I have been interested in IT since the early 1980s when home computers became cheap enough for the mass market. In my early teens I became involved in computer support for a local family business, working there during school holidays. Because of my interest in foreign languages, I undertook an undergraduate degree in German and Linguistics at the University of York and spent a year living and studying in Germany. I then stayed on at York to do a postgraduate course in IT. After leaving university I moved into software development, undertaking several application and web development roles. I found I was frequently asked by friends and work colleagues for help with their computer problems, and came to realise that there was a real need for IT expertise among small businesses. In 2002 I decided to start up in business offering IT services to small to medium-sized businesses in the local area, specifically businesses who need to use computers but don't have a full-time computer specialist on the staff.