What You Probably Want to Know

I've been rolling code since 1999. I started in Perl, then did PHP for a decade, and for the last 15 years or so, Python has been my home. I've built stuff ranging from websites to vending machines, and am generally at home making things that push packets around a network. These days I'm happiest leading a team and mentoring other budding engineers.

I'm very comfortable working with Python/Django, Docker+Kubernetes, and PostgreSQL, but like getting my hands dirty with every layer of the stack.

Experience

Kraken Technology (Octopus Energy Group)

January, 2024 - Present  |  Staff Engineer  |  kraken.tech

I work with the various "Kraken for Utilities" teams, expanding Kraken to support water and broadband.

Utility Warehouse

September, 2023 - December, 2023  |  Engineering Manager  |  uw.co.uk

UW is a sort of "utility aggregator" combining residential services for electricity, gas, home phone, mobile phone, internet, and insurance. I managed the "Stress Free Energy" team, where we were building and maintaining the infrastructure that ensures people can keep their lights on and their homes warm.

Limejump Ltd. (later, Shell Energy)

January, 2021 - August, 2023  |  Technical Lead

I lead the "Data & Reconciliation" team that handled the company's data collection & billing systems primarily through two flagship systems: a custom Python daemon that consumed data from multiple external sources, and a largish Django-based app that understood all the different ways of doing billing in the energy industry (there are just too many). In my time there, we built something beautiful and when Shell came along and dismantled the company, ours was one of the few projects they didn't destroy. I hear they're expanding its use to global markets so... yay?

Accomplishments

  • Fostered a culture of shared libraries throughout the company, open-sourcing one project (mpan) and releasing even more internally.
  • Designed & built an application to consume data from industry sources as they're made available with limited latency.
  • Designed and built an automated system that pulls data out of production and pushes it into staging while simultaneously anonymising said data to protect from developer error and data leaks.
  • Migrated a monster legacy project from a complex maze of custom bare-metal configurations to a CI-driven, containerised, developer-friendly rig. I even made a video (with music!) introducing it to the team.
  • Fostered a culture of cross-team knowledge sharing, helping colleagues across the company with Docker, Poetry, and Kubernetes.
  • Lead a small team to consolidate various legacy applications into a single collectively-designed and easy-to-maintain system. It does the billing for the company, so we named it "Billy" and it's beautiful :-)

Workfinder

November, 2018 - November, 2020  |  Senior Developer  |  workfinder.com

Workfinder is a for-profit spin-off of the Fouders4Schools charity. Its focus is to connect young people and business with the work experience they both need.

Money Mover

November, 2016 - November, 2018  |  Lead Developer  |  moneymover.com

A fintech startup that handles big money transfers across currencies and international boarders, I led the technical development of the web application. Primarily a Python/Django/PostgreSQL stack, we make use of a series of APIs to facilitate transfers by individuals and companies through a 3rd-party broker to destinations all over the world.

Primary roles include: Software architecture & development, hiring, and sprint management.

Elder Nerd Ltd.

January, 2016 - May, 2017  |  Owner

A freelance consultancy specialising in web architecture. I primarily helped companies with systems design and hiring & retention. My contracts included:

UK Trade (formerly UKTI): Technical architect

A short-term contract with the British government to help design & build some of their internal systems. As technical architect I directed the layout of two projects and one demo using some fun tactics like splitting Django forms across a REST API using metaclasses and scraping email into a calendaring system in real time.

Cyan/Connode: Senior developer

Contract work wherein I assisted in assessing & fixing a bottleneck in their energy readings & storage infrastructure and helped work out some kinks in the hiring & retention process.

RIPE NCC

August, 2012 - January, 2016  |  Software Engineer  |  ripe.net

As a member of the RIPE NCC's Research & Development department, I worked primarily on RIPE Atlas, a project implementing a highly scalable trans-continental infrastructure in an attempt to measure the Internet. I primarily maintained the user-facing tools: the website, RESTful API, the parsing library, Sagan, and the RIPE Atlas Toolkit.

Side Projects & Freelancing

Zishi Cornerstone

December, 2023 - Present  |  Technical Trainer (Freelance/Side Project)

After the success of my "Linux for Beginners" course, Zishi asked me to develop and deliver a new "Intermediate Linux" class as well. This resulted in a single presentation in excess of 165 slides and spanning 8 hours. It was delivered on-site on four separate occasions. I've also since been asked to reprise my presentations on Linux for Beginners and Docker.

Zishi Cornerstone

April, 2022 - June, 2023  |  Technical Trainer (Freelance/Side Project)

A side contract to run a few days of training for engineers new to two topics: Linux and Docker. The sessions included lectures with slides I prepared in advance, questions, and workshops.

BG Consulting

December, 2020 - December, 2020  |  Technical Trainer (Freelance/Side Project)

A side contract, I produced and led two remote training sessions for engineers hoping to expand the scope of their knowledge around security hygiene and technical debt. The sessions included lectures with slides produced by me in advance, Q&A, and a workshop.

Gynii-Me

August, 2016 - Present  |  Chief Architect (Freelance/Side Project)  |  gyniime.co.uk

I consult occasionally for a women's fertility platform. Primarily my role is advisory: I audit proposals from agencies offering to build the site and ensure that the medical data storage & transfers adhere to good security practices.

RxLenses.ca

November, 2013 - March, 2018  |  CTO (Freelance/Side Project)

I served as the primary technical contact and software engineer. The site was a simple Django/Bootstrap blend, patched into a transnational ordering system.

TheChange.com

November, 2009 - May, 2010  |  CTO (Freelance/Side Project)

A company I co-founded, the site was meant to serve as a "platform for change", or a way for companies to reach out to the public (and other companies) to help make everyone involved develop a more sustainable way of doing business.

Club Detailer

October, 2007 - March, 2011  |  CTO (Freelance/Side Project)

A family business that I was involved with from its inception in 2007. The product was a vending machine that used a series of sonic generators and pumps coupled with a PLC and a tiny headless computer, to handle credit card transactions, remote monitoring, and operate the golf club cleaning process.

Education

Simon Fraser University

January, 1997 - December, 1998  |  General Arts  |  sfu.ca

Attended courses in world religions, African history, macroeconomics, and political science.

Vancouver Film School

January, 1998 - December, 1999  |  New Media Division  |  vfs.com

Certificate of new media design.

Kwantlen Community College

January, 2001 - December, 2001  |  Russian History  |  kwantlen.bc.ca

Russia from Lenin to Gorbachev. One course to learn more about something less technical.

Notable

  • Real social skills
  • Exceptional Nerf dart accuracy
  • I teach people how to code at Codebar sessions in Cambridge.
  • Two-time hackathon winner: once building a monitoring system for networks at the RIPE Atlas hack, and again building a diagnostic and coping tool for macular degeneration patients at the Sudo:Immerse hack.
  • Led two presentations and live demonstrations on software I developed at London Django Meetup.
  • Prepared and led a workshop for learning Python & Django at DjangoCon Europe 2015.
  • Author/maintainer of a number of reasonably popular Free software projects including Paperless, a document indexing system that's since been widely adopted by the community and forked into a variety of sub-projects, Aletheia a less-popular, but (I think, anyway) novel way to combat fake news / deep fakes online, Majel a voice-activated desktop automation system, and MT103, a parsing library for the Swift payments network.
  • Presented a personal project, "Aletheia" at PyCon UK (video).