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Najaf/ Secret

Last active Apr 22, 2020
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Najaf Ali - Curriculum Vitae

I’m a senior technologist currently available for Freelance/Consulting engagements. I have twelve years of experience working to create web application software. Read on to find out more about my skills/experiences.

Contact information


Consulting Technical Lead

September 2018 - Present - 1 year and 4 months

I plan work, build features, and consult for remote technical teams from my office in Sendai, Japan. Primarily using Rails but usually a mix of different technologies as required. Some recent and ongoing clients include:

  • IndustrialML - Work on a proprietary machine learning platform that collects, cleans, displays and analyses factory data.
  • CoverageBook - A PR reporting tool that automatically generates metrics for URLs.
  • ReallyEnglish - An English language education platform for enterprise customers.

Founder and CTO at Happy Bear Software

January 2012 - September 2018 - 6 years and 8 months

Happy Bear Software was a Ruby on Rails development consultancy that I started and ran for almost seven years. Some highlights include:

  • I worked hands-on and managed more than thirty projects, using Ruby, Rails, modern JavaScript, and a large variety of back-end technologies to deliver software for our clients.
  • I hired and trained multiple apprentice developers from raw beginners to senior developers.
  • I created technical/communication processes and guides for the team in order to maintain a consistently high standard of software and client experience

Full-time/Freelance Full-stack web developer at various companies

2006 - 2012 - 6 years

I began teaching myself web-development technologies at university and started freelancing afterwards while teaching English in Japan.

Following that I worked at many companies in the UK while developing my skills and delivering software. They included, Webgains, and Thoughtbot London (then called New Bamboo).

For a full work-history with details of specific employment please see my profile on LinkedIn .

Education and skills

  • Ability to plan, create, modify, and debug web application software, primarily using Ruby, Rails, common gems, and modern JavaScript.
  • Managing web application development teams, maintaining effective communication, project reporting, one-to-one meetings, retros, conflict resolution, and running an effective hiring process.
  • BSc in Computer Science at University College London (2003 - 2006)
  • Conversational spoken Japanese

Selected talks

I’ve spoken at a number of Ruby conferences and have given many presentations at the London Ruby User Group :

Social media links

Nice things people have said about me

Kaitlyn Tierney, Senior Developer at Happy Bear Software:

"In my 15+ years of continual full-time employment, Ali has been the best manager I've ever had, by a fairly wide margin. Nearly every aspect of my skillset as a developer has been shaped, and significantly improved, by his mentorship. Ali first introduced me to the concept of Outside-In Development, which I now use every day at work when writing code. He introduced me to the practice of holding regular 1-to-1s, instilling the value of open, predictable channels of communication, and provided a loose script that I've followed for every other 1-to-1 I've had. Perhaps most importantly, he provided the environment of psychological safety and support that enabled me to grow from an inexperienced, timid apprentice into a confident, capable senior engineer in high demand.

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Ali for any role. His dedication and tenacity more than qualify him to learn anything that needs learning, and his integrity ensures that he'll do the best possible job—whether that's growing your engineering team, building your application, or guiding you to make the best decisions possible for your company."

Esther Olatunde, Senior Developer at Happy Bear Software:

"Ali is an experienced and accomplished CTO. He has excellent technical, communication and management skills and is great at running fully distributed software engineering teams.

As a manager, Ali genuinely cares about you and he creates an atmosphere where you can grow and be your best self while being productive and delivering high-quality software for clients. He’s empathetic, inclusive, an outstanding manager, and an all-around great human being.

If you’re building software and you’re looking for a top-notch CTO or Engineering Manager to whip your codebase, development process and team into shape, you want Ali on your team."

Stephen Bartholomew, Lead Developer at Really English:

"Ali is an accomplished and passionate developer. He quickly became my right-hand man, advising on code quality and systems design as well as producing great code himself. He activity participated in code reviews and raised the game of everyone in the team, particularly in application security.

He worked for Reallyenglish primarily as Ruby developer but he would regularly bring lessons and concepts from other languages and platforms. At the same time he critically assess new technology and techniques to avoid the 'cool' factor so prevalent in the Rails community. All round this makes Ali a pragmatic but forward thinking developer.

If he's available and you need a top-notch software developer, be quick - I'd hire him again in an instant."

Stevan Litobac, CTO at CurrencyTransfer

"Ali is an excellent developer, freelancer and an all-round professional in his field. Delivered very high quality code every time, and on time. Great use of agile tools to make sure work and estimates are correct, and kept us in the loop every step of the way. Very happy to have worked with him and would relish the opportunity to do so again."

Caitlin Aptowicz Trasande, Ph.D, Scientific Director and Senior Program Manager at Sloan Kettering Institute, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center:

"Najaf Ali, as a developer with New Bamboo, has consistently provided outstanding service to my business. He has his head around all of the facets of the data central to his development work, and is providing a great value beyond building an awesome web application. He works efficiently, while seeing down the road for us -- helping us steer clear of hurdles. I'm really impressed."

James Gallagher, Senior Agile Consultant at Elabor8:

"Working with Ali is really enjoyable, he has many great ideas and is always looking at self improvement and current best practices. Whether working in Rails or with PHP he is always insