Hello world, I'm Carl

I’m a CTO with a business focus. I do my best work in entrepreneurial environments where companies trust their C-Suite to make big decisions.

 

I’ve enjoyed working in the recruitment, publishing & mapping industries; reinvented tech departments in mature companies and started companies from scratch.

 

I build confidence and skill-sets in my teams to meet business and career goals.

Anecdotes from my tech career
 

Migrated a business to the cloud

IT & Programme Director

Trinity Mirror (Digital Recruitment) plc

The business I arrived at was running finance, sales and CS on an MS Access application written in-house. Stability and performance screamed for something more robust. We migrated the business to Sage and Salesforce, with custom additions for the sales floor with a dedicated integrations team.

Built an app-based business

Founder

Midnight 30 Ltd

I've built the challenger-brand Great Careers, to bring transparency to job boards.

 

An app serves up jobs within a commutable time to job seekers at named companies. Companies are given space to promote their cultures and show the opportunities they need to fill.

Platform tech: Python, Swift, Google Talent Solution and AWS: Cognito, DynamoDB, GatewayAPI, Lambda, SNS and S3.

Built a web business

Technical Director

Xrefer (trading as Credo Reference)

It's hard to imagine a time when the web wasn't all-pervasive. Not only did you have to sell your own products but you had to sell the idea of the web too! That's what we did at Xrefer, an online reference service, stocked with content from the likes of Bloomsbury, Collins Macmillan and Penguin and sold to the AOL, BBC, NHS and half the UK public libraries.

Platform tech: Java, Apache Lucene, PostgreSQL.

Rescued a product

IT Director

Trinity Mirror plc

I arrived at the company with a tech department that had stopped shipping code and a key product - a CV database - so broken, it was given away. With company politics as thick as treacle I set about replacing the broken backend of CV database with a modern search engine, enabling existing customers to finally find candidates.

 

This created momentum in the company and renewed the confidence of the tech team that their efforts would lead to shipping code. With morale raised, we pulled in Customer Service for their front-line experiences and built a fresh UX that let our CV content shine. The new product had a significant bottom-line effect.

Platform tech: Linux, Apache, MySQL, Perl, Java, Lucene.

Building stronger teams

Team builder

I've introduced the role of 'point person' wherever I have managed teams. A point person on a project (or sprint for that matter) is responsible for oversight of the project. They aren't necessarily the most experienced project member enabling junior team members to get a taste for the job of management.

This takes the pressure off senior developers who can concentrate on programming on such projects while mentoring the 'point person' where opportunities present themselves.

Great Careers job board service

I developed the Great Careers service to improve the job board experience for companies and candidates.

The Problem

Anyone who has used a job board has shared the frustrations.

 

It starts from the first search results returned: a list of nameless companies, poorly written descriptions and often with the vaguest idea of where - don't they know "London" is a big place?

 

Candidates are frustrated and enterprises poorly represented. 

The Solution

Midnight 30 developed Great Careers to address these problems.

 

A job board taking the pain out of job boards. No fictional jobs, no ads without a company name and no redirects to apply for a job.

Offices are mapped and candidates can find jobs within a commutable time from home.

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Great Careers platform surface

While using Google Cloud for search indexing and AWS for mobile account management it is Python that provides the common language across all servers. The native iOS app is written in Swift.

Python

The first release of Google App Engine was Python-only. So, Python choose me. I find it a good general purpose language but it can so easily lead to obfuscated data structures - Python makes it so easy to extend without APIs documenting the changes.

Swift

Swift offers great promise. It's the language I just about dislike nothing about (if you exclude Xcode of course).

Amazon

AWS has enabled me to go serverless using their Lambda, DynamoDB and Cognito APIs. But perhaps it was too soon, as AWS APIs have been swapped out while Amazon figures out how to offer Serverless as a product.

Google

I loved the AppEngine service when launched - well ahead of the competition. But metaphorical blood is shed at the bleeding edge and development hasn't been smooth sailing. v2 is better thought out and development is far smoother.

NON-PROFIT TECH

CODE4000

I support Code4000, a non-profit, helping break the cycle of crime by teaching prisoners to code and build websites so they can get jobs when they complete their terms.

 
CONTACT CARL

Carl Hunter Roach

carl at hunterroach dot com 

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© Carl Hunter Roach