Dan Garland

Freelance Web, Ruby on Rails, JavaScript developer from London, UK

“Expressing creativity through innovative web development”

About Dan

Dan Garland

Self-employed web developer with over fourteen years of commercial experience delivering web applications. I specialise in:

  1. Agile web development with Ruby on Rails and JavaScript
  2. Requirements analysis with user stories
  3. Training: workshops, immersive bootcamp courses and live-coding

Current Status

Founder of my own Ruby consultancy 'We Got Coders', which specialises in the training of web developers and pair-programming on agile web development projects. I have fourteen years' experience in analysing, developing and delivering web applications. I am currently looking for a fresh challenge in a tech leadership role, developing products for web or mobile.

Technical Skills

  • Ruby
  • Ruby on Rails
  • Sinatra
  • Padrino
  • Cucumber
  • RSpec
  • MiniTest
  • HTML 5
  • HAML
  • JavaScript
  • Jasmine / Mocha / Chai
  • React.js
  • Backbone.js
  • JQuery
  • AJAX
  • SQL
  • Postgres
  • MySQL
  • SQLite
  • MongoDB
  • Linux
  • Apache
  • Git
  • Capistrano
  • AWS
  • Agile Development
  • Design Patterns
  • Mobile development
  • Cordova


We Got Coders

August 2013 - Present
Training & Recruitment
Founder, Lead Instructor
Ruby on Rails, HTML 5, CSS/SASS, JQuery, SQL, RSpec, Cucumber, React.JS
  • I founded my own training and recruitment company called We Got Coders, specialising in the training of junior developers. I manage the entire business operations: I designed the marketing strategy for the business, run operations on a day-to-day basis, teach web development and devised the course curriculum.
  • I grew the training business from nothing to a company generating over £500,000 a year, in addition to running a consulting and recruitment business. I sought no investment and grew entirely from sales and repeat business.
  • I directly employed over 25 junior web developers and gave them their first opportunity in web development. I successfully placed them into permanent positions with our client base, following a twelve week course covering full-stack development that I deliver in house.
  • I have been responsible for and managed a hotel business, providing bed and breakfast accommodation at two Grade II listed properties, being responsible for rent negotiation and contracts, fire safety, advertising and promotion, stores and managing housekeeping staff.
  • I developed an online e-learning platform in Rails / MongoDB aimed at part-time coders, teaching web development on weekends.
  • I developed a sales function for the company, creating a customer relationships database in Rails and using in-house junior developers to build it.
  • I ran a sequence of free workshops aimed at women learning to code to promote equality in the workplace, leading to a number of leads who have gone on to take our course and pursue a career in web development.
  • Trainees from my second cohort won a prize at the recent #endsvchack, taking home £500 seed funding for a new project idea to help find missing displaced persons.
  • Read some testimonials from happy students and some case studies from happy customers on our website!

General Assembly

March 2013 - June 2013
Lead Instructor, Web Development Immersive
Teaching, Leadership, Patience(!), Ruby on Rails, HTML 5, CSS/SASS, jQuery, Backbone.js, RSpec, Cucumber
  • I taught an intensive 3-month program covering the essentials of web development, to a group of 17 adult learners in New York.
  • The course covered a range of topics, covering Ruby on Rails, Front-end frameworks, Javascript, HTML/CSS, Testing and TDD, Agile Software Development, Databases and Computer Science.
  • I devised most of the classroom exercises and materials from scratch, drawn from my experience in the sector, aimed at giving students the knowledge required of Junior Web Developers.


November 2012 - March 2013
Senior Ruby on Rails Developer
Ruby on Rails, HTML 5, CSS/SASS, jQuery, Photoshop, SQL, RSpec, Cucumber
  • I built the new shipping module for SupaDupa.me, an e-commerce platform with thousands of paying customers.
  • Working on an agile basis, I created a complex multi-channel shipping system that integrates with the existing checkout mechanism.
  • I implemented a Barclays ePDQ integration with Active Merchant, enabling the platform to accept credit card payments for the first time, increasing sales for the business.
PencilIn Homepage

Pencil In

July 2012 - December 2012
Learning & Services Marketplace
Project Manager & Lead Developer
Ruby on Rails, PayPal integration, HTML / CSS, Cucumber
  • I recruited and led a team of freelance Ruby developers to create a services marketplace for education courses.
  • I was responsible for the entire project, from creating user stories, testing and overseeing the development and liaising with the client.
  • The site features an advanced integration with PayPal, multi-user registration with Devise and full-text search.

