Software Engineering is, and has been for the last nineteen years, a truly rewarding way for me to contribute to a wide variety of businesses and organisations in a very positive manner. At the heart of my understanding of what I do, is the idea that by bringing my skills to bear I can solve problems and create opportunities for the people I work with to achieve the goals laid out for the organisation that we are helping to build together.
The greatest feeling in my working life is shipping code that my team and I can be proud of, not only in the moment but moving forward into the journey of evolving and maintaining our applications in the most efficient and agile way, empowering us to continue to bring value and make a tangible, positive impact on the success of our shared enterprise.
Beyond that, I love the process of collaborating with commercial and creative people to carry an idea from specification, into launch and then ongoing development by leveraging the exciting and powerful technologies, both proven and emerging, that are now at our disposal in this dynamic skill space.
Engineering Skill Set:
- Clojure / Clojurescript
- Datomic / Datomic Cloud
- Python / Jython
- Ruby / JRuby
- TDD / BDD - clojure/test midje, minitest/rspec/cucumber, pyunit, PHPUnit, Jasmine
- Agile / Lean Approaches - Scrum / Scrumban / KanBan
- Web Services - SOAP, REST etc.
- Docker, Docker Compose, AWS ECS
- AWS - Experience of the majority of AWS services, including EC2 / ELB / ESG, RDS, DynamoBD, Elasticache, Lambda and EMR. Familiar with Cloud Formation and the AWS CLI as well as the Web Console.
- MySQL / PostgreSQL
- MongoDB, Cassandra
- Git, Subversion, Mercurial (Very familiar with Command Line working)
- Linux admin for development environments
- Familiarity with Enterprise and esoteric Linux alike, BSDs and Mac OSX
- (Here is my Github Page https://github.com/maleghast)
- Digital Photography
- Creative Writing
- Skiing / Snowboarding
- Board Games
- Roleplaying / Live Action Roleplaying
- Theatre, Cinema, Live Music
Current Employment - Summary
April 2017 - Present day; Head of Engineering and Technology Cervest Ltd. - London, UK
As Head of Engineering and Technology, since the very earliest days of Cervest, it has been my role to set the direction and deliver the vision for the Platform Infrastructure that drives data acquisition and management across the business. We acquire data from a wide variety of sources including satellite imagery and high resolution climate data, and our systems need to be robust and performant in processing this data in order for it to be available to the Data Science team for the purposes of modelling and analysis, but also to enable us to surface their findings alongside any other value we can uncover or facilitate for our clients.
I am responsible for running the teams that develop the software that both enables the scientific innovation within the company, but also that delivers that value to our users and customers, as well coordinating hiring activities in Engineering and operating as the technical voice in strategic and senior management operations within the company.
Since the beginning the data-centric nature of our infrastructure operations has made Clojure a powerful tool for our domain, and by leveraging the power of ClojureScript as well, we have created both a Platform Infrastructure and a UI Ecosystem that has a single technical context, allowing our engineers to work across the gamut of our domain, without context switching or maintaining a polyglot programming environment. Having a consistent and predictable technical environment has afforded me and indeed the company with a clarity of purpose in hiring and day to day operations that has translated into rapid progress and the ability to adapt to new challenges quickly and easily as they have arisen.
Employment history - Summary
February 2016 - February 2017; Head of Engineering and Technology Zipmatch.com - Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Metro Manila, NCR Philippines
As Head of Engineering and Technology at Zipmatch, I was responsible for day to day technical delivery across the company and ongoing planning and development of our platform to deliver market-leading Real Estate services to both Real Estate Professionals and Homebuyers.
During my time leading the team we successfully replaced the lead generation section of the existing / original monolith with a modular pipeline based on Python microservices which radically increased the performance of the system, but crucially also halted the loss of leads that was plaguing the platform. I also led the technical design on the following phases of the ZipMatch platform's modernisation to a fully service-based architecture, but sadly was unable to see the project through as the company down-sized owing to a shortfall in operating capital.
January 2015 - December 2015: CTO CompareAsia Group; NCR Philippines, Makati City
CompareAsia is charting a bold course to offering the best price comparison services in Personal Finance, Insurance and Communications across South East Asia.
As CTO I was responsible for our ongoing Engineering effort and for implementing Best Practice across the group to ensure stability and quality for all our web properties in the region.
Implementing a culture of Quality Driven Engineering Excellence, Agile Engineering Practices and putting us on the road to DevOps as a business process were all part and parcel of driving our Technical process forwards towards greater productivity and innovation.
November 2013 to January 2015: Technical & Development Lead - BBC World Service Responsive
As the lead engineer on the World Service Responsive website property, I led the technical direction for twenty-seven International sites and 2 UK non-English Language sites as the group went through the process of platform migration due to a contract end of life and a desire within the organisation to move our applications towards a continuous delivery model.
