Experience

Sep 2018 ‐ present Head of Technology - Christians Against Poverty

Since September 2018 I have run the Technology department at Christians Against Poverty; managing the £1.3m budget, line managing 3 team leaders and a program manager, and representing the Technology department at a senior management level. I have created and executed a change from project to product management, restructuring the System Development team around long-lived product teams, and fostering a greater collaboration between Development teams and senior stakeholders. I have also driven a greater emphasis on partnership, transparency and joint understanding of long term risks and opportunities in the internally developed systems, resulting in joint-sponsorship of Technology team investment by the charity's directors for other areas, winning multiple, multi-year Development team investments.

Responsibilities
  • Managing a growing team (18-24) and budget (£1.2m - £1.4m).
  • Ensuring the department is meeting regulatory requirements and new opportunities.
  • Maintaining department wellbeing during a difficult period for the organisation (both before and during the pandemic)
  • Positioning the Technology team to be sustainable by 2023.
Key skills
  • Excellent communication at all levels, from senior stakeholders and organisation-wide announcements, to team level and one-to-one coaching.
  • Ability to inspire others towards change, setting clear vision and executing that vision for the benefit of the organisation.
  • Developing and challenging a team of other to improve and grow, while keeping an emphasis on team achievements.
  • Being a vulnerable and empathetic leader that encourages others to be open and honest, and work together to achieve goals.
Achievements
  1. Secured £100k investment for an internal trainee developer program.
  2. Successfully restructured internal development team away from projects towards product teams and flow-based work management.
  3. Grew and organisational understanding of risks and technical debt work, and advocated for a balanced approach to development.
  4. Focused on increasing transparency in prioritisation and workload within the department.
  5. All the above factors culminating in a voluntary transfer of budget from the biggest department to the technology department to aid charity objectives.
  6. Started and led a senior leadership group for support services that meets 6 weekly to share understanding and best practice.

Dec 2016 ‐ Aug 2018 Head of Systems Architecture - Christians Against Poverty

Recognised as having greater influence outside of just systems development, I was offered a role as Head of Systems Architecture, both providing guiding leadership for technical direction across all the department and greater understanding of technical issues at a senior leadership level.

Responsibilities
  • Creating and communicating a technical vision for our internal and external systems across the department's multi-disciplinary teams.
  • Driving up the quality of systems through training, change projects and internal advocacy.
  • Providing the highest-level of technical input for projects across the organisation.
  • Providing technical insight and understanding at the Senior leadership level.
Key skills
  • Communication of deep technical issues in easy to understand terms to stakeholders and technical staff.
  • Able to create a compelling technical vision and inspire others towards achieving it.
  • Able to work in the detail, and at the big picture level to connect multiple projects and create cross- system solutions to problems.
  • Contribute technical expertise to department planning and development.
Achievements
  1. Supported a growing development team that consistently sought increasing systems quality.
  2. Arranged and led training sessions across Systems Development and IT Operations teams.
  3. Provided technical insight into organisation-wide projects that helped to steer their successful implementation, including the biggest technical investment in the charity's history (Salesforce CRM).

Dec 2014 ‐ Dec 2016 Systems Development Technical Lead - Christians Against Poverty

As the Systems Development team began to grow, I was asked to provide leadership to the systems developers to grow quality of programming, and direction and leadership on how to better grow, maintain and integrate our internal and external systems.

Responsibilities
  • Supporting, training and onboarding new developers into the team
  • Providing designs for new developments and technical escalation point for issues and bugs
  • Supporting the IT Operations team in hosting and supporting our systems in production.
  • Provide technical insight and understanding at the senior leadership level.
  • Creating and communicating technical ways of working to the developers.
Key skills
  • Being an excellent programmer, able to achieve results in a timely manner and to a high quality.
  • Able to work with managers to understand gaps in needed skills and provide technical input, guidance and training.
  • Provide technical input across a number of projects, and act as an escalation point for technical issues.
  • PDeep technical knowledge of PHP, MySQL and the 3rd party libraries in use, as well as tools such as BitBucket and Mercurial.
Achievements
  1. Supported necessary changes in ways of working as the team grew from 3 developers to 6.
  2. Provided appropriate training for the development team, inspiring confidence in their abilities, and a desire to grow technically.
  3. Raised concerns about an externally developed system, and played a key part in an external technical review of that system.
More experience

Sep 2008 ‐ Dec 2014 Systems Developer - Christians Against Poverty

While still working as a helpdesk support, I was asked to work on the internal PHP-based systems after a development role was vacant for multiple months. After proving able to continue an existing project and create new systems while still achieving in my Helpdesk role, I was offered the role permanently. I was required to learn new skills, tools and ways of working to quickly create and maintain the growing number of developed systems using PHP, MySQL and MongoDB, and more than met the challenge, consistently achieving the praise of other developers for my abilities.