Fortune Message App

June 2012
Music Promotions
Ruby on Rails Developer
Ruby on Rails, Facebook Integration, Javascript, CSS
  • I worked alongside the New Black digital music agency on the promotions campaign for a major album release.
  • I devised an application that allows Facebook users to encode and decode messages to their friends in the campaign's typeface, using Ruby on Rails.
  • The Facebook app is fully integrated, including a 'Like' gate.


May 2012
Ruby on Rails Developer
Ruby on Rails, Devise, Cucumber, RSpec, HTML 5, CSS
  • I was approached by Logspaces, a community of student volunteers based in Oxford, UK, to create a website to support their activities and to enhance communication.
  • I liaised with the organisation to scope the project, create the specification, and followed an agile approach using user stories to rapidly deliver features built in Rails 3.
  • I hosted the application during development to allow the client to see changes during the build as they were developed.

HTE Gateway

May 2012
Backend Developer
Ruby, Sinatra, Padrino, RSpec, Capistrano
  • Working for the Forward 3D digital agency, I created a gateway using Sinatra, that adds a layer of functionality onto the reservations and bookings system for a global hotels group, editing XML SOAP requests. The system handles all incoming traffic for the client's entire business.
  • I created a URL generation system, using Padrino, AJAX and JQuery, that allows administrators to generate URLs for a new search system.


October 2011 - April 2012
Backend Developer
Ruby on Rails, HTML5, CSS3, JS, Backbone, EventMachine, Sinatra
  • I worked for six months on rails development for Libertrip, a new web start-up that specialises in travel based in Lille, France. I delivered new features, enhanced data retrieval and built an API, upon which the operations of the company is based.
  • I introduced a system of agile development using user stories and I created a test suite. Using cutting-edge asynchronous technology, I created a system written in Ruby and Sinatra, that used EventMachine to greatly enhance the speed of data delivery and enhances the user experience of Libertrip.
  • I took an existing Rails codebase and upgraded the underlying classes to Ruby 1.9.
  • I worked with a French-speaking team and spoke French throughout.

Peter Baikie

January 2012
Therapy & Counselling
Wordpress Developer, Hosting
Wordpress, HTML, CSS, Linux, Apache
  • I was approached by Peter Baikie to create a website to help promote his therapy and counselling activities. I delivered a customised Wordpress solution that allows Peter to update his website with minimal effort and to keep it up-to-date with his articles on therapy.
  • I created a custom Wordpress theme that included a number of plugins and currently host the project on my dedicated hardware in the UK.

Kahala Aviation

November 2011 http://www.kahalaaviation.com
Web Developer, Web Design, Hosting
HTML, CSS, Photoshop, Linux, Apache
  • I designed and built a static HTML website, to act as the brochure for a new aviation leasing company. I liaised with the company's directors to rapidly turnaround a site that is cross-browser compatible.
  • I provide a full hosting and e-mail solution for the company's employees using my dedicated hardware in the UK.
Most Rated

Most Rated

January 2011 - Present
Director, Developer
Ruby on Rails, HTML5, CSS3, JS, MongoDB, EventMachine, Sinatra, Streaming
  • I am the director of a new music technology start-up company, which has developed a music discovery service called Most Rated. In conjunction with live music events, the website promotes material submitted by artists, organised around local music scene.
  • The website is a distributed web application comprising of Ruby on Rails, HTML5, MongoDB, EventMachine and RESTFul API integration (Facebook, Mixlr).
  • The site has a complex mechanism to automatically select tracks from the pool of artist's submissions, and collates the content into a continuous stream, like a radio station.
  • I devised a business plan for the project, including a marketing strategy and fund-raising.
  • I work with local venues, artist managers and creative suppliers to source the locations, the artists, creative and video for the project.


