I am an adaptable and pragmatic IT professional with broad and deep technical skills. I draw from my experience which began with 6502 assembly and moved to 4GLs, networking, operations through to full-stack internet application development, cyber security, leadership and everything in between.
My mantra is “Simple above Easy” and the systems I’ve built reflect my values. They are robust, modular and most importantly: maintainable. I gain personal satisfaction from designing and building solutions from their inception to their final delivery and beyond.
I am a skilled software, systems and security engineer, architect, technical evangelist and effective communicator at all levels.
My skills cover the full technology stack and include
- UI and UX design
- Workflows and threat modelling
- Data and architectural design, optimisation and security
- Business layers and services
- Application security, design, build and test
- Penetration testing
- Solution delivery
- Solution support and maintenance
Senior Software Security Engineer at Just Eat. Farringdon, London.
September 2016 – present
Just Eat is a leading Global marketplace for online food delivery providing customers with an easy and secure way to order and pay for food from their restaurant partners. Just Eat has over 24 million active customers across 13 countries worldwide and over 80,000 restaurant partners in the UK alone.
I was brought into a new InfoSec team based on my development and hands-on security skills. As a member of our Security Team, it’s our responsibility to ensure our Customer and Restaurant Partner data along with our infrastructure and IP is always protected and securely handled.
I’m involved with education, security workshops and presentations and provide provide architectural and data handling direction to project teams. I also run threat modelling sessions and work with our engineers to resolve code vulnerabilities. I run our vendor and product security reviews and help with our PCI compliance and regular penetration testing.
I’m subject-matter-expert on our edge protection and took ownership of our DDoS mitigation and CDN WAF to maximise use of the service. I have good technical relationships with our security vendors and actively contribute to their service road-maps. I started Just Eat’s “Shifting Security to the Left” initiative and rolled-out Static Application Security Testing (SAST), Software Composition Analysis (SCA) and Package Firewall to our CI/CD pipeline.
I’ve brought the concept of Agile to InfoSec. I acted as Agile Coach and Scrum Master and used my many years of Agile working to educate, reassure and guide all InfoSec team members. I’ve written documentation explaining Agile and how we will adopt it, ran ceremonies and maintained strict order. I capture retrospectives and coordinate backlog refinement and sprint planning. We are now Agile and have whole-team buy-in.
I’m involved in the OWASP London Chapter, contribute to security forums, attend conferences and collaborate with external security teams to share knowledge and experience.
I understand and empathise with engineers help them understand the value of security. I also appreciate the values of senior managers and our exec and their need for perceived value. I work at all these levels with passion, authority and the pragmatism that years of varied hands-on experience provides.
Developer at Paddy Power Betfair. Stevenage, Herts and Hammersmith, London.
Feb 2012 – September 2016
Betfair is the UK’s largest online betting company and owns and operates the world’s largest Internet Betting Exchange. The Exchange processes more transactions every day than all European stock exchanges combined. Along with the Exchange, Betfair provides online gaming as well as a more traditional sportsbook product.
I joined Betfair as part of the newly-formed Enterprise Applications Team. We are strictly Agile and use TDD practices in all our work. I am a multi-skilled Microsoft-stack developer and work on all legacy, current and future projects in various technologies ranging from ASP Classic and Windows Forms to MVC and WPF.
I design, build and deliver enterprise-grade web and desktop solutions for Betfair teams and selected third-parties. Each solution has different UI, storage and security requirements so modern, maintainable and testable technologies are chosen for each. This means the whole team gets real-world experience with up-to-date technologies.
I’m regularly involved in special projects including technology selection, system upgrades and decommissioning, database and query optimisation and branding and artwork. I’m a trained first-aider, fire marshal and member of the Betfair United social committee.
|Dev||Visual Studio 2015, C#, Entity Framework, NuGet, WebAPI, WCF, Windows Forms, Console Apps, NT Services, WPF, MVVM, ReSharper|
|Test||TDD, MS Test, Automated Testing|
|Data||Oracle, PL/SQL, SQL Server, T-SQL|
|Server||TFS for story, task and time management, source control, automated testing, continuous integration and delivery|
Senior Developer at Base79 (formerly Myvideorights.com). London SW1.
June 2010 – February 2012
Base 79 were an online media agency protecting the rights of content owners by managing the media distribution monetisation through advertising. Their managed content consistently delivered over 500 million views and over 300,000 monetisable impressions per month with a click-through rate approaching 4%.
