About

Hi, I'm Rick! đź‘‹ I am a software engineering lead with over 13 years in the industry, currently specialising in development on the Microsoft .NET stack, with a long-standing passion for usability, accessibility and sustainability.

I'm also a 2x Umbraco MVP, Umbraco Certified Master and part of the Umbraco Community Sustainability Team.

I'm currently working as Lead Software Engineer for Wattle where I get to build websites and software. This means I'm working across tech stacks—C# .NET, SQL and Umbraco as well as HTML, CSS/Sass, JS/ES6+ and Node.

Having previously worked on and delivered solutions for notable companies such as Mind, NCC Group, Newcastle Airport, CPP, Parkdean Resorts, Lakeland, Warburtons, Places for People and the World Travel and Tourism Council, I can bring an end-to-end approach to any project.

Open Source Projects

Umbraco.Community.BlockPreview

Umbraco.Community.BlockPreview enables easy to use rich HTML backoffice previews for the Umbraco Block List and Block Grid editors.

Umbraco.Community.Sustainability

A package from the Umbraco Community Sustainability Team which helps developers and editors see and improve the carbon impact of their websites. Enables a Content App in the Umbraco backoffice to see page weight and carbon emissions, which is then converted to a carbon rating for individual pages.

umbracodegen

Generate boilerplate code for building v14+ Umbraco packages. See the blog post for more information.

Employment history

Nexer Digital

June 2021 – April 2024

As the Development Team Lead at Nexer, my role is mostly about line management, mentorship, and support for our developers. I run one to ones with my immediate team, setting and reviewing objectives, and helping people with training and support plans. Working closely with the Head of Technology, I play a role in shaping and executing Nexer’s technology strategy. This includes client focus, technology partnerships, and internal DevOps approaches. I am also involved day-to-day in problem solving, technical architecture and helping the team with P1s.

Beyond that, my responsibility includes running recruitment and onboarding processes. This ensures the integration of new team members into the existing delivery squads. Overall, my experience blends technical expertise with leadership skills, contributing to the efficiency and growth of both the team and the organisation.

I have been involved with pitching to clients, writing proposals and demoing new technology to clients, as well as still being involved in day-to-day delivery of projects, mainly built on Umbraco.

Places for People

November 2020 – May 2021

In my second stint at Places for People, I was the lead Umbraco engineer responsible for managing and maintaining existing v7 sites. I also led the project to rebuild the main placesforpeople.co.uk site in Umbraco 8, running a team of other developers as part of a squad, similar to Spotify’s squad model.

In my time here I was part of the team looking into microservices using .NET 5 and Docker deploying into AWS, and helped modernise the department’s approach to build and release using Azure Pipelines for CI/CD.

Shout Digital

July 2016 – October 2020

My role at Shout saw me working as a full stack developer using the Microsoft .NET stack, Umbraco (versions 4-8), Sitecore (versions 8 and 9), and front end tech such as Angular, Node and React.

Key successes include working on an optimised and redesigned booking system for Parkdean Resorts which led to a ~30% uptick in conversions, moving Newcastle Airport from a bespoke CMS onto Umbraco 7 and delivering the first Umbraco 8 project into production for CPP.

I led on projects and communicated updates regularly to key stakeholders internally and externally on regular standups, sprint retrospectives and sprint planning. I was also been involved in writing User Stories and planning backlogs and sprints.

I was also responsible for creating and maintaining build pipelines through Azure DevOps that built to both local on-prem servers as well as virtual machines and web apps on Azure.

Fat Media

September 2015 – July 2016

My role at Fat Media was as part of the Flexible Resource team, comprised of people of different skillsets who must respond to short term client work that will take ~3 days. I supported on front end development work as well as lead on projects requiring back end development within WordPress, as well as picking up some C# ASP.NET work in Umbraco.

Places for People

September 2011 – September 2015

I was part of the internal web development team, responsible for building both internal and external websites and applications for the company and its subsidiaries. We primarily developed in C# ASP.NET, and I was the main developer for front end development.

I worked on a two-person team to develop and successfully take our first piece of commercial software—the Cirrus complaints handling system (cirruscomplaints.net)—to market. Other notable successes include: redevelopment of the company intranet, providing information and support to over 3500 staff across the country; technical restructure of group websites with excess of 100,000 hits per month and huge cost savings; development of employee benefits site.

My day to day jobs included monitoring our support logs with our Web Support team, updating key business leaders on the progress of projects, and researching new technologies to aid in product development.