March 2011 - Present
Music Promotions
Developer, Consultancy, Hosting
Ruby on Rails, Cucumber, MySQL, Apache, Linux
  • I was approached by Phatnights to take over the management and development from a failing web agency project and to take it forward.
  • I assumed control of a large Ruby on Rails codebase, which had zero test coverage and add new features based on the client's pressing requirements.
  • Working to a tight deadline and budget, I developed the software to fix critical issues and provide the basis for on-going development.
  • I host the website from my own dedicated hardware in the UK.

Touch Local

August 2010 - September 2010
Business Directory
Frontend Developer
Ruby on Rails, HTML, CSS, Photoshop
  • I assumed the role of freelance front-end developer in the recent redesign of the TouchLocal business directory website.
  • I was responsible for the HTML, CSS, cross-browser support and accessibility of the new templates.
  • I also worked on the wefinda.co.uk project, which used HAML for its template mechanism. I was responsible for updating copy, altering forms and improving user journeys.

Westfield London

June 2010 - July 2010
Retail Property Leasing
Ruby on Rails Developer
Ruby on Rails, HTML, CSS, XML, RSpec
  • Following my successful time with Delete, I was tasked with implementing a feature to integrate affiliate data into the Westfield London website.
  • The project involved interacting with the sizeable Westfield codebase and liaising with their twenty-strong development team in Australia, to integrate XML data into Rails views.
  • I worked on-site at Westfield's Holborn offices, and earned a recommendation from Sarah Lukins, the head of UK Digital Marketing.
Oxford University Press - Classroom Presentation Tool

Oxford University Press - CPT

January 2010 - March 2010
Ruby on Rails Developer
Ruby on Rails, HTML, CSS, JS, Selenium, MySQL, Linux
  • Following the success of the previous work I had done on the Hubbub launch, I was tasked by Head London to work on a classroom presentation tool (CPT) for interactive whiteboards commissioned by Oxford University Press.
  • I instigated an agile development process using user-stories, a points system and burn-down charts, which is now in use for all new Head London projects.
  • Amongst a team of four developers, I developed a XUL-supported HTML/CSS application that is dynamically generated from a RoR content management system.
  • The project was comprehensive in the technology used, from MVC Javascript, to CD-ROM ISO generation on the Linux platform. Throughout a test-driven approach was used based on Cucumber, Selenium and Shoulda with 100% coverage and 2:1 test to code ratio.


August 2009 - December 2009
Food, Retail
Ruby on Rails Developer
Ruby on Rails, HTML, CSS, JS, Cucumber, Selenium, MySQL, Linux
  • I joined the Hubbub project after the requirements phase had been completed and development had begun, and saw it through until launch.
  • Amongst a team of 3-4 developers, I developed using a test-driven approach using Cucumber, Selenium, Shoulda unit tests and RCov.
  • I debugged and verified the payment gateway integration with the SecureTrading network.
  • The on-line retail platform won a BIMA award in the Consumer Services and Goods category.

Westfield Stratford City

May 2009 - July 2009
Retail Property Leasing
Ruby on Rails Developer
Ruby on Rails, XML, RSpec, Teamsite
  • I worked on a large Ruby on Rails project for the Westfield group via the Delete web agency, developing front-end features on a large legacy codebase.
  • I worked with the Teamsite CMS system, integrating XML data into Rails views.
  • I developed a moderated comments system and associated administrative screens, using AJAX.
  • I developed using a test-driven approach using RSpec.

