Richard Morrison

Richard Morrison

A knowledge­able, creative and re­source­ful senior developer with over 15 years of expe­rience. I start­ed pro­gram­ming pro­fes­sion­ally during un­der­gradu­ate study at Cam­bridge. I’ve demon­strated strengths in dev­el­opment, soft­ware ar­chi­tec­ture design, and technical leader­ship.

I am adapt­able and learn quickly. I earn praise for my clear communications, enthusiasm and breadth of understanding. In previous roles I have written software for oil majors, for coffee shops, and for doctors and hospitals. I initiated and built an in-house tracking system to handle patient and sample data for medical research projects.

Through my own com­pany, I've helped clients manage cloud in­fra­struc­ture, se­lect tech­no­logy stacks and es­tab­lish rigorous software meth­od­o­lo­gies (TDD, code review & analysis).

I joined Founders4Schools (now Workfinder) in September 2018 and work as a Senior Developer on the charity’s web platforms.


I have greatest experience with: Python, Django (esp. REST framework), Docker, git, Amazon Web Services, ubuntu/Debian, nginx, uwsgi, Ansible + ssh, PostgreSQL + MySQL, Twitter bootstrap, Redis, angular.js, heroku, node.js. I have used electronics, Arduino, Raspberry Pi and React.js in hobby and side projects. In a typical day I use all of macOS, Linux and Windows.

Employment - current

Senior Full-stack Developer Workfinder2018—now

I work on scaling up this successful charity’s work experience and event booking services. The development team is small and split between Cambridge and London, so we rely heavily on automation and remote working. I have taken on responsibility for data integrity and platform architecture, making improvements in both areas (for example, migrating database structures to normal form and eliminating unnecessary infrastructure and code).

Key technologies: Django, celery, Redis, git/github, heroku, ElasticSearch.

Employment - previous

Owner Angent Ltd2013—2018 (part-time)

Acting like an out­sourced CTO, I mi­grated a nationwide system for digit­al sign­age to AWS; mod­ern­ised the stack; developed novel online devices; and es­tab­lished rigorous development practice (all with collaborators). With thou­sands of con­stantly con­nec­ted devices, the client’s system would’ve been called IoT if the term had been around 10 years earlier. I consulted for local tech firms, fre­quently hel­ping them with APIs and UIs for devices gaining network connectivity for the first time.

I established my own company to work as a contractor. The majority of my work was development of large systems hosted on AWS which provide content distribution, centralised management, apps and third-party software integrations for two nationwide digital signage networks. Working with Telemarq Ltd, I helped one client migrate their entire system to the AWS cloud. The number of constantly-connected client devices grew by a factor of four during the time I worked on the system.

Alongside other work, we maintained and extended this large legacy codebase. It provides secure control, monitoring and software updates for thousands of con­stantly con­nec­ted devices in doctors’ surgeries, retail premises and garage forecourts worldwide. I implemented a staging environment, rigorous configuration and deployment tools, and secure, cloud-based continuous control of thousands of "headless" connected media players. The platform is well placed for further planned growth, despite being owned by a company with no in-house developers. We were asked to support and host for other contractors as the amount of work scaled up.

The same client also commissioned us to securely mirror their internal accounts database into the cloud, building a standard REST interface on top of it to enable live integration with other web tools, including e-commerce.

As well as consulting with a number of local tech firms, I commercialised a small number of hobby/side projects (multi-tenant pupil-tracking database, online lead generation tool, unique system monitoring framework).

Key technologies: Django, celery, Redis, git/bitbucket, Twitter bootstrap, Amazon Web Services (EC2, Elasticache, RDS, Elastic Transcoder, S3, CloudFront), Ubuntu, nginx.

Senior Web Developer
Head of Online Strategy
Owlstone Medical2011—2018 (part-time)

I worked as lead developer for Owlstone’s data platform, which under­pins large med­ical trials plus R&D con­tracts with leading pharmaceutical firms. As well as advising on cloud migration for the company’s machine-learning workloads, I helped a growing data & analysis teams to learn effective Python and software best practices. We used Agile methods with fortnight-long sprints (for a time I was also acting as stand-in pro­duct owner). Originally I was hired to establish the company's online pres­ence. We set up a successful lead generation team and embraced marketing auto­mation during Owlstone’s journey to prof­it­ab­il­ity.

Owlstone Medical is developing non-intrusive diagnostics for disease, based on the company’s unique chemical detector. Owlstone perform clinical trials and commercial R&D contracts, including the world’s largest breath-based study for early cancer detection. I was lead developer for the data platform handling patient data and controlling sample logistics.

I was originally recruited in a part-time role to lead Owlstone’s push to sell their chemical sensors and analysers online. Owlstone compete against, sell to and partner with $multi-billion firms, and we successfully generated sales through website traffic (content marketing, remarketing, paid ads and organic/SEO), online lead generation tools, and via focused campaigns on industry websites. My integration of Marketo (marketing automation) and oLark (online chat) led to a nomination for the final of Marketo’s Innovation Award in 2011, and I presented at several Marketo UK users’ group meetings.

I pioneered the adoption of open source operating systems (Debian) which enabled the network connectivity of newer, online instrumentation. Internally, I led by example and encouraged the uptake of new development practices and tools, such as Python and git, code review and TDD.

