Mike Harris: Software Engineer, Agile/Lean Evangelist, Musician, Event Producter, based in Oxford, UK

About me

Phone: +44 (0) 7811 671 893 - text me for my email address - CV/Résumé - Me at Github - Me at LinkedIn - gpg key - ssh key

Being expressive at Agile on the Beach June 2018 Software Engineering Lead for Elsevier in Oxford working on SSRN, an open-access scientific paper publishing platform. Graduated with a degree in Computing for Real Time Systems from the University of the West of England in 1993, I've worked principally as a software engineer and have experience of project management, business management, and general IT management. I've been an avid fan of using Agile, XP and Lean methodologies for software engineering since 2012 and I've also worked with free software since the early nineties and am a strong advocate of the free software movement.

I am a polyglot programmer with experience in a multitude of programming languages, including BASIC, Java, C, C++, Ada, OCCAM, ColdFusion, Pascal, Python, Perl, PHP, Javascript, and I've more recently got interested in both COBOL and Kotlin.

In addition to software development, over the years I've planned, produced and provided technical facilities for many live events, including BarnCamp, a weekend of open-source orientated and alternative technology workshops deep in the Welsh Borders of which is was co-founder and co-organiser. I have been a regular speaker over the last few years at Agile on the Beach, and the Swindon Agile Practioners MeetUp. Being originally from Somerset, I'm an avid fan of proper West Country "scrumpy" cider, and believe that the cider from Somerset is the best.

I run XtreamLab, an independant Internet Services Provider and web agency, with my colleague Marcus Valentine.

Finally I have been an ammateur musician for many years and am currently involved in a writing collaboration known as Hare Raising Feat and am a regular player in Oxford's legendary Whirly Band.

Software Engineering Projects

Senior software engineer/Software engineering lead - SSRN - Elsevier Ltd

April 2017 to present

Having initially joined Elsevier as a senior software engineer, I took over as technical lead of the SSRN product in the Spring of 2018 initially responsible for completing delivery of a micro-services architecture with automated testing and deployment pipelines. I have since worked with the incumbent team from ITX based in Rochester, NY and Rosario, Argentina to transition responsibility for the day-to-day management and development of the web site and supporting systems to the new in-house team in Oxford. I've had responsibility for recruiting, on-boarding and training a team in Oxford in the technology and technical approach as well as working with the incumbent team to arrange hand-overs and knowledge-transfer sessions. I also have responsibility to deliver both to the SSRN business product team and Elsevier itself and to balance the different needs that these two parties bring to the table.


Adobe ColdFusion, Docker, Java JVM, Windows Server, IIS, Linux, Jenkins, GoCD, Python, Fabric, Terraform, Groovy, Gradle, Maven, GoLang, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, ELK, ElasticSearch, and AWS: ECS, EC2, Route53, RDS, Kinesis, S3, Lambda, IAM, KMS, DMS, CloudWatch, SNS, and DynamoDB


Pair Programming, Test Driven Development, Event-Driven Architecture, Continuous Delivery, Continuous Deployment, Mob Programming, Domain-Driven Design, Systems Thinking, Declarative Programming, Object-Orientated Programming, Imperative Programming, Functional Programming, Information Architecture, Real-Time Systems Design, MVC, REST, SOLID, Clean Code, CRUD, Kanban, Scrum, ScrumBan

www.ssrn.com . www.elsevier.com . www.itx.com

Software engineer and Agile coach - Maple Tree Energy Management Ltd

October 2016 to February 2017

I was contracted to work for Maple Tree to join their software development team and work on their Loop Energy Saver domestic energy on-line monitoring devices. As well as working as a software engineer and developer, I also had the responsibility of mentoring an existing member of staff to fulfil the role of development team leader. Day-to-day I worked as a software engineer using Agile principals, especially Kanban, Test Driven Development, Pair Programming, Mob Programming and Clean Code to develop software in multiple languages (Python, Java, NodeJS, PHP and Drupal). I was also involved in managing and deploying within their continuous delivery and continuous integration systems running on AWS. During the time I was there I had regular sessions with the new team lead to help guide them with business, management and Lean/Agile practices.


