Phone: +44 (0) 7811 671 893 - text me for my email address - CV/Résumé
- Me at Github - Me
at LinkedIn - gpg key - ssh key
STOP PRESS: I am pleased to be speaking at Agile on the Beach again this year, taking place on 12th and 13th July. The session I'm doing is called It's XP, Stupid! and I'll be doing a preview of it at the Swindon Agile Practitioners' Meetup on 27th June. Do come along if you're in the area.
I am a software engineer
with experience of general IT management and management of software development teams using Agile and Lean
methodologies. I have
worked with Free Software (aka Open Source Software) since the early nineties and, despite being a Mac user,
continue to promote, advocate and employ Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) where appropriate. I
am Software Engineering Lead for Elsevier in Oxford working on the SSRN Open Publishing Platform.
Since graduating with a degree in Computing for Real Time Systems from the University
of the West of England in 1993, and have since worked more or less consistently in the software industry since.
As an early adopter of Linux and the Web, in 1996, I co-founded Psand Limited, a company specialising in GNU/Linux and free software and bespoke content management systems for
companies including BMW UK, HiPP Organic and Alfa Romeo. Day-to-day I have worked as a programmer, systems
administrator, devops engineer, development team technical lead, IT director, and Agile product owner.
My programming experience is with a multitude of languages, including BASIC, Java, C, C++, Ada, OCCAM, Pascal,
In addition to software development, I've also been involved in planning, producing and providing technical facilities for many live
events, including BarnCamp, a weekend of open-source orientated
and alternative technology workshops deep in the Welsh Borders.
As well as commercial work, I have experience of the third sector, having worked for organisations such as Bristol Wireless, Bristol
Hackspace and People & Planet.
As a side line I currently run XtreamLab, an small Internet Services Provider
and web agency, with my colleague Marcus Valentine.
Software Engineering Projects
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,
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.
IT Manager, Product Owner, Software Engineer - PWG Trading Ltd
April 2011 to February 2016
I held the role of Head of IT for the Performance
Window Group (PWG) and was also the Product Owner for PWG's bespoke in-house e-commerce
platform, Aperture. Aperture provides hundreds of small and large companies around the UK with the ability to
order and resell PWG's products via an innovative web portal that supports their Dale Windows and Timber
Windows brands. Since joining PWG in 2011, I worked in the role of a software project manager and
business analysis as well as a software engineer, which was primarily in Perl with and the Moose OO framework,
as well as Drupal and more
In Autumn 2013, I took on the role of Head of IT for the group and transitioned the software development team to
Agile and Lean methodologies. We employed techniques such as Kanban, Scrum, Pair Programming, Mob Programming, Behaviour-driven Developement (BDD),
Test-driven Development (TDD), Clean Code,
and SOLID principals on a daily basis
to aid task flow both within the development team and a wider board-level Product Vision Steering Group.
Analyst and PHP, Perl, and Drupal developer - PWG Trading Ltd
January to November 2011
A analysis and development project undertaken for Timber Windows (now
part of PWG), I implementeda 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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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)
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
Event concept and production - BarnCamp
2008 to 2017
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
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
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
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)
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
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
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
Read this article about the satellite solar powered
cybercafé at the Big Green Gathering 2003
Event production - HesFes 2005 with Bristol Wireless
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
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 - 2017 Mike Harris.