My software career

I have over 25 years of experience in the software industry, having previously worked as a Marine Biologist specialising in the identification of benthic invertebrates.

From 2010 until it was acquired by Deliveroo in 2019, I ran Cultivate Software Limited. Running an agency broadened my experience from deep programming and TDD skills, to product management, technical sales, and governing projects using agile planning and tracking. I developed an appreciation for the administrative and operational work that needs to go into keeping an organisation healthy.

I originally co-founded the company as the UK arm of US consultancy EdgeCase, before we were both acquired by Neo Innovation. In 2014 I bought the company out and developed it as an independent agency, successfully using Agile practices to deliver software solutions. Our clients varied from small startups and non-profits to large organisations such as The UK Government, The North Face, The Government of Singapore, GE, and (of course) Deliveroo.

Although, as the company grew, my role became more managerial, I did not lose my love of programming and took part in some of the technical client work as well as developing internal tooling. In 2020 I returned to a Software development role.


I became enthusiastic about Elixir in its pre 1.0 days and have worked on several Elixir projects at Cultivate. I have been employed as an Elixir Developer since leaving my management role at Deliveroo. I have contributed code to Elixir core, Phoenix, Nerves, and several other major open source Elixir projects.

Conferences - organising and speaking

I have given talks at several major, and other, conferences including Ruby Conf (New Orleans, 2010), Elixir Conf Europe (Berlin 2016, Prague 2019), XP 2016 (Edinburgh), and Lean Agile Scotland (2013, Edinburgh). I co-founded and organised the internationally renowned Scottish Ruby Conference from 2008 to 2014.

Personal life

Since 2000 I have lived in Edinburgh with my wife, Jenny. Also with us is our son Christopher, studying Maths and Computer Science at Edinburgh University and daughter Flossie, who is in High School. I enjoy hill-walking and sailing, though I am not a very good sailor.

Want to work with me?

I am open to remote (or Edinburgh based) freelancing and permanent engineering or lead positions, especially if this involves engagement with stakeholders and/or customers.

At some point I would love to build a product. If you are interested in engaging me, or partnering with me, on your great idea get in touch.

You can reach me by email at or on Linked In.