Java JVM, Linux, Docker, GoCD, Jenkins, Python, Fabric, Terraform, Gradle, MySQL, ELK, Grafana, Graphite, PHP, NodeJS, Drupal, and AWS: ECS, EC2, Route53, Kenisis, Firehose, S3, and IAM


Pair Programming, Test Driven Development, Event-Driven Architecture, Continuous Delivery, Continuous Deployment, Mob Programming, Domain-Driven Design, Systems Thinking, Declarative Programming, Object-Orientated Programming, Imperative Programming, Functional Programming, Information Architecture, MVC, REST, SOLID, Clean Code, Kanban


Principal software engineer / Head of IT - PWG Trading Ltd

October 2013 to February 2016

As the principal software engineer for the Performance Window Group's (PWG) bespoke in-house e-commerce platform, Aperture, providing hundreds of small and large companies around the UK with the ability to order and resell PWG's products via an innovative web portal supporting their Dale Windows and Timber Windows brands. In this role I was responsible for recruitment of new developers, transitioning the team to Agile methodologies, and organising the relevant training and coaching to support the transition.

As part of my job, I also held the role of Head of IT, defining general IT policy within the company, holding responsibility for outsourcing general IT support and maintenance, attending monthly board meetins, and running a board-level Product Vision Steering Group.


Virtualisation, Linux, Jenkins, Perl, Moose, PHP, Drupal, MySQL, Capybara, Cucumber, Selenium, Maven


Pair Programming, Test Driven Development, Continuous Delivery, Mob Programming, Object-Orientated Programming, Imperative Programming, Information Architecture, MVC, SOLID, Clean Code, Agile Transformation, Kanban, Scrum, ScrumBan


Software engineer - PWG Trading Ltd

January to November 2011

A analysis and development project undertaken for Timber Windows (now part of PWG), I implemented new resource sharing centre for the Timber Windows's network of UK installers. The Registered Installers Centre includes features to encourage the networking on installers through the sharing of stories and photos and performance results. The site includes a library of stock photos and technical and marketing resource downloads as well as a Performance section that, through pie and bar charts and tables, allows the installer to get an overview of their business's performance and compare it with their peers'. Although originally started as a Drupal 6 project, I was an early adopter of Drupal 7 and the development required me to develop a bespoke Drupal module that made use of Google's Chart API and provided user authentication integration with the existing user database and quoting system written in Perl.

The Registered Installers Centre was launched to the company's network of installers in October 2011. Since then, I've been the point of liaision for Timber Windows with local Oxford Drupal solutions provider, WebCurl, who are developing an extension built on Drupal Commerce to provide the installers with the ability to shop for marketing materials on-line.


Linux, PHP, Drupal, Perl, MySQL


Object-Orientated Programming, Imperative Programming, MVC


Consultant and Project Manager - Circle Interactive

December 2010 to June 2011

Working as a freelance project manager for Bristol based Circle Interactive, I was involved in the tender process, writing of the technical specification and defining the project stages, and project management in the early stages of this project to roll out a new Contact Relationship Management (CRM) solution in CiviCRM system for Groundwork UK's head office based in Birmingham with a view to roll it out across some 35 regional offices in the future. The project was built using CiviCRM on Drupal 7.


Project Manager - Circle Interactive

October 2010 to April 2011

Working as a freelance project manager for Bristol based Circle Interactive, I liaised with the client Community Network for Manchester in this project to port an existing community directory portal to a new and enhanced CiviCRM solution built on Drupal 6. Through the duration of the project I was responsbile for managing the specification and delivery timeframes, working on methods for merging data and moving to the new site, and ensuring the final delivery.

The final version of the new portal site was delivered in early April 2011.


IT Manager, analyst and PHP developer - People & Planet

December 2009 to May 2010

Screen shot of the Write to React blogging site

Write to React was amongst the projects that I undertook during my tenure as IT manager for People & Planet, a student-led campaigning NGO based in Oxford was the implementation of an online learning course. The requirement was to produce an effective online learning course that involved students writing about their views on issues relating to climate change. Working alongside colleagues, I designed and implemented an on-line interactive learning course by integrating the multisite version of Wordpress with the organisation's own PHP-driven web site. Each week the students would read, watch and listen to commentary on the subject in question and then be encouraged to write their responses and opinions using their own blog created especially for the course. Around 150 students from a number of UK further educations colleges took part in the initial course, which was judged to have been such a success that we went on to produce a second course on fair trade clothing. This second course was launched in May 2010.


