him 6 weeks later! Very romantic! Since then they’ve had two boys, Dexter 6 and Milo 3.
They live in the countryside and while they don’t currently have any pets, they are planning on getting some chickens soon and hopefully one day a couple of goats to complete the family! In the meantime, they enjoy visits from deer and a family of ravens!
Kevin enjoys home brewing and he’s made about 50 beers! He’s even won an award for a Belgian Tripel which has white chocolate and raspberry – not too great for those calories mentioned earlier!
Kevin’s a keen traveller. He’s been on many exciting trips which include his honeymoon touring Indonesia and his recent road trip in Canada and America. He has travelled extensively in Africa as well as Australia and New Zealand.
Back when Kevin was in university he started a band – he’s the bass guitarist. Believe it or not, they have released 4 albums and toured the US, Japan and Europe!! He’s also been known to hand clap and play the tambourine! His prized bass is a 1966 Gibson EB-0 which is 53 years old. Kevin has owned it for 20 of those years and it’s been his faithful companion throughout his touring days!
The secret of Kevin’s staying power is really down to how invested he is in the company, He’s been here since the very start and that’s really important to him. Kevin and Mark worked well together for all those years, having complementary ideas which grew into what Formedix is today. An example Kevin gives was the idea of creating a standardized plugin framework that can be customized for each customer – this is something we are still using today!
And, when asked if he would stay with Formedix for another 20 years – his answer was a resounding yes!