For the last 13 years, I have been running a successful company specialising in designing, building, and delivering scalable Cloud Applications. I am a confident and enthusiastic person who takes much pride in the work my team has delivered. I balance best practice with invention while ensuring rapid and continuous feedback to my clients. I build & lead strong teams, coach by example and get stuck in at all levels of development; I'm constantly looking to challenge and be challenged by my peers.
I'm a seasoned, passionate and well-rounded servant-leader obsessed with finding the perfect niche that makes a winning team. I can plan, estimate and execute feature delivery with accuracy and pragmatism; I have strong decision-making skills and can balance scope with rapid results. My ideal teams are lean & agile, operating within challenging & competitive environments.
I have a strong and diverse technical background, spread over various industries, including Formula 1. I've adopted a Test-Driven Design approach to my solutions, favouring incremental delivery and rapid prototyping over cumbersome gold-plated releases – little and often is a crucial concept in all my work. I'm passionate about new technologies, delivering cross-platform applications, and utilising cloud services to develop highly resilient and scalable software rapidly. I'm a strong advocate of DevOps & Continuous Integration, incorporating a feature-toggle approach to my workflow. I apply automation and scripting skills to produce repeatable & predictable results without typical human overheads.
WHAT CAN I BRING TO YOUR TEAM?
"Whenever I see something that challenges me, I take it on."
- Niki Lauda
I know what it takes to build a successful software delivery department in the fast-paced world of Formula 1 and what it takes to ensure those teams are resilient to frequent changes in car specification, strategy, rules and regulations.
At the Manor Racing Formula 1 Team, I created a brand new agile Software Development team to act as a force multiplier for the race team. I successfully combined Atlas, bespoke car telemetry systems and simulation models to create potent and time-saving tools, enhancing decision-making accuracy across the group.
I draw from many successful experiences modernising software and processes within various high-tech industries. I believe that it's essential to disrupt the status quo to achieve
great things; I have successfully refined this process over the years to generate repeatable results.
I bring a battle-tested framework for promoting excellence within teams and departments, ensuring that every team member has the platform they require to succeed and grow as individual contributors. I can put in place the tools & processes to facilitate this, bolstering the broader team with improved communication, visibility & cohesion. These measures lead to predictable and continuous delivery, shorter cycle times & higher retention.
I also bring my passion for Formula 1; I've been a fan since childhood. I'm naturally competitive and have used this to my advantage to build award-winning teams. Many years of experience across several industries have taught me some brutal lessons, which I now draw on to provide the best value to my peers.
My most valuable technical skills are focused on building scalable data-driven API's and microservices, containerised and hosted on cloud platforms. I'm comfortable leading by example and happiest when managing teams and getting stuck in with solving complex architectural or coding problems.
PREVIOUS F1 EXPERIENCE
SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT MANAGER
After a competitive interview process, I joined Manor Racing to create a brand-new Software Engineering department. The majority of my role was to transform and modernise the teams' approach towards software delivery, removing painful dependencies on excel spreadsheets and siloed workflows. I targeted several manual and inefficient systems within the race team to reduce time spent on repetitive tasks, freeing up race engineers for more critical work; time sensitivity was an essential factor in this role due to the fixed nature of race weekends.
Adapting concepts present in most modern racing games, we built a high-performance simulation tool using serverless functions and actor models to represent various physical systems of the race car and the variable behaviour of an AI driver. My team empowered the Vehicle Science team to use our software as a force multiplier, predicting multiple race strategies accurately and in real-time. These efforts allowed us to remain relatively competitive with Formula 1 teams twice our size.
Created a new software engineering department from scratch. Implemented an end-to-end agile pipeline that gave the race team a conduit into my department. Delivered software that provided tangible race-weekend benefits, allowing for better strategies, decision-making and time saving across the team.
2016 - 2017 Season
Formula 1 Team
Agile methodologies underpin everything I do in terms of software delivery. I am a confident coach, training teams to deliver value rapidly and incrementally while remaining lean, accounting for complex and ever-changing requirements.