Technical project manager - Bristol Wireless Community Cooperative

September 2008 to November 2009

Screen shot of the Bristol Wireless Community Gateway for Knowle West

I took over jointly managing the project to roll out street level wireless access to the area of Knowle West in Bristol in September and was responsible to meeting with the various stakeholders, including Bristol City Council, Knowle West Media Centre and Knowle West Web, to establish a working model to deliver the project. In addition I also took over the customisation of a Drupal 5 based web site that provides a portal into the Bristol Wireless network and local online content for Bristol residents living in the Knowle and St Werburghs regions.

For more details about the original Bristol Wireless project, refer to this article I wrote about the founding of the project in 2002.


Technical lead / analyst - Mason-Zimbler

July to August 2008

Screen shot of Toshiba UK Consumer Products web site

Working for Mason-Zimbler as technical analyst on this project to produce a detailed technical specification for the implementation of a new web site for Toshiba's Consumer Products division in the UK.

Co-designer, developer, project manger - BMW and MINI UK Dealer On-Line Network (DOLN)

1999 to 2008

Screen shot of BMW Wellsway's website Screen shot of MINI Park Lane's website

Whilst working at Psand, I started on this project as one of the original co-designers and lead developers of a tiered content management system written in Perl that provides an administrable back-end to manage over 800 dealership websites for BMW and MINI in the UK. Over the years I was responsible for the day-to-day analysis and specification of new functionality and improvements to existing functionality as well as the project management of the technical side, planning of resources and liaison with third-party suppliers. The project has proved a great success and recent analysis shows that 15% of all visits to the MINI sites lead to actual sales.

Analyst and project manager - Alfa Romeo UK Dealer On-Line Network (DOLN)

July 2006 to March 2007

Screen shot of Alfa Romeo Fish Brothers' website

Based on the success of the BMW and MINI Dealer On-Line Network, I was then involved in providing systems analysis and specification for a similar system for Alfa Romeo in the UK. As the project progressed I was focussed on day-to-day technical project management of the implementation and resources of both in-house and third-party developers. The network is growing and proving to be an invaluable resource for customers, dealerships and head office alike.

Technical lead - HiPP Organic Baby Club

October 2006 to March 2007

Screen shot of the HiPP Baby Club website

I was responsible for building a team of web developers and designers and technically managing the project through regular technical design meetings to guide the overall implementation. We delivered a web portal where new mums and mums-to-be are able to share their experiences with friends, family and peers, as well as receive strategic targeted email marketing. The site currently has over 420,000 members.

Technical director - Sky Rock Communications (EMO)

Autumn 2006

Screen shot of the Lotus Less is More campaign website

During a transitional period in this company's operations I was responsible for defining and implementing technical policy as well as auditing and streamlining the existing on-line business where I was able to make significant improvements to service whilst at the same making cost savings. I was also jointly responsible for assessing new freelance staff and their applicability to work on future projects.

Production for arts and events

Here is a choice selection of arts-based projects and events where I have worked in the capacity of planning and production. There is also a complete list of all events I have been involved in.

Event concept and production - Tech Tactics for Social Change

October 2017

TT4SC Web Site

Working with my friend Nor, I planned and organised speakers from groups such as Refugee Resource, Transition By Design, Homeless Hack, XtreamLab, OpenStreetMap, CowleyRoad.org, and New Internationalist for this one-off two-day event in Oxford on the digital age and its impact on society and politics.

More information at the TT4SC web site.

Event concept and production - BarnCamp

2008 to 2017

h4x0rzz Welcoming sign from BarnCamp 2013

BarnCamp is a low-cost rural DIY skillsharing event open to everyone, including UK activists, campaigners, people involved in social and community groups, and anybody else with an interest in technology and how to subvert it to put it to good use. All skill levels are invited and we promise that workshops are not too geeky due to our infamous nerd gag .

More information at the BarnCamp web site.