Titan Entertainment Group

April 2005 - September 2008
Retail & Publishing
Lead Web Developer
Java, Tapestry, Spring, Ruby on Rails, XML, HTML, CSS, Linux
  • I created the forbiddenplanet.com on-line megastore, an e-commerce website that promotes over 14,000 product lines from graphic novels to über-cool art toys. The website takes hundreds of orders a week and is visited by over 50,000 people each month.
  • I am accustomed to relaying technical concepts in plain English; I held meetings with the senior directors to establish the requirements and embodied them into formal use case documents.
  • I implemented a sophisticated Java web application that runs on a fault-tolerant Tomcat cluster. The website is a Java / Tapestry / Hibernate / Spring application. I also used HTML, CSS and XML.
  • I created the titanmagazines.com subscriptions website using Java / Tapestry / Hibernate / Spring. The site handles 70-80% of the business' subscription orders. The site uses a mySQL database to store a publication schedule, which is interrogated by the front-end to determine which magazines are to be displayed in the user's locale. I developed a content management system that allows non-expert users to administer content, based on XML / XSLT.
  • I know how to work under pressure and to challenging deadlines. I created the dwscifi.com news website using Ruby on Rails in under two weeks, yet the site now hosts several hundred articles and allows the editors to manage the content themselves.
  • I was responsible for all of Titan's webservers and websites, which are hosted in-house on hardware that I procured and configured.
  • I introduced several concepts and technology to the business, in particular I introduced an agile / XP methodology which is now adopted for all web development within the organisation. I developed a project planning tool in Ruby on Rails, which tracks the requirements for projects on an intranet website.
  • I was responsible for the creation and maintenance of Titan's web development environment. I installed and maintained a subversion repository and cruise control, Apache and Tomcat servers.

Nationwide MPOS

August 2004 - April 2005
Web Developer
Visual Basic, HTML
  • Working as a consultant for Gamcom, I worked as a developer on the society's mortgage point-of-sale system (MPOS). MPOS uses proprietary in-house software technology based upon a a vast and complex systems architecture. I was swift to learn and adapt to this new environment, including learning a new language called Process Author. Within a month of joining, I was deemed capable of taking responsibility for writing new software modules.
  • I have gained invaluable experience unique to working in a large software project; MPOS has around fifty developers. I am adjusted to handling the necessary communication and cooperation required for such a team to function. I am aware of the critical human factors that influence the outcome of large software projects.

Mathias and Sons

July 2003 - February 2004
Web Developer
Visual Basic, ASP, HTML, CSS
  • Through analysis of existing workplace systems, I identified a requirement for a new Internet based ordering system, called MUMS (Mathias Uniform Management System), which is still used today. I outlined the various solutions to the management via a written report and a presentation. I eliminated the man-hours spent processing orders, saving £15,000 a year.
  • The project was entered for the regional Shell Technology and Enterprise (STEP) award, and I won a local and regional heat. Based upon my performance in both the project, demonstration and my presentation, I was named “the most enterprising student in the South West of England 2003”.
  • I conceived, designed and implemented an Internet-based ordering system that interfaced with existing Sage Line 50 accounting software using Active Server Pages (ASP), Visual Basic, HTML, SQL and Access databases.


University of Bristol

September 2001 - July 2004
  • 2:1 BSc Computer Science
  • I attained an 2:1 Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from the University of Bristol; consistently within the top five computer science departments in the UK.
  • I led a group of five students working on a group project to design a software front-end and device driver for a digital MP3 player written in C. In addition to programming, I was responsible for time management and milestone setting, task allocation, administration of the group website and version control.
  • I wrote a thesis as a proof of concept for networking middle-ware in computer games. It was an individual project to design a client / server network application that explored advances in next-generation market trends such as cloud computing. Used Java and X3D, a cutting-edge graphics standard for the Internet.

Beacon Community College

September 1999 - July 2001
  • A - A-Level Computing
  • A - A-Level Business Studies
  • B - A-Level Maths

Interests & Skills

Dan performing in London


English (Fluent), French (Intermediate).


  • I play piano, keyboards and synthesizers, and enjoy composing my own music. I am working with several musicians on original projects and have spent many months working with renowned record producers on song-writing and session playing.
  • I have attained Grade 8 piano, after winning the Sheila Mossman Award for the highest mark in the country for Grade 6 piano, 2008.
  • I played keyboards for Mercury-music prize nominees Sweet Billy Pilgrim, touring the UK to promote their much-acclaimed album Crown and Treaty.

Reading & Writing:

I enjoy writing and have kept a number of blogs in the past. My writing has also been featured on the Brighton Argus website. I enjoy reading and particularly enjoy reading in French, especially translations from English authors.