My approach is more free-form than prescriptive, focusing on tackling specific delivery problems within a team. Leaning on a decade of experience of what does and (more importantly) does not work, I favour small incremental changes that can be measured and iterated upon rather than whole process overhauls; I find this yields much more successful results overall.
I have been recognised as an exemplar on several occasions, providing the opportunity to coach more teams as a result.
I'm highly adaptable.
An experienced coach, ten years of experience.
I can break the complex into the little and often
I love automation & the risk reduction it brings
I drive repeatable and predictable delivery
EXPERIENCED SERVANT LEADER
The style of leadership that I have cultivated over the years didn’t have a specific ideology attached to it until I learned more about Servant Leadership. I realised that a lot of my natural style for managing or leading parallels this approach.
I have successfully kick-started two engineering departments from scratch, fostering an inclusive culture to promote autonomy while providing explicit learning and levelling-up opportunities. I understand people and actively listen to identify and implement flexible workflow & ceremonies based on specific team needs, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.
I enjoy organising social events, hackathons and lightning talks to provide team building and learning opportunities. I can resolve sensitive situations objectively, acting as a mediator to achieve amicable resolutions for all parties.
I'm a calm and patient listener.
I ensure my teams have the right tools to excel.
I create precise and personalised plans to level-up my team.
I'm an authentic and dependable leader.
I lead by example and mentor those in need.
VENDOR & STAKEHOLDER MANAGEMENT
I coordinate and communicate progress effectively and distil requirements into actionable and trackable tasks. I can visualise progress using various tools such as JIRA, creating rich roadmaps and release documentation, providing transparency over multiple teams while managing complex dependencies, ensuring a consistent and predictable delivery pipeline.
I’m a strong negotiator, able to connect with people to understand their needs. I have held a wide variety of leadership roles, including Scrum Master, Architectural Lead and C-suite positions, managing department-wide projects, budgets and headcounts.
I communicate clearly and unambiguously.
I'm a firm but fair negotiator.
I'm very fond of visual storytelling.
I manage complex projects & budgets.
I'm skilled in the use of JIRA & Confluence.
RICH & VARIED TECHNICAL BACKGROUND
I have over a decade of hands-on experience in a variety of industries. I have successfully delivered e-commerce websites capable of handling vast amounts of traffic, interactive chatbots that leverage natural language processing to provide first-line support, sprawling data-driven microservices that scale up to millions of telemetry actors, and dynamic simulations of real-world physical systems for predicting race car strategy more accurately. I have had the honour of delivering world-first products that are helping decarbonize our energy needs.
I’m a strong advocate of SOLID principles, Pair Programming & Code Review practices. I encourage a Test-Driven Development focus following the Agile Testing Triangle, encouraging a robust & modular delivery approach.
Retail & Finance
WHAT DO I DO WHEN I'M NOT LEADING AWARD WINNING TEAMS?
I'm a keen explorer at heart and like to cycle or hike to discover fantastic scenery & architecture. I have a long-running passion for motorbikes and anything else that moves quickly; I am a big Formula 1 fan and enjoy competitive motorsport activities such as Karting, but I wish I were a little better at it! I love tech and can usually be found tinkering with IoT and home automation in my spare time.
I enjoy travelling and like to keep track of my travels through blog posts, photography and a little scratch-off map of the world to log where I've been. I'm a massive fan of Norway, both for its culture and stunning landscapes. Recently, I was lucky enough to travel to the arctic circle and witness the Aurora first hand, a trip I hope to repeat sometime.
I enjoy most gaming genres but particularly like to immerse myself in open-world or simulation games using VR. I get involved in the wider gaming community where possible, attending both real-world socials and in-game events. I've made some lifelong friends through events like this and find them very rewarding.
I ❤ Motorbikes
Photography & Travel
THE LAST 5 YEARS
National Careers Service
NOV 2019 - today
SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT MANAGER
Introduced a new & streamlined agile pipeline to the organisation, reducing release windows to weekly, from quarterly. As a result, reduced active WIP, stability & process issues, and overall product's complexity, promoting long-term maintainability.
