Graham Ashton

Graham Ashton

Founder of The Agile Planner

Manchester, UK

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I used to spend much of my time helping people build software for the web, using Ruby, Python and JavaScript. I've stopped freelancing to focus on my startup (The Agile Planner). I love a good UI and a beautiful web page and spend a lot of time tweaking CSS.

Technologies I use include Ruby on Rails, Sinatra, Python, Django, JavaScript, Sass, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, Linux and Heroku. I created Nesta CMS.

I follow an agile plan (a good job really, given what I do for a living!) and practice TDD.
Work History
  • 2006 - Present

    Director (and Freelancer)


    I founded Effectif to allow me to work both as a freelance developer and as a startup founder. Working on my own products (and time spent at Wordtracker) has supplemented my technical background with good knowledge of Internet marketing, while allowing me to explore an interest in information architecture, UX, typography and design. Recently I've been using LEAN techniques and customer development to steer my business in the right direction.
  • 2002 - 2006

    Development Team Lead

    Cmed Research

    When I joined Cmed I was part of a three person strong development team on the Cambridge science park. When I left almost five years later, the company had over 130 employees and I'd just returned from a year abroad, overseeing the technical aspects of launching our product in the US market.

    In between I wrote a lot of Python and lead the most effective agile development team I've encountered (before or since).
  • 1999 - 2001

    Head of Development and Operat

    This was a wordy job title. What can I say, the CEO liked 'em. was a unified messaging platform. We'd give you a phone number, you'd configure it to forward your calls to mobile or land lines, or to save your voicemails and faxes on our web site.

    I started out as Systems Architect, then got promoted (cue wordy job title). It involved lots of Perl, lots of databases (MySQL, Oracle and Sybase), plenty of Unix hacking (Debian and Solaris) and some very fancy hardware.
  • 1996 - 1999


    BT Labs

    I joined BT straight out of university, and immediately started teaching myself how to wield HTML, Perl, MySQL, DNS, email servers and Unix.

    I wanted to make web apps and decided I had to learn it all (which by and large, I did). BT, on the other hand, needed me to learn about networking. These days I know more than I need to about Ethernet frames, UDP packets and your average TCP stack, but it comes in handy when my friends' broadband goes on the blink.