I founded Products People Care About to bring modern software development practices and understanding to organisations looking to make a positive difference.
Ordnance Survey needs no introduction. It has been making the UK's maps for over 200 years and today is a leading data company and well-loved brand.
I worked at Geovation which is Ordnance Survey's startup accelerator, data lab and co-working space.
My role was to help select the startups that were offered places on our Programmes, and then to act as a virtual Chief Technology Officer for them - to support them through a series of workshops to put in place suitable processes, deliver their MVPs, understand their business models, help them raise investment and grow their teams.
All the following are handled through my previous company 3aims Ltd, company number 06173398, set up in 2007 and dissolved in 2018.
Consultant and Web Developer - Blue World Lite
Growing Communities is a not-for profit who run a veg box scheme in Hackney to encourage people to eat local organic food.
I'm writing an open source registration and billing system to automate the manual processes currently involved in running the scheme.
The toolchain is GitHub, Django, GoCardless, Heroku, Behave + PhantomJS + Travis + Selenium and Send Grid.
Consultant and Software Engineer - Cove and Flatten Tool
Open Data Services provide a range of open data and transparency services including around the open contracting and 360 giving standards. These standards are based around the ability for users to convert spreadsheets of data into JSON structures. It is a little complicated to explain in a CV, but I proposed and implemented a solution for mapping errors back to the source cells in the source spreadsheet.
Data Visualiser - My London
I created an interactive data map using Python, PostgreSQL, AWS, React and MapBox to help Londoners find somewhere to live. The project has a secondary goal of demonstrating what is possible with the data that is already published on the London Datastore.
View the site at http://my.london.gov.uk. The map is coloured in based on the order of the themes in the panel on the left (public transport, green spaces, safety and schools). Green areas are good matches, pink areas are bad matches. If you change your budget, areas outside your budget will become grey. Click a coloured area to drill into more detailed information.
Architect - ZONZA Production Management Platform
I worked as a Senior Python Developer and later as an Architect for 10 teams distributed across London, New York, Bangladesh and Eastern Europe.
Zonza uses Solr, PostgreSQL, RabbitMQ and Django on Ubuntu.
I also helped as a Developer on a separate Django project called CopyCentral which handles all copy clearing for UK television advertising and replaces Adway.
See ClearCast's blog post about the project.
REST API Developer - Freezer Pro
I built a high performance REST API client in Node.js to test a third party product called 'Freezer Pro' to determine if it was capable of meeting their functionality and load requirements for keeping track of human tissue samples across their sites.
Consultant - Secure Electronic Web Portal (EWP)
I worked with a company called Fry-IT to help deliver a patient data collection platform for the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. It was based on CKAN (described later) but with heavily upgraded encryption (essential given the sensitivity of child heath data).
Consultant - Parkinson's Research Databases Prototype (PRDb)
I set up A CKAN instance designed to collect all Parkinson's research data in one place. The project eventually spurred on a larger initiative now underway.
Lead - CKAN Open Data Portal
I led the CKAN team. CKAN is the world's most popular open data software. I helped build the community, hire developers, run seminars and project manage high profile data portal projects for the Cabinet Office, Defra and the International Aid Transparency Initiative as well as for many smaller sites.
The work was varied and included:
CKAN is implemented using Pylons, PostgreSQL, Solr, RabbitMQ, jQuery, HTML and CSS. The production CKAN instances are generally deployed with Apache, Solr and PostgreSQL on separate machines, sometimes utilising Amazon Web Services and sometimes on physical hardware.
See data.gov.uk for an example site.
Pylons: CKAN itself is built on a framework called Pylons, a popular Python web framework which I co-founded in 2005. I also wrote The Definitive Guide to Pylons published by Apress to teach others Python web development. Today the Pylons framework is also used in other major projects like reddit.com where it reportedly handles over 8 billion requests a month with Cassandra and PostgreSQL.
Real-time Energy Graphing for the Web
I worked for More Associates on CarbonCulture, a platform for apps that encourage people to reduce carbon, written in Django. I helped set up installs for Cabinet Office, Number 10, Defra, DECC and other government departments. There are now over 170 communities in 2,600 places using the platform.
I also wrote the set of cross-browser, fully accessible realtime energy widgets the platform serves. The widgets use HTML5 Canvas (falling back to VML or SVG depending on browser capabilities) for the rendering, and use polling ajax calls for the 5 second updates.
RHIST Historical Research Reporting System
When St George's Joint Research Office switched to a new Finance system they still needed to be able to access all their existing data. I provided IT consultancy and development of a web-based financial reporting system for the R&D department to track research project spending. The source data is pulled in from SAGE, SQL Server and Excel spreadsheets. The implementation uses Python and Redis and runs on CentOS. I continue to provide ad-hoc support on an ongoing basis.
I enjoy developing new architectures for moving the web forward (including on mobile and tablet), teaching scuba diving as a BSAC instructor, and travelling to see and photograph animals and wildlife.
Copyright James Gardner 1996-2020 All Rights Reserved. Admin.