I designed, wrote and delivered a new Ad Campaign Management system (ACM). This allowed end-to-end management of the booking, monitoring and reporting of large-scale video advertising campaigns via YouTube, DailyMotion, MetaCafe and VideoPlaza. The system included robust extract, transform and load (ETL) services, publication-quality reporting and an efficient web UI. When the company rebranded to Base 79, I planned and executed the migration of all Myvideorights’ internal and customer-facing systems including websites, cloud based services, mailboxes, domains and security certificates.
|Dev||Visual Studio 2010, C#, WCF, Windows Forms, Console Apps, NT Services, Object-Relational Mapping (ORM) using CodeSmith and NetTiers, ReSharper, Telerik Reporting, SubVersion source control using Tortoise, Ankh and Beanstalk, Continuous Integration with TeamCity & MSBuild.|
|Data||SQL Server, SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS), SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS), MS Business Intelligence Development Studio, T-SQL.|
|Server||Rally & TeamCity for story, task and time management.|
Beanstalk for Subversion source control
Senior Web Developer at ELEXON Ltd. London NW1.
July 2008 – June 2010
ELEXON are a non-profit making arm of the National Grid who manage and maintain the Balancing & Settlement Code (BSC) which governs and regulates the energy imbalance between production and consumption.
I was responsible for maintaining and updating ELEXON’s internal and external web applications. I designed, wrote and deployed replacement development, test, staging and production web platforms. I planned and executed the migration of systems from NT/SQL 2000 and .Net 2.0 to NT/SQL 2008 and .Net 3.5. I was technical lead during enterprise-level SQL migration and consolidation projects. I replaced ELEXON’s in-house search solution with Google SiteSearch. I designed, rolled-out and enforced high coding standards though code-reviews and team mentoring.
|Dev||Visual Studio 2005/2008, C#, .Net Frameworks 2.1/3.5, NT Services, Windows Forms, Console apps, Object Relational Mapping using LLBLGen, Source control using VSS, Continuous integration with CruiseControl.|
|Data||MS SQL Server 2000/2005/2008.|
Senior Technical Specialist with MIVA/Perot Systems Ltd. London NW1
April 2005 – July 2008
MIVA (formerly known as Espotting) were a pay-per-click advertising company whose in-house platform provided its partners and advertisers with a robust large-scale bidding model to support sponsored-link advertising. In 2005, Espotting was rebranded as MIVA and in 2007 I was in-sourced to Perot Systems.
I was responsible for the support and development of MIVA’s existing applications and special projects. I designed, wrote and deployed MIVA Mail and was selected to be senior developer for MIVA’s new PrivateLabel team. During this time, I designed, wrote and delivered a new integration platform for Eniro Sweden and a new multi-client bidding platform for Eniro Finland. I also designed, wrote and delivered a new Content Aggregation Platform which drove many future MIVA products including spill.com.
|Dev||Visual Studio 6/2003/2005, C#, VB 6, VB Script, COM|
|Data||SQL Server 2000/2005|
Positions prior to March 1996
|Web Developer with Netizen Ltd. Pirton, Hertfordshire||Apr 2003 – Mar 2005|
|CTO and Senior Systems Developer with MobileFuture/MessageEarth Plc. Ware, Hertfordshire||Aug 2000 – Apr 2003|
|IP Applications Team Leader at Cable & Wireless Communications Plc. Brentford, Middlesex||Feb 1999 – Aug 2000|
|Network Analyst at The Medical Insurance Agency Ltd. Stevenage, Hertfordshire||Mar 1996 – Feb 1999|
|Database Administrator and Developer with the Epwin Group Plc. Paignton, Devon||Jun 1994 – Mar 1996|
|Computer Operative with Devon Estates Practice. Newton Abbot, Devon||May 1994 – Jun 1994|
|Self-employed Computer Programmer and Graphic Designer||Jan 1992 – May 1994|
|Part-time Graphic Engineer at B.J. Print & Graphics. Paignton, Devon||Sept 1991 – Oct 1993|
Further details of all previous roles are available on request.
|September 1992 – July 1993|
Staffordshire University, Stafford.
B.Sc. Hons. Software Engineering
|September 1990 – July 1992|
South Devon College of Arts & Technology.
BTEC National Diploma in Computing.
All subjects at Merit or Distinction level
|September 1989 – July 1990|
Long Eaton Community School, Long Eaton, Notts.
Eight GCSEs: Computing, Mathematics, Physics, Biology, English Lang., English Lit., Geography & Art
Scuba Diving. I’m a Scuba and Technical Diving Instructor with the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) and the British Sub-Aqua Club (BS-AC). I built MidHertsDivers.com with its custom Content Management System and also FinDivers.com. I am a certified First Aid and AED trainer.
Fitness. I enjoy swimming and swim a mile every morning at my local pool and in open water where possible.
Cooking. I’ve always loved cooking and in my spare time I successfully completed NVQ Level 2 Food Preparation & Cooking – a nationally recognised industry qualification. Sadly I had to turn down a place on the BBC programme MasterChef, due to work commitments.
Photography & underwater videography. My eye for detail lends itself to photography and underwater videography. Some of my work can be seen on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/acolegate
Playing the Piano. I’m taking lessons and improving all the time.