Key technologies: Python, Django, Django REST Framework, PostgreSQL, Ansible, nginx, angularjs, Docker, git, ubuntu/*nix, Amazon Web Services.

Early career

I started professional web development with Spiral Software during summer holidays as an undergraduate in 2000 and besides being a pure developer, have held roles in technology research, software sales and support. I spent a year working, volunteering and travelling in 2008-09.

Web Developer; Customer Liaison Officer Camvine2010—2012

I joined this startup before a rapid expansion, but had to move on when the company went into administration. In two years I helped key recruits grow into a support team and kickstarted a new revenue stream as a key member of a new professional services unit.

I joined this Cambridge startup knowing the role would use all of my skills. Initially, Camvine needed a technical lead to look after their growing client list and I provided this in addition to vital pre- and post-sales work (product demos, exhibitions, on-site training and installation). We were able to recruit and over 18 months my support and testing team grew to three people.

I helped Camvine establish a new business unit and revenue stream, acting as a developer and consultant within a new team of four. We won contracts with larger firms and built successful, innovative solutions for clients in varied industries. Examples included patient call systems for medical practices, content management and delivery for a public-facing advertising network, and waiting room information screens with live data.

Online Marketing Manager Royal Society of Chemistry2009—2010

Managing multidisciplinary teams across London and Cambridge offices, I championed the adoption of new technologies (collaboration tools, analytics, social media metrics). I led a key project to establish SharePoint as an internal collaboration and document management tool, negotiating internally, appointing skilled contractors and persuading colleagues of the benefits. A brief employment as I was recruited to join Camvine.

Travelling & freelance work EFTPlus2008—2009

Year-long work/travel period. I volunteered as a field assistant for 6 weeks in Tooloom National Park, Eastern Australia, studying bowerbird populations. As a freelance worker for EFTPlus in Dunedin, New Zealand, I helped a single-employee start-up launch new products for retailers. I produced a web site, publicity material, ran a phone campaign, held face-to-face meetings with retailers and initiated partnerships with Retailers Associations and trade bodies in New Zealand. The products were developing at the same time and I fed back experiences from early customers to improve the software’s capabilities. I did some remote consulting for Qi3 (see below).

Technology Market Researcher & Associate Qi32008—2009

I investigated new markets for innovative technologies worked to encourage innovation based on I.T. and physical sciences. I provided sales and marketing, technology development and brokering services to private sector clients (academics through small enterprises to large corporations). This involved carrying out visits, desk-based research and interviews to uncover and exploit new opportunities for innovative businesses.

Sales & Marketing; Solutions Consultant Spiral Software2004—2007

A senior member of the software sales team which built and maintained corporate and technical relationships with three oil majors (BP, Chevron, Shell) and over 40 other oil refining and trading companies (Trafigura, Mercuria, Vitol and others) worldwide. I was involved in complete sales cycles from technical pre-sales, through commercial negotiations, implementation and training. I consulted for established clients on the handling and profitability of crude oil data, designing and presenting custom training courses.

I represented Spiral at petroleum industry conferences, generating sales leads. I closed over £1m of contracts with refiners in Europe, Colombia, India, Thailand and Russia.

I oversaw the distribution and release of products, meeting clients’ expectations while co-ordinating relevant internal teams. I built the first web-based licensing service for the software and successfully managed the launch to all clients.

Web Applications Engineer Spiral Software2002—2004

I was principal developer for Spiral’s leading network tool – installed on worldwide servers in BP, Chevron and Shell and used globally as a business-critical source of crude oil information.

Responsible for designing robust code and web interface for a high security, computationally-intense application with hundreds of users, I selected a load-testing tool and put in place a successful testing program.

I stretched my interpersonal, organisational and problem-solving skills, communicating with clients to draw up technical requirements while co-ordinating coding, testing and documentation across several teams.

Education and qualifications

MSci Chemistry (1st) Trinity Hall, Cambridge2001—2002

Research project on atmospheric modelling.

Research project: mathematical modelling of tropospheric ozone pollution. 50 year gaseous emission forecasts and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s economic development scenarios added into an existing two dimensional time-step model of the Earth’s atmosphere.

BA Hons Natural Sciences (1st) Trinity Hall, Cambridge1998—2001

Awarded College Prizes and Stobbs prize for Natural Sciences; elected a College scholar.

A-levels and earlier Manchester Grammar School1991—1998

Awarded School Prizes in Physics & Chemistry. A-levels AAAA; 9 GCSEs inc. Russian. Additional Chemistry & French.

About me

Outside work, being a Dad and tinkering with technology keeps me pretty busy. I squeeze in some cycling, a love of birds, an occasional photography habit and reading/getting excited about science thanks to a slightly non-textbook GTD system. My first website won awards in the late 90s and is still online.

Wives and Children

I love the outdoors and nature. I’ve travelled in Vietnam and China; Yukon Territory, Canada; Alaska; Jordan; Eastern Australia (volunteer biological fieldwork); New Zealand; Fiji; Central America; Madagascar.


Contact details



About this site

I work hard at whatever I take on, and this site is no exception. I’ve tried to take care to make it responsive, fast and accessible. I used: Git, SASS, minified.js, Sublime Text, Middleman, Webfaction and CloudFront.