Brought a 3rd party FE & Apprenticeship course search service in-house while cutting costs and infrastructure by 60%. Expanded the search offering to include new T-Level courses, providing citizens with more career/learning opportunities. Incrementally delivered a replacement Data Management suite to replace legacy systems, allowing providers to synchronise Course Directory with their software systems.
After an independent review of delivery team performance by NetCompany, my team set the benchmark due to our Agile ways of working. Our agile approach allowed us to reduce our release cadence from quarterly to weekly releases.
Department for Education
JUL 2018 - OCT 2019
TECHNICAL LEAD - APPRENTICESHIP SERVICE
I delivered a chatbot-based feedback application to allow apprentices to engage with a personalised Apprenticeship feedback service. I subsequently took on technical ownership of several legacy systems to provide support and a roadmap for incremental changes.
I introduced agile concepts and coached by example to create a streamlined and predictable release pipeline. These concepts allowed us to deliver the first iteration of our chatbot to incredibly tight deadlines.
An OVO Energy Company
MAR 2017 - MAR 2018
SOFTWARE ENGINEERING MANAGER / DEPUTY CTO
VCharge is an IoT start-up focussed on decarbonising and democratising energy through intelligent switching and load balancing. I was responsible for creating a new engineering department from scratch, covering software and hardware development for a revolutionary smart-grid prototype.
After my CTO was elevated to group level to incubate other start-ups, I held an acting CTO position within VCharge. Alongside building self-managing teams and the framework to allow them to excel, my additional responsibilities gave me an oversight of budget, headcount and stakeholder management, the project's technical direction.
After releasing the first iteration of our VCharge Smart Grid platform, we won Smart Grid Technology of the Year at the 2017 Business Green Tech Awards. This role has been a highlight of my career; I was immensely proud of my teams.
THE FIRST DECADE
JAN 2016 - AUG 2016
I joined NewDay Ltd as the sole Full Stack Developer, responsible for kick-starting a complex program to detach the Company from dependencies on unreliable vendors. My primary role was to design and build a resilient and secure micro-services layer, forming the basis of a Single Page Application Form. In addition, I took on more leadership responsibilities to capitalise on the momentum of positive change. These responsibilities consisted of high-level architectural design through recruitment and mentorship of new team members.
I helped create a small, efficient team of developers, introducing agile methodologies and continuous integration concepts to ensure a constant pipeline of features were ready for test and deployment at any time. I integrated and configured Jira, Bitbucket and Bamboo to create a simple CI pipeline with full auditing capabilities required by the industry.
This project was released incrementally, increasing customer engagement by approximately 20%. Due to implementing a solid CI pipeline, I facilitated daily deployments to release new features to the client while reducing overall defect density.
easyJet Airline Company Ltd
SENIOR UI/UX CONSULTANT
APR 2014 - NOV 2015
After positive feedback in my previous contract as Senior Software Developer, I joined the Platform & Performance Engineering team as acting Technology Lead for local and offshore sprint teams. I was directly responsible for the code quality of release candidates. Using tools like Sonar, I identified and highlighted 'best practice' through paired code review sessions, increasing code quality while reducing the usual overheads associated with ensuring code quality standards.
I was a vital member of the Architecture Design Forum but continued to represent the Core Sales sprint teams in high-level decisions. This ensured parity between our solutions and the broader vision of the Architecture team. This position offered a platform to pitch ideas to key stakeholders, allowing me to challenge the status quo driving multiple innovations to the development pipeline.
SENIOR SOFTWARE DEVELOPER - CORE SALES
I joined an established scrum team to bolster the development of the Core Sales funnel. I quickly provided positive momentum to the team, boosting output and morale significantly.
To replace cumbersome legacy code, I repeatedly demonstrated scaffolding the existing codebase with Unit Tests to ensure functionality before replacing obsolete modules utilising a feature toggled approach. Feature toggles facilitated the rapid development of new features, increasing the per-visit profitability of the booking funnel while reducing overall complexity. By introducing regular maturing sessions, features were developed, tested and released on time, without downtime or significant defects. The team utilised Azure and AWS for rapid deployment & testing.
