I build digital products for startups and large companies. I have a background in coding and software architecture but also know the design process and the tradeoffs that lead to better apps, websites, and services.
Here’s the thing, I’m a good coder but that’s not enough. I’m here to build your business. I’m here to make informed decisions about your product rather than taking guesses and hoping for the best. This is the route to success and it takes a broader set of skills.
I know how to conduct research and how to find the right problem to solve. I know how to explore an opportunity and find value for the customer. I know the techniques to test risks, assumptions, and prototypes against the market. I’m an experienced developer and can build MVPs, ship the first version, and make plans for a scalable technology stack.
I believe in cross-disciplinary teams, close collaboration, and rapid iteration. I can lead a project myself or join an existing team. Either way, get in touch. I like coffees and drinks and I’m always available for a chat.
The car manufacturer:
A three month innovation project exploring a problem space and future business model for the car industry. Paid to act like a founder, I was empowered to explore and de-risk the business as if it were my own. Problem space exploration, landing pages, prototypes, customer interviews, iteratively designing and validating a proposition.
Working on a controversial product for a C-level executive at a major bank. A change of focus one week in, a 12 week project cut to 6, an organisational web to navigate, physical and organisational impediments, handover to a team in China... if you were trying to sabotage a project it might look like this. Yet we still delivered a working prototype and delighted very senior stakeholders [Global Head of Digital].
ITV general election:
Using customer development techniques to decide how best to cover the UK general election while minimising expensive platform changes. Included meetings with integration partners, time with journalists and editors, and a focus on retained functionality for future politics coverage.
Skype in the Classroom:
Led development in a phase focused on discovery and search. I continued in this role as Skype partnered with Code.org, working with a subcontractor in fast, iterative sprints. The project made teachers happy, boosted Skype’s brand, cleared serious technical debt, and won major awards [iXDA and two Webbys].
ITV’s publishing system allows them to break news faster than other news organisations while supporting their 700k daily uniques. As the system grew, small race conditions had begun to appear. I used the advantages of their existing technology [Redis] to implement a smarter representation of data; meaning we could remove the unreliable job queue performing future work that could fail. This feat ended up touching 71 files.
Audited and refactored an early version of the Ghost blogging engine.
I built an app with custom Shazam-like technology for Warner Music Group. When the app detects one of Tinie’s songs, it drops you into a video of his lips rapping along in perfect time. Fans can hold it to their mouth and “rap like Tinie”. The app was a success; repeated antics from celebrities like Nick Grimshaw [Radio 1] pushed download numbers, and extended functionality for album owners drove new sales.
User interviews, insight gathering, and synthesis; Customer-centric design; Sketch-based ideation; Paper prototyping, clickable prototypes.
Lean, agile processes; International teams, remote working.
References available from James Higgs [Technology Director, ustwo London], Stef Lewandowski [Founder, ex-Makeshift], Andy Walker [Technology Director, Made by Many].
I wrote a bot that automatically scanned and optimised open source projects, spawning a debate in the community and an article in WIRED.
I was awarded a first at uni for inventing a passwordless web login method [now replicated by WhatsApp, Google, etc].
I’ve made the shortlist for “Young Developer of the Year” and “Next Big Thing” for awards run by Microsoft and net magazine.
I sometimes work with artists, one project caught the attention of Ai Wei Wei.
My team won the 2014 “Hacker Olympics”.
I used to run community hack days; now I help people learn to code at codebar.
I once took an old telegraph key to Facebook London and hacked it to post Facebook statuses.
I donated two goldfish to Mozilla’s office after using them to generate music [no animals were harmed].
I’ve given talks at places ranging from Google St Giles to Havana, Cuba.