Internet connectivity consultant - Imperial War Museum

2007 to 2008

Picture of the Imperial War Musuem London front entrance University of Birmingham American Studies presentation at the IWM

In a supporting rôle to the Imperial War Museum London, I provided wireless internet connectivity and on-site technical support at the museum for a number of professional conferences for clients including the University of Birmingham, University of Oxford, Pitney Bowes MapInfo and the AESC.

Concept and co-production - D.R.O.I.D: Reality isn't everything

November to February 2008

Working with Blackout Arts, South West Screen and Eduardo Imasaka amongst others, D.R.O.I.D was an experiment with the experience of a live link-up with avatars in the on-line 3D virtual world of Second Life. A live video stream of a top-notch line-up at the Trinity (Bristol, UK) was sent to a venue in Second Life that was specially dressed for the event. Live feeds from Second Life were then beamed back into the venue onto huge projector screens and interactive kiosks were provided for those who came to the event to experience Second Life in real life. My key rôle in the project was the production and the co-ordination and planning of the live streaming, as well as liaising with the Second Life team who were based in Barcelona.

For more details, refer to this archive of the D.R.O.I.D microsite.

Co-founder and producer (Dorkbot Barcelona), producer and presenter (Dorkbot Bristol)

2004 to 2007 (Barcelona) & 2008 to 2009 (Bristol)

Dorkbot November 2004 Cityborg present at Dorkbot January 2005

I was delighted to become one of the co-founders of the Barcelona wing of the global Dorkbot project. During my 3-year involvement, I was jointly responsible for the production of the bi-monthly events, took charge of the day-to-day management of the trilingual website and coordinated the video streaming during the events. Towards the end of my collaboration with Dorkbot Barcelona, I was involved in a 3-day presentation of digital projects as part of the Observatori Festival in Valencia, Spain, where I was responsible for the planning and production of the event.

Following this, I spent a year producing and presenting the monthly Dorkbot Bristol meetings that take place at the Pervasive Media Studio.

Collaborator, workshops - TCS Extremadura

April 2007

Image of me teaching school children about satellite Internet access The geodesic dome at TCS Extremadura

Following on from my previous work at Fadaiat, I was invited back with my colleagues from Psand to collaborate in 2007's project that took place near an abandoned Nuclear Power Station in the heart of rural Extremadura, Spain's poorest province. I was involved in helping with the co-production and technical planning for the event as well as presenting a series of workshops tacking the topic of satellite for internet access to groups of local primary school children.

Production and site internet infrastructure - Big Green Gathering

2003 to 2008

Schematic of network as used at BGG 2007 Satellite dish and wireless antenna mounted on outside communications vehicle

Working with Psand.net and Bristol Wireless, I was involved in providing on-site internet access via wired and wireless networks using satellite technology for public and production purposes since 2003. In 2007 I helped plan and implement a large-scale network (for a farm in the Mendip Hills that is) that facilitated connectivity for approximately 50 production staff, as well as public wireless internet access over the main areas of the 50 acre festival site of the Big Green Gathering.

Read this article about the satellite solar powered cybercafé at the Big Green Gathering 2003

Event production - HesFes 2005 with Bristol Wireless

May 2005

image of Hes Fes cybertent from May 2005

As a founder member of both Psand and Bristol Wireless, it was a pleasure to bring two projects together to collaborate at the HesFes home education festival in 2005. I coordinated the development of a twenty terminal suite of recycled computers to facilitate a cybertent that was used to run workshops about free software and the internet for educational purposes for children and parents.

There is a video of the HesFes cybertent on YouTube.

For more details, refer to this article that I wrote about the HesFes cybertent.

Collaborator, workshops - Transacciones - Fadaiat

Spring/Summer 2004

Network schematic for Fadaiat 2004 Parabolic antena with the Andalusian sunset in the background pointing at Tangiers

I was one of many invited to collaborate in this ambitious project that focussed on producing an event using a completely horizontal structure. My rôle in the project was to be jointly responsible for the design and implementation of the on-site network for a temporary media lab as well as coordinating a wireless link across the Gibraltar Strait, and the co-production of the technical set-up during the event.

For more details, refer to this article that I wrote about Fadaiat.

(c) 2007 - 2019 Mike Harris.

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