fran & tom-great john street hotel-532.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Musician | Developer | Coffee Drinker

A little history

Ever since my first ZX Spectrum (aged 5) I’ve been hooked. That my hours of programming could make some letters move across the screen amazed me, and over the years I hacked (with varying degrees of success) on BBCs, Acorns, Ataris - and after I started playing guitar at 13, combining the two was the logical conclusion. After a stint at Salford University studying Audio Technology I spent the next 7 years touring the UK and Europe as a professional musician, releasing two albums to critical acclaim and playing hundreds of shows alongside some of the biggest names in rock music. In between tours, I began designing flyers, websites, album covers and logos for other bands. During this time I learnt a lot about thinking on my feet - there’s nothing quite like life on the road to teach you agility.

But then it was time for a new challenge. After becoming increasingly depressed by the languages and frameworks with which I was working, I discovered Ruby/Rails in 2007 and never looked back. I started up Goodcleanfunk and began working with Rails full time. Over the coming years I took many commercial projects from inception to production, covering a lot of ground for diverse clients  - from the music industry to the NHS, from e-commerce to social networking, I designed, built and delivered sites from the ground up. In 2009 I realised I was missing a team, and took a job working on one of the UK’s biggest Rails sites.

 

When I joined On the Beach I was developer number 7 - since then the development team has grown to over 70.  During that time I've delivered foundational projects that have helped to build an award winning technology platform that sends nearly one million people away on holiday each year. I’ve been a testing evangelist, helping to instil a culture of clean code, test driven development and SOLID design. I’m a strong advocate for Open Source within the team, an effort which has lead to the release of over 15 gems and projects that are available publicly to the community via On The Beach’s Github and Rubygems profiles. I am a regular Open Source contributor, and in 2013 undertook a much needed ground-up rewrite of the industry standard for deploying Ruby applications - Capistrano. This included the creation of the Capistrano-Rails gem, included by default in every new Rails application's Gemfile since version 3.2. In addition to contributing code, I’ve also represented On The Beach by presenting at Ruby conferences, user-groups and meet-ups.


I’m a passionate, opinionated and pragmatic developer, at my happiest test driving the design of frameworks and APIs within which others can work. When I’m not coding, I’m reading, learning, traveling the world with my favourite person ever, and still playing a mean guitar.