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Dr Garry Pettet

Software developer & radiologist

I’m Garry Pettet and I’m a web, desktop and iOS developer. I’m also a UK-trained doctor. Previously I was a full-time Consultant Radiologist in the NHS. I love teaching both medicine and coding. I’m a huge retro gaming nerd and a father of two little girls. I spend a lot of time working on developer tools and Xojo modules/add-ons. My open source code is all up on GitHub. If you have any questions then please talk to me.

My Story

For a long time I was torn between two loves - medicine and coding. I trained as a doctor at Imperial College London, qualifying in 2005. I worked and studied hard, culminating in becoming a consultant radiologist in 2015. The trouble is, medicine just wasn’t able to scratch an itch I had. That itch was software development. I left medicine and my beloved NHS this year to become a full time freelance software developer and I’ve never been happier.

I’ve been writing code since I was 12 years old. I started out with BASIC on an Amstrad CPC 464. When I got my first PC in 1997 I moved onto Visual Basic 6 for desktop development and discovered good old PHP for web development. I spent a lot of time at school writing games and making little websites for friends when “web 2.0” was a far-fetched idea. When my Windows laptop broke whilst at medical school I moved to the Mac (sometime around 2004). Whilst looking for a replacement for VB6 to carry on making desktop apps and games on my new Mac I stumbled upon RealBasic (now Xojo). This is a fantastic cross-platform programming language which I still use to this day for most of my desktop development. All of my web development is done in PHP. My preferred framework is Laravel.

Having built websites for other people for free for the best part of 15 years I founded a company in 2014 to help trainee radiologists around the world pass their exit exams. The website generated a nice side income for a few years until I sold it in April 2018. The site had run for 4 years with zero downtime and served over 2 million questions. It was at this point that I realised I should be doing this for a living, not radiology.

Skills

I use the following languages on a daily basis and these are the languages I will preferentially use for new projects:

  • Xojo

  • HTML/CSS

  • Javascript

  • PHP

  • Swift

I have a solid working knowledge of these languages and can maintain existing projects written in them or port them to other languages as a client’s needs dictate:

  • C

  • C#

  • Python

  • Ruby

I’m a consultant radiologist by training so I have a deep knowledge of medicine and surgery and I understand how the British healthcare system works. In addition to knowledge you’d expect any doctor to have, I am well versed in the technical aspects of radiology including DICOM parsing and the inner workings of PACS setups. I’m keen to continue to use this knowledge and would be especially happy to talk about work in this sector.

Factoids

I thought it would be nice to share some facts about myself to give you a metaphorical look behind the curtain. Below are a few choice tidbits:

  • I was a high level judo competitor until I was 18

  • I built both an arcade machine and a pinball machine from scratch in my garage

  • I collect retro computers and games consoles. Street Fighter II and Theme Park are my favourite old school games

  • I’m a Lego nut. I’m seriously running out of space to store it now. I was well known for my Star Wars collection in my old office in the radiology department

  • I hate melons. Seriously, they are horrible

  • I like re-inventing the wheel and figuring out how stuff works. For example, I created my own object-oriented programming language called Roo just for fun

Hiring

I’m currently available to hire for desktop/iOS app development. I work from my office in Devon but can travel nationwide as needed.