After demonstrating a continued track record of quality releases and leadership, I was invited to consult on internal recruitment. I was very proud of my recruits and remained friends with them still.
Domino's Pizza Group Ltd
JUN 2012 - APR 2014
SENIOR SOFTWARE DEVELOPER / ACTING SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT MANAGER
Kick-started an ambitious Digital Transformation project to rebuild the eCommerce Website and create a mobile App; my responsibilities involved acting as a Technology Lead and making key architectural design decisions. This role required a great deal of autonomy on my part; I was responsible for the quality and direction of the project due to the absence of our Development Manager.
Part of the rebuild was soft-launched to upgrade the existing e-commerce platform. Regular demos were held with stakeholders, feeding directly into sprint planning. Engaging with product owners, vendors and franchisees, I ensured our sprints adhered to a consistent vision.
Due to increased efficiency, the rebuild helped us deliver our highest performing daily sales figures on record, growing almost 33%. The mobile app subsequently won several significant awards.
JAN 2011 - JUN 2012
I introduced automation and Continuous Integration concepts to the team with positive results. We rapidly prototype changes, quickly refactoring legacy assets using xUnit tests and WaTiR journey automation as a safety net. These measures improved our release cadence from quarterly to weekly, increasing our ability to react to changing client demands and reducing common issues associated with large amounts of work in progress.
This role introduced me to Agile methodologies, which has formed the basis for my core ways of working.
FEB 2009 - JAN 2011
ASP.NET SOFTWARE DEVELOPER
I introduced .NET MVC to the development team, which formed the technical basis of a subsequent refactoring strategy. Coupled with a TDD approach and using Selenium for automated tests paths, I decomposed the legacy application, replacing it with a modern Web Application based on a standardised rules-engine API. This API was easy to re-use, test and maintain.
This role exposed me to the benefits of automation and a solid test-driven design approach, which I have maintained throughout my career.
Bank of America
FEB 2005 - FEB 2009
ASP.NET SOFTWARE DEVELOPER
After successfully pitching the benefits of Microsoft's .NET Framework to my managers, I commenced rebuilding our undocumented and unmanageable PHP based corporate website. The rebuilt form achieved 'Priority 2' Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) compliance and met W3C's standards for XHTML and CSS. The successful release of this project yielded a 17% improved conversion ratio, with additional SEO techniques boosting our daily visits by over 20%.
My successful delivery of a rebuilt corporate website earned me the coveted Employee of the Month title, resulting in an expenses-paid trip to New York. This trip subsequently ignited my passion for travel.
Eli Lilly & Company
JUN 2002 - JUL 2003
SYSTEMS ANALYST, INDUSTRIAL PLACEMENT, HAMBURG
Built a ColdFusion based intranet site for collaboration over 3 European bases. Liaised with research scientists in Germany, England & Spain to design & deliver bespoke solutions
WHERE IT ALL BEGAN
Sheffield Hallam University
2000 - 2004
I acquired a BSc Honours degree in Software Engineering & Games Programming; more importantly, I met my wife, who has been a solid partner-in-crime ever since!
I took an overseas placement with Eli Lilly in Germany as part of my gap year. This placement was my first taste of a proper job, and I enjoyed the responsibility offered by this role.
John Leggott Sixth Form
1998 - 2000
I achieved A-Levels in Business Studies, Mathematics & Physics. I enrolled in a placement scheme with British Steel, which involved my first taste of project work. I enjoyed this scheme immensely and, in retrospect, feel it put me on the right foot for taking my career path further.
South Leys School
1993 - 1998
I passed my GCSEs and established that my skills don't lie in sports such as football & rugby, but in computers and tactical games such as chess. I discovered an extra-curricular programming class that I enjoyed, igniting the spark for my whole career path.
I started learning how to program games in my spare time using an old Amstrad CPC 464 and Amiga A600. Around this time, I discovered Grand Prix Circuit, and my passion for F1 Simulation games was born!
I entered into local annual orienteering competitions as team lead, which I enjoyed enormously. I see this event as an early catalyst for my passion for leading & supporting teams and understanding how to facilitate success.