Hello. We hunt web-ninjas and code-rockstars before breakfast, and build software from their bones and stringy bits.

We are a co-operative with some of the most experienced application developers in the UK. We build software and solve problems.

Wholly owned and run by the hands that build your software we are self-organising: we want you to work with the doers instead of the sayers.

Please approach us with projects that are inspiring; we absolutely require a challenge.

Significant Projects

  1. FutureLearn MOOC Platform

    FutureLearn, a start-up founded by the Open University, approached us in April 2013 to help build the first UK platform for massive open online courses (MOOCs). We jumped at the chance to get involved in such an exciting project!

    We played an important role in the team from the beginning; promoting a strong agile development culture as we helped ensure the platform was ready for the public launch in September 2013, and then again for the uncapped courses in January 2014.

    We think it’s a great project, with a great team, and we’re proud to have been involved.

  2. Government Single Domain

    We worked with GDS to help deliver the “Single Domain Project” for the UK government. The aim of the project is to deliver a simpler, smaller, nimbler, cheaper and better gov.uk domain for citizens and businesses to interact with the government and its services. This involves consolidating services from the multitude of existing government agency websites into a single, modern and usable system.

    Our specific role was to develop a platform to allow the various government departments and agencies to communicate with the public about their policies, publications and goals in a uniform way to increase the clarify, usefulness and reusability of that information.

  3. O2 #blue

    In 2010 O2 asked us to help them explore new approaches to software development, database technologies and open collaboration with their customers. We built a working prototype / beta replicating one of O2’s existing products which let customers access text messages online. Working iteratively, we designed and built an API to securely expose this data, and #blue, a front-end application which consumed this data.

    We then worked with O2 to scale and integrate the service directly into O2’s data network, allowing it to support hundreds of thousands of customers, whilst remaining responsive to the feedback and direction provided by the users of #blue. After getting their development team up to speed, we handed over development of #blue to O2.

Fuller list of projects

Our thoughts, ethos and process.

Using an agile/XP-based process is fundamental to our business. Much like the software it helps us to build, our process is always evolving and changing to meet the requirements and challenges with which we are presented.

We urge you to talk to us about your project. To give you an idea of how we work, our approach is framed by three guiding principles:

Software is alive

  • We know that software is not a static artefact and so cannot be described by a static spec or plan.

  • It needs to grow and evolve according to its environment, to best suit the needs of its users.

  • These needs change over time, even as the software is being built.

  • By getting early and regular feedback from users in real scenarios, we can identify and fulfill these needs.

  • By not compromising on quality and by avoiding unnecessary complexity, we can keep the system flexible and adaptable.

Always a product

  • We deliver working software every week, giving you visibility of tangible progress.

  • We develop your product incrementally, making the most valuable features available as early as possible.

  • We work iteratively, refining functionality based on feedback from you and your users.

  • By keeping your options open, you have complete control over your budget.


  • We want to work in partnership towards a shared goal.

  • We will challenge you and expect you to challenge us.

  • We write software in pairs.

We are selective about the projects we work on, based on the challenge and interestingness of project as well as the nature of the business involved.

A little background on our team

Founded in 2009 on the basis of mutual respect for each others’ work and character, our team is made up of complementary skills and a shared vision of how software should be built. Respected by clients and the online development community, we are experts at building software for the web.

  1. Photo of James Mead

    James Mead

    Since spending a couple of years as an electronic engineer on an Antarctic research station (yes, it was cold; no, there weren’t any polar bears), James has spent the last 15 years developing software at a number of consultancies and startups in the UK and US. After a stint at Thoughtworks working for clients like Dixons, AOL & Fidelity, he was the first employee at Reevoo, an early adopter of Ruby on Rails.

    He’s helped Headshift develop the website for Antony Gormley’s One & Other project.

    James is the author of Mocha, a popular Ruby testing framework.

  2. Photo of Chris Roos

    Chris Roos

    Switching from .NET to Ruby in 2004/2005 led to a job at Reevoo and the chance to work with James A and James M. Chris then spent 18 months at Headshift before joining his pals at GFR in late 2010.

  3. Photo of Chris Lowis

    Chris Lowis

    Chris discovered Ruby as an alternative to a mess of shell scripts and Perl that he was using while working as a researcher at the German Aerospace Center. Learning Rails distracted him during his PhD at the University of Southampton but eventually led to a job as a developer and researcher at BBC Music and later BBC R&D. He spent three and a half years running the data science team at FutureLearn before joining his friends at GFR in early 2017.

  4. Photo of Ben Griffiths

    Ben Griffiths

    Ben’s been a rubyist since 2003. He’s worked at Reevoo, Thoughtworks, GDS, Moo and some other places - most recently serving as Head of Technology for dxw. He joined GFR in April 2018.

Alumni: James Adam, Tom Ward, Jason Cale, Kalv Sandhu, James Andrews, Luke Redpath

Show and tell

For the last couple of years or so we’ve run a monthly event where people can demonstrate side projects, open-source projects, etc, in an informal setting with the aim of garnering friendly and constructive feedback.

Get in touch

Want to work with us?

Before we get acquainted here is the low-down:

  • Timing: We are looking for interesting projects to work on from June 2018. We’d love to hear from you if you’ve got an idea you think we can help with.

  • Organisation: We prefer to work as a whole team (we don’t offer individual contractors), and we require direct communication with the actual project decision makers.

  • Scope: We aren’t looking for a detailed specification, just provide us with a flavour and some enthusiasm for what you want to do and we can discover the rest together.

  • Budget: You pay a fixed cost per iteration. Since we deliver working software of value to your business with each iteration, we give you the flexibility to disengage at any point. We’re confident that the quality of our work and the rate at which we deliver it will have you coming back for more.

Come and see us

We no longer have a physical office, but we’re generally based in central London.

Please send us an email and we’ll arrange to meet up for a cuppa.

Go Free Range Limited is a company registered in England under number 06789592, whose registered office is Lytchett House, 13 Freeland Park, Wareham Road, Lytchett Matravers, Poole, Dorset, BH16 6FA. VAT registration number 947510611.