My role included technical design and planning, not only at the application level, but at the system stack level, particularly with reference to new cloud-based components. I was also responsible for mentoring and guiding the other engineers and for ensuring that we worked to the engineering excellence best practices at the heart of the BBC engineering ethos, including both TDD and BDD, pair programming, code review and rotating responsibilities for release management.
The current picture in BBC News Engineering (which is the parent group for World Service and a handful of other teams) is one of bold innovation, innovation in terms of technology, working practices and overall vision.
It was a joy and a privilege to be a key part of the senior team that was plotting our course during my tenure there, while at the same time helping to execute on those plans through contributing code and experience back into my team.
September 2012 to October 2013: European Engineering Lead for Vivastreet - vivastreet.com
Running the London development team, and driving change in terms of process and architecture, I have been working at all points of the SDLC both on maintenance and new projects in support of the business needs for the web application and associated systems.
I also led the charge to adopt new, more powerful and better suited technical approaches, and to strengthen the uptake of TDD across the business, driving quality up from the coalface of the code, rather than leaving the assurance of quality to a mixture of fate and an over-worked test team.
July 2010 to September 2012: Owner / Lead Consultant for ScholaNoctis Ltd.
This is my Ltd. Company through which I worked as a freelance software engineering consultant. It is still trading.
• Codebase Evaluation and Audit work for LBSIC Ltd. (Inspection of and report on an existing PHP codebase)
• Expression Engine to Salesforce Integration project for Ambition Creative (OO PHP5, SOAP, Salesforce API)
March 2009 to July 2010: Web Architecture and Development Lead for RiverMuse Ltd.
February / March 2009: Freelance PHP Development work on Tweetmeme for Favorit Ltd.
In order to cover a resource gap when a release was needed on a deadline I went in to Favorit to do some coding work on their property 'Tweetmeme.com' (linked above). The project was delivered on time and on spec in a realtively short space of time, and there was a great sense of achievement in bringing something new and exciting to the website in such a short period of time.
July 2008 to February 2009: Contract PHP5 / OO Web Developer for RightNow Technologies (http://www.rightnow.com)
April 2008 to July 2008: Contract PHP5 / OO Web Developer for Playphone EMEA Ltd. (Soho, London) (Formerly Known as Pitch Media Ltd.)
August 2007 - April 2008: Technical Lead / CTO for Crowdstorm Ltd.(www.crowdstorm.com)
Working in PHP 5 and using Web Services to communicate with external data sources, both using REST and SOAP, my role was to prepare Crowdstorm's public-facing and internal web applications for launch / funding rounds. My role also included managing one permanent offshore developer and co-ordinating with a variety of external, project-work suppliers.
May 2005 - August 2007: Application and Middleware Developer for SpinVox Ltd.( http://www.spinvox.com)
Working in PHP 4, PHP 5 and to a lesser extent C# and Perl, my role was to maintain existing internal and external web applications, and extend their functionality as and when needed during SpinVox's main growth phase from start-up company to mature business.
August 2004 - May 2005: Web Developer for Sthree Management Services.
In the time I spent there as a permanent member of staff I was instrumental in designing and building their new Web Application Framework and implementing it using defensive programming techniques and aspects of the eXtreme Programming methodology. All of our development work was driven by Unit Testing and front end testing of page renders using a combination of phpUnit and a bespoke system for testing web-page renders. My role also included the ongoing maintenance.
March 2002 - August 2004: Application Developer / Technical Director / Proprietor semioticaNewMedia Ltd.
(http://www.semesys.com) - this company is now called de Poel Semiotica ( http://www.depoel-semiotica.co.uk) My role involved technical consultancy, development work and freelance training for our clients.
Over the two years that I was a part of the company we not only developed Enterprise Level resource management tools for distributing web-based working, but we also prototyped a variety of technologies, specifically web-based control of monitoring equipment for controlled environments and online distribution and audit of digitally signed documentation for the pharmaceutical industry.
October 2001 - March 2002:
Training. Attended eCampus Ltd 6 month development course. The course included unpaid / internship style work for real commercial clients.
April 1997 - October 2001:
Media Sales and Consultancy Career with major publishers in the UK
Attended the eCampus 6 month, tutor led, Web Development course in Manchester. Course Curriculum was:
- PHP for Web Applications
- ASP for Web Applications
- XML/XML Schemas (XSD) and XSLT
- Standards compliant HTML / XHTML
- Introduction to Design for the Web
- Extensive sales training for telesales and face to face selling, incorporating sales structures (e.g. DIPADA) and open styles.
- Basic and advanced negotiation training.
- Training in Excel and PowerPoint in order to facilitate their use in Management Information reporting.
- Presentation Skills training.
- English - Native Speaker
- French - Fluent
- German - Beginner
- B.A. Hons. English and American Literature (University of Kent at Canterbury, 1993)
- A-Levels in English Literature [A], French [C (Oral Grade A)] and Economics [C] (Sedbergh School)
- Full, U.K. Driving License