Terry Ridgway
PADI IDC Staff Instructor
FAA Certified Flight Instructor
The information contained in this homepage is mainly for my own benefit. If you find this useful or interesting, drop me a line.

The picture was taken in May 2000. I'm sitting int he rear cockpit of an Aviat Pitts S2C. This is my dream machine. 260HP, 6 Cylinder, Lycoming AEIO540 engine, attached to a very lightweight fabric covered aluminum frame. Cruise at 180mph, nice vertical penetration, especially when flown solo, for Hammerheads, Humpty Bumps, and other more exciting maneuvers.

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Photo of me at work.

A little about me.

I was born and raised in Great Britain. I grew up in a small town outside Birmingham and eventually attended college at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST), which is soon to be merged back with the University of Manchester (Owens). Manchester has to be the wettest place in Great Britain, but I managed to avoid buying an umberella and I used those valuable resources to buy beer, though I did tend to get wet quite often. While in college I ran the local chapter of the British Universities North America Club (BUNAC) and this work allowed me to spend 2 summers in the US. Summer '85 was spent at Camp in Connecticut and Summer '86 was in Mannhattan.

After college I joined a Seismic Survey company (originally Seismograph Service Ltd, but later purchased by Geco-Prakla) and spent 4 years travelling the oceans of Europe and West A frica in search of oil and gas. The pay was OK, the food was terrible, but 6 months vacation a year couldn't be beat. However, that got old really quick and a 300' ship isn't that big after 30 days at sea, sailing in circles, without site of land. After m eeting my wife on a Greek vacation, in 1989, I moved to California, in 1991, where it's warm and you don't get rained on as much. I'm now a Software Engineer in Mountain View, CA.

I joined Approach in 1992, as a Technical Support Rep, while it was still a startup company. Approach 1.0 was selling well for it's initial release and they needed more people to work the phones an d help customers get used to this breakthrough method of database manipulation. Shortly after I started, we shipped version 2.0.

 In June 1993, Lotus purchase the company and we became the Lotus Database Division. A few months later we shipped our first "Lotusized" version: Lotus Approach 2.1.

 In January 1995, I became part of the Quality Engineering group and did some sterling work on Approach 96, including managing the Beta program. In June 1995, IBM decided to purchase Lotus and now we're part of Big Blue. Early January 1996, I switch roles again, moving closer to the R&D group. My responsibilities include building several Windows 95/NT products, delivering these builds to the QE group and writing install scripts. I am also a PADI certified Scuba Instructor.

In January 1997 I moved into the Software Engineering group of the Approach Database division. I was charged with adding new functionality to the Approach Database product for the 1998 release. Unfortunately, we were unable to release this update to the product, as Lotus decided to cancel the project in November 1997. Along with 14 other colleagues, I was kept on to tidy up until February 1998. Everyone else on the team was laid off.

In March 1998 I joined Broadbase Software Inc, which later merged with Kana Communications, Inc, to become Kana Software, Inc. A Menlo Park, CA startup company who develop Data Mart solutions and Enterprise Analytical Applications. My responsibilities initially includes development and maintenance of a Windows NT/2000 DataMart Server Administration application written in Visual C++ and Visual J++. After the Dotcom bust, Kana began layoffs. I managed to survive by moving intothe Congiguration Management group, where I worked on builds and installers for Kana Response, Kana Connect, and Kana Foundation. Alas, things had to come to an end. Kana began outsourcing all of their development groups to India in early 2003, and byt he end of that year, my installer position was also outsourced. I finished up the year transferring as much of my knowledge as possible to the new development teams in Chenai, India.

After leaving Lotus, and starting at Broadbase, I decided that it was time to complete my flight training. So, my wife, Kelly & I, took lessons at the Reid-Hill View Airport in San Jose, CA. We both finished up by the end of 1998, and now we're certified pilots. We both started training in aerobatics, and competed in several contest around California, but whereas Kelly went on to take an Aviation Degree, through San Jose State University, and become a certified aircraft mechanic, I continued my flight training, and eventually received my Flight Instructor rating in March 2003.

During this same time period, I decided that it was high time that I got off the couch. I started running as a way to get fit and stay fit. In early 1998, I started training for my first marathon race. I trainied throughout that summer and eventually completed my first marathon in October 1998. I finished in a time of 5 hours and 10 minutes. I must have become addicted, or something, because since then I have run over 16 marathons, many half-marathons, countless 10k races, and a few 50k races. In 2004 I will have my first year as a head coach of San Jose Fit, one of the USAFit marathon training groups.

In January 2004, I was fortunate enough to find a postion with Macromedia, in their Redwood Shores, CA office. Still developing and maintaining builds and installers, but with newer technology, and a company interested in actaully developing their products. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, Macromedia decided to consolidate their Bay Area offices into their main office building in San Francisco. I didn't want a 60 mile each way commute, so I quit the Macromedia contract and found a position at Visto Corporation. Visto creat software for managing contacts, calendar and email on your cellphone. I was responsible for their builds and installers. Now, that didn't last too long, either. The 35 mile each way commute, although only a few miles further than I'd been travelling to Broadbase/Kana, was getting me down. I managed to find an opportunity at Adobe Systems in downtown San Jose.

I started working at Adobe in November 2004. Initially, I was just building one or two of their server products, but since then I've taken on more responsibilities. I manage builds for 3 of the server products, and I work on the installer for the entire LiveCycle suite of products. This is the best job I've had since leaving SSL. I don't get quite the amount of vacation time, but the flexible work schedule does allow me to do more than I've been able to do in a long time.

In the summer of 2006 we took our family to Europe for 6 weeks. I was able to take some vacation time and hauling my laptop along meant that I could also work while I was there. That enabled us to stay away for so long. Three weeks in the UK, mostly around Birmingham, and then three weeks in Crete, Greece. Kelly blogged the entire trip.

The map below shows San Jose and it's surrounding cities and freeways. We live very close to where Hwy 17 (Red, N/S) meets Hwy 85 (Green, NW/SE). Probably right at the top of the "T" in Los Gatos.

Map Image of San Jose and surrounding areas.
Map image retrieved from MapQuest!

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Last Updated: 10 March 2004