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.
Since spending a couple of years as an electronic engineer on an Antarctic research station, James has spent the last 20+ 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 Ben hired at Reevoo, a London start-up that was an early adopter of Ruby on Rails. Other claims to fame include helping develop the website for Antony Gormley’s One & Other project for the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square, and being the author of Mocha, a popular open-source Ruby testing framework. James joined GFR in early 2010.
An early career spent using Visual Basic 6 left him searching for something better. He spent a while using .NET before discovering the joy of Ruby and Ruby on Rails in 2005. This early adoption led to a job at Reevoo where he enjoyed working with Ben, James A and James M. After leaving Reevoo, he spent 18 months working on various Rails projects at Headshift before joining GFR in late 2010.
Chris started his career as an acoustical engineer working for the German Aerospace Center and completing a PhD at the University of Southampton. He joined the BBC in 2009 and worked in the Radio and Music and Research and Development departments - building things such as the BBC Introducing website, voice-controlled games for children, automated metadata tools for the the World Service archive and a Web Audio-powered recreation of the Radiophonic Workshop. Chris left the BBC in 2014 and joined FutureLearn - the Open University-funded MOOC platform. There he founded and managed the Data Science team. He joined GFR in 2017.
Ben’s been a builder and maker since the early 2000s. Early in his career he was CTO of ActiveHotels - one of the most successful UK start-ups, now part of Booking.com. He co-founded Reevoo in 2004, running the biggest ruby team in the UK. He’s worked at Thoughtworks and was a member of the team that grew into the Government Digital Service. In between he’s worked at Moo, been CTO of award-winning toy company MakieLab, built iOS apps for innovative healthcare trials and most recently was Head of Technology for agile public-sector agency, dxw. An agilista and rubyist since 2003, he came home to GFR in 2018.