Curriculum Vitae

I'm a web developer & consultant.

With a background in Computer Science and more than eight years of commercial experience, I've honed a variety of web development skills. I'm happy building systems from scratch, extending existing systems, refactoring projects that have become unmaintainable, or scaling systems that have been pushed beyond their capacity. I'm happy working alone or as part of a team, and can work from your office or remotely.

But that's not all...

I can also help you with the technical side of your business. Whether that's crafting a deliverable roadmap, improving developer infrastructure, introducing an agile workflow, helping you screen & hire technical staff, capacity planning, mentoring junior developers, or improving internal communication, I've got the know-how to work with you and let you focus on your main business.

Got any examples?

Sure. At Last.fm I worked as a web developer, building and improving features that were used by more than 40 million users. I helped screen candidates for hiring, sent Christmas swag to top users, kept an eye on the forums for people reporting problems, and did my best to keep the product team focused on the end user.

At DrEd I helped refocus their roadmap, expand their permanent technical team, refactor their application stack, and let them ship better software faster. I also worked with Silicon Milkroundabout to help them figure out their company's future roadmap and built the key features for their upcoming event.

At Made By Many I focused almost entirely on development. They had a tight deadline and no free developers to work on Skype in the Classroom. Everyone was nervous about the deadline at the start of the project. By the end of it, we'd delivered it on time, on budget, surpassed the client's expectations, and left the project in a better state than before.

You can see more examples in my portfolio.

Am I right for you?

I enjoy working with small companies and startups the most, and love products used by non-technical users. I'm most attracted to smart teams and thin bureaucracy.

My ideal project is one of these:

  • You're a startup looking for help building your product, developing a roadmap, iterating with customers, and building your permanent team.
  • You're in a tight spot and in need of rescue. Maybe you've got too much technical debt. Maybe you've got no tests and no documentation. Maybe you've got no supporting infrastructure and no backups. I'll help you get back to a good place.
  • You've got a team you trust, but don't have enough developers right now. You need someone who'll get up to speed quickly, turn up on time, and pull his weight with the rest of the team.

The best way to find out if we're a good fit is to get in touch and tell me more about your project.

Want a more traditional CV? See below. Otherwise, contact me now.

The quick summary

  • Backend web developer – Ruby, Rails, Python, PHP
  • Frontend skills too – JavaScript, CoffeeScript, Backbone, Semantic HTML & CSS
  • Helps companies get their processes and tools into shape, ensuring their in-house devs have the resources they need
  • Keeps one eye on business objectives & can align your strategy with your product
  • Puts the user first – the things we build have to be usable, and companies should treat their customers with the utmost respect.
  • Actively enjoys hiring, so can help you screen and recruit technical candidates you might not be able to evaluate accurately.
  • Contact me now to discuss your needs.

Technical skill

  • Areas of expertise: Scaling high-capacity web sites, web services, user-focused design, and web application architecture.
  • Programming languages: Fluent in Ruby, Rails, JavaScript, Python, and PHP. Familiar with Java, JSP, Haskell, C, C++, Perl, VB & VBA, Occam, and Z.
  • Other languages: Fluent in HTML, CSS, SQL, and XML. Familiar with LaTeX.
  • Web stack: Experienced with databases (PostgreSQL, MySQL, SQLite, and FileMaker) and key-value stores (memcache, redis). Experienced with web servers (Apache, lighttpd, and nginx), clustered architecture (perlbal, squid, haproxy, and tinyproxy), and RPC (Thrift, XMLRPC, JSON, and SOAP).
  • Operating systems: Fluent as a user and administrator in Linux and Solaris. Familiar with Windows and OSX.

Employment history

August 2012 – present: Full stack contracting, London & Remote

  • Worked for a variety of clients including FetLife, Made By Many, General Assembly, Silicon Milkroundabout, and DrEd.
  • Integrated smoothly into existing teams, often in a leadership role.

October 2007 – January 2012: Web Developer, Last.fm

  • Worked on the webteam for more than 4 years at Last.fm (one of the world's top music websites) focusing on the website backend.
  • Helped grow the service from 20 million to 40 million users, bring Last.fm to the XBox, rearchitect the site for the 2008 relaunch, and implement Last.fm Discover, Last.fm Fantasy Festival, and the activity feed.
  • Technical fields used include PHP, Postgres, Smarty, web services, Thrift, memcache, and JavaScript.

June 2006 – September 2007: Systems Developer, Framestore CFC

  • Worked in Systems Development, a three person team building workflow & infrastructure tools used by the 600 person company. Developed new systems & enhanced older ones employing PHP, Perl, and XML-RPC.
  • Databases used include MySQL, PostgreSQL, and FileMaker.
  • Platforms used include Linux and Windows XP.

July 2004 - July 2005: Web Project Manager, Sun Microsystems

  • Working in the Internet Services Engineering department, currently on the search engine.
  • Technical fields employed include Java & JSP, iPlanet/SJSAS and Solaris administration, custom tag library development, and Perl.

September 2003 - July 2004: Web Administrator, Kent Union

  • Responsibilities included editing articles for www.kentunion.co.uk, attending events to gather content for the site, and performing routine administration on the site and server.
  • Technical fields used included Python, Solaris, Zope, Plone, Perl, and Linux.

Education

September 2002 - July 2006: University of Kent

  • BSc (Hons) Computer Science with a Year in Industry (1st).

September 2000 - June 2002: Cambridge Regional College

  • 3 A2 levels: Economics (B), Mathematics (C), and Physics (C).
  • 2 AS levels: English Literature (B) and Critical Thinking (A).

September 1995 - July 2000: Plymouth College

  • 11 GCSEs from A* to B, including Mathematics and English.

Personal details

Name: Alex Pounds  
Contact telephone number: 07759 383903  
Contact e-mail: alex@alexpounds.com Further contact details

Referees