Ralph Cowling

Ralph is a javascript developer1 interested in user centered design2, public information APIs3 and play4.

email: ralph@ralph-cowling.com
github: roc
twitter: _ralph

Summary

I'm an experienced developer with a history of taking small greenfield projects and developing them into widely used products. I am used to user-focused, test driven development. I enjoy working in quick iterations in an agile environment.

I'm currently working for Twitter, where I'm helping to rewrite client and server code for TweetDeck and add new experiences to Twitter.com. I was the founding developer of the music sharing start-up This Is My Jam.

Specialisations: programming for the web, full stack development, API development, small data, dynamic languages.

Experience


Twitter — Senior Software Engineer

I've had the opportunity to tackle a wide range of development needs for the long running Twitter client TweetDeck. I helped rewrite their test system, introducing code coverage and performance metrics. I worked to improve their continuous integration outlay, allowing deployments of every patch, and continuous delivery to production. I helped to rewrite primary components of the client code in React, providing a new set of features to help both newsrooms and mainstream users.

I have recently been working to bring some of the advanced usage available in TweetDeck to Twitter.com, including scheduling and an innovative user delegation system.

Home Office Digital — Senior Developer

After working at the Government Digital Service I wanted to see what taking a service through its assessment stages from "Discovery" through to "Live" would be like. I took the Electronic Visa Wavier, Registered Traveller and Global Entry service programs through the process and developed tools that are now available to teams across government to do the same. This work was carried through in the exemplar Passport Renewal Service, the primary passport renewal contact for every adult in the UK.

The tools used at this time provided a major contribution to the open source presence of Home Office Digital.

lastminute.com — Senior Javascript Application Engineer

Building out new mobile web applications for lastminute.com. Using established frameworks Marionette/Backbone. Helping all teams to ship harder by building out the continuous integration pipeline.

Government Digital Service — Web Developer

Primarily a developer on the GOV.UK project in the "mainstream" team. Tasked with the invention of and maintenance of a simpler, faster and clearer way for citizens to access all government information.

Secondarily working a cross government project to monitor the performance of all services provided for the public.

Technically I was given a broad remit, from the creation of infrastructure tools, data tiers and document specification, through to toolkits for frontend developers to use to normalise and rationalise design implementations across teams.

This Is My Jam — Lead Developer

When we started This Is My Jam, the alpha service was limited to about 20 of our friends. At its peak it had several hundred thousand users who posted over 20 million pieces of their favourite music.

My main responsibilities were with the front-end of the site, though I was involved with the creation of the service from the conceptual stages. I was behind the implementation of an initial web framework and writing our first data models, but I was also the person to port our css framework and sub class backbone components, or to tweak our css preprocessor engine.

The Echo Nest — Labs Developer

Whilst working on This Is My Jam, our parent company The Echo Nest offered a two month visit to work on development of new API integrations and collaborate with developers involved in the various post-doctoral research projects at the heart of the Echo Nest project.

The Echo Nest is now a part of Spotify, powering their recommendations and managing the world's largest online music catalogue.

El Mysterioso — Technical Lead

Technical lead for a small digital agency. Clients ranged from Blue Chip to small firms. Our studio won a webby award in 2011 for its work on the Intel Inside campaign.

New Statesman — Web Developer

Education

Birkbeck, University of London

MSc. Computation and Cognition

Queen Mary, University of London

BA Hons. English Literature First Class