Sep 2007 ‐Aug 2008 2nd line Helpdesk support - Christians Against Poverty

In late summer 2007, I started work in the I.T. department at Christians Against Poverty; a Bradford-based rapidly expanding christian charity with a national centre network. I was given the role of second line helpdesk support, providing in-person and on the phone support to the head office staff, and the centre staff around the country. Responsibilities included desktop support, network infrastructure and training, but I was soon involved with decisions about the charity server and network infrastructure. Here I further enhanced my unix administration skills, as well as helping the charity roll out it's Mac OS X-based server infrastructure for roaming.

Dec 2005 ‐ Aug 2007 Support Engineer - Hi Tec Bradford

In 2005, I started work at Hi Tec Bradford, an Apple Authorised Service Provider and Solutions Expert for Education. I was offered a role as an Apple Macintosh engineer and sales assistant for the shop front. This required me to train on the Macintosh platform, and gave me invaluable knowledge because I was able to use my skills on the P.C. platform and apply them to the Macintosh, and due to the unix underpinnings of Mac OS X, I was able to develop my personal knowledge of unix systems administration. This knowledge allowed me to have a greater complexity to designing systems than other engineers that had dealt solely with Apple products. Due to my experience in network systems, my role soon evolved to include Macintosh network systems creation and on-site orientated tasks alongside my service responsibilities. I designed and setup many Macintosh-based networks, including Mac only environments, integrating 50 new Macs into an existing windows server environment for a school, and a school migration from Macintosh Manager and AppleShare IP OS9 environment to 10.4 server with 10.3 and classic, and Intel 10.4 based clients. During my time with Hi-Tec, I studied and passed two Apple training exams and was able to achieve the Apple Certified Helpdesk Technician and Apple Certified Technical Coordinator certifications.

2002 ‐ Dec 2005 Workshop Engineer - Hi Tec Bradford

Following my work experience, I was offered a part-time job as a basic engineer. This involved building new computer systems, basic assessments and repairs and virus and ad-ware removal and repair.

After leaving school, I was offered a full-time role within the company as a workshop engineer, with day release to college. As time progressed my duties within the company evolved to include being an on- site engineer, a database designer and a website programmer. This entailed more technical tasks such as network design, installation, repair and maintenance, network server design, maintenance and troubleshooting, on-site assistance, new P.C. installations and advice on new P.C's, dynamic website and Intranet/Internet management systems creation, as well as generic roles including stock management, customer relations, technical support and shop sales.

Education

2003 GCSEs - Salt Grammar school
Grade Subjects
A* Maths
A Chemistry
B Biology, English (literature), German, History, Physics, Religious Education
C English (language)

I also achieved a pass grade for a GNVQ in Information and Communication Technology, equivalent to four G.C.S.E.'s

2003 - 2004 HNC Software Engineering (incomplete) - Bradford College, Bradford

After upper school, I applied to join a HNC course in software engineering at Bradford College. I gained a place at 16 years old, 1 year younger than the minimum age they would normally allow. I attained 3 distinction grades for all 3 units during the first year. Unfortunately, due to personal circumstances I decided to delay the second year, and I was unable to re-attend a year later because the course syllabus had changed.

Hobbies and other interests

Aside from my interest in all things technical, I also play guitar and drums. I have been involved with bands in the past, and enjoy being a member of the worship leading team at my church. I also play as part of the ensemble worship team, and have played both guitar and drums regularly for Church services and events.

My children are home educated, primarily by my wife, and we all enjoy learning together as a family. I help teach my son about computers and programming, and support him through his G.C.S.E. in computer science. I also enjoyed pitching in with all their subjects and interests, and especially trying to grow an appreciation of the history around us.

I've also more recently grown an interest in video editing and post-production, particularly as the need grew to create online services and videos for our church during the COVID-19 pandemic. I particularly enjoy the combination of technical abilities, combined with the creative need to create a visually compelling package.

I passed my driving test in April 2005, and have enjoyed the freedom of easy traveling since that time.