Dan Sumption

Agile Development Team Lead

Lead developer and project manager. 20 years' experience programming and leading technical teams. Communicates clearly and confidently with clients, management, creatives, testers and other developers. Champion of Continual Improvement using Systems Thinking, Lean Software Development and Agile methods.

Dan

Experience

Vee24

Technical Project Director, Vee24

2014-present

Working with the technical team (developers, testers and customer support) to improve software delivery and responsiveness to client needs, by introducing elements of Kanban, regular team retrospectives, and improved DevOps.

Worked with front-end development team to restructure and modularise existing legacy JavaScript front-end code, to create a new PhoneGap plugin wrapping the company's mobile SDKs, and to add features to Adobe AIR-based agent software.

ITV

Senior Developer, ITV Player

2014

Working with a multi-disciplinary Agile (Scrum) team to develop enhancements to the ITV Media Player across desktop, Android, YouView and Samsung TV platforms. In the run-up to the 2014 FIFA World Cup my main goal was to increase ad-sales in the online live TV player by building a new Simulcast Ad Replacement feature. This feature was delivered ahead of schedule, and generated enough revenue to completely repay its development costs within two weeks of launch. I was also responsible for improving quality of service in the existing media player product. To this end, I implemented additional reporting and data-analysis using Splunk, and made recommendations based upon these findings.

YouView TV Ltd

Senior Interface Developer

2010-2014

Development lead of "Team Experience", who created the embedded user interface software for the YouView TV platform using Adobe AIR for TV. I liaised closely with the Product and User Experience teams to develop features, from BDD (Gherkin) specifications through to final implementation. We implemented continuous integration to maintain a stable build, and released a new version of the software every two weeks. Progress of all features and bugs was tracked using Atlassian Jira and a company-wide Kanban board, which went through many iterations as the company grew.

I also developed the XML schema which hardware manufacturers use to add their own plugins to the set-top-box, and used Python and stb-tester to automate testing of the user interface.

BBC Future Media & Technology

Senior ActionScript Developer

2008-2010

Developed the BBC Embedded Media Player (EMP) version 2.0. This video/audio player forms the heart of BBC iPlayer and BBC News multimedia output. I produced Flash 7, 8, 9 & 10 versions of the EMP, as well as a customised 10-foot UI version for Sony PlayStation.

After six months on the Media Playout team, I took charge of the (Adobe AIR) BBC iPlayer Desktop project, which had fallen behind schedule. I reorganised the development team and, through daily scrums and a pragmatic approach to project scope, successfully delivered the public beta and version 1.0 releases on time. I then took charge of the "EMP Flash-in-Flash" project: a Flash Component version of the media player. This was used by other developers across the BBC, who could embed the component within their own Flash projects (both AS2 and AS3).

After leaving the BBC at the end of 2009, I returned in 2010 as an Adobe consultant, to optimise the EMP for the first Android release of BBC iPlayer.

Freelance

Developer

2007-2008 and 2010

I became a freelancer in 2007. I was keen to spend more time writing code, after almost ten years during which I had run my own media agency: giving presentations, writing proposals and managing freelance creatives, as well as being responsible for all front- and back-end development.

My favourite part of the development process has always been where design meets algorithm, and this is why I focused on the Adobe Flash Platform. At the time, Flash/ActionScript was the most advanced and reliable way of providing complex visual interaction.

During this time I worked at companies including Golden Sq/Disqo, SmartAssess, Big Communications/Fuse Digital and Souk. I also taught ActionScript programming to final year students on Sheffield Hallam University's Digital Media Production BA, and developed new ways of teaching Mathematics to primary school children for Creative Partnerships. I also familiarised myself with Extreme Programming (XP), including pair-coding and code reviews with colleagues.

Mark and Dan

CTO

2001-2007

In 2001 I launched the company Mark and Dan, along with Mark Westall. For six years we produced interactive media for public bodies, charities and non-profit organisations. My primary role was to oversee all technical aspects of the company's work (including writing HTML/CSS/JS and PHP/MySQL code), but my responsibilities extended to other activities such as pitching to new clients, managing freelancers, and writing strategy documents.

Leo Burnett

Interaction Director

1998-2001

In 1998 Leo Burnett bought Hard Reality, the company which I co-owned. For the next three years, I worked closely with companies such as Kellogg's, Morgan Stanley, McDonald's and VSO, advising them on interactive strategy and emerging technologies. I also managed a team of designers and developers, producing multi-award-winning websites and digital marketing.

Hard Media/Hard Reality

Technical Director

1995-1998

In 1995 I joined one of the UK's first web agencies, where I was in charge of production, hosting and development. As well as creating the HTML and Perl which powered our clients' websites, I worked closely with freelance designers to produce fast-loading, web-friendly graphics. These helped the company win many awards, including the first ever Yell/.net award for the Best Designed UK Website (1996, for Diesel Jeans).

Skills

Technologies

My grounding is in web standards and, since the early 1990s, I have coded using almost every version of HTML, XHTML, CSS and JavaScript, as well as producing XML documents and schemas, and using related technologies such as XSLT.

JavaScript libraries, platforms and build tools I have used include JQuery, node, npm, ReactJS, Angular, RxJS, Ramda, Express, Handlebars, Jade, Gulp, Grunt, Browserify, Uglify, Babel, Tape, Blue-Tape, Sinon, Mocha, Karma, Jasmine, ESLint & JSHint.

For several years I specialised in Adobe ActionScript, building AIR, Flex and Flash applications for desktop and mobile devices using AS3, AS2, and a variety of tools and frameworks, and much of this ECMAScript experience has carried over into my JavaScript practice, particularly the use of TDD, self-documenting code, and functional programming.

I have used various other scripting languages, originally for back-end development but more recently for problem solving and task automation. These include Python, Ruby, PHP and Perl. I am always interested in exploring new programming languages and platforms, such as Haskell and Clojure.

Project Management/Agile

I have worked since 2007 in teams using various flavours of XP, Scrum, Kanban and "Scrum-ban". My experience has led me to favour a pragmatic approach to project management, tailored around the team, the client, and the deliverables. Regular planning sessions and retrospectives help all sides to focus on what is important and what works, and to adapt appropriately using Kaizen.

Since 2010 I have used the Atlassian suite of products, including Jira and Confluence, to manage deliverables and to monitor and measure progress.

Tools

I am comfortable using any operating system and a wide range of software. I have programmed using IntelliJ, SublimeText, Atom, Visual Studio, FDT, Flash Builder, Flash Develop and the Flash IDE across Windows, Mac and Linux variants. I am familiar with continuous integration and build tools (including TeamCity, Maven, ANT and Jenkins/Hudson) and version control systems (Git, SVN, VSS). I am, of course, competent with standard office software (Microsoft and Open Office) and with graphical tools such as PhotoShop and Illustrator.

Interpersonal skills

Over the years, I have run development teams of between two and ten people, and have been co-director of a company employing twenty people. Having been a foster carer since 2000, I have dealt with a great many challenging behaviours and personality types, and have learnt to keep a level head in the face of confrontation and even life-threatening crises.

I have written for and presented to groups large and small, from to CEOs to primary-school kids. I have spoken at and chaired conferences and user-groups. I have also had my writing published in magazines including Campaign, .net, Marketing and Brand Republic. For two years I presented an unscripted radio show, for two hours per week, so I am quite happy speaking off-the-cuff.

Spoken Languages

I speak English natively, and intermediate-level German (and am always happy to find an opportunity to improve my spoken German).

Education

South Thames College

C/C++ programming

1994

A 12 month course covering classic C programming (from Kernighan & Ritchie), C++ programming, and Microsoft Visual C++

University of Bristol

Psychology

1988 - 1991

Final year project studied the development of a theory of representational art in children aged 3-4. Achieved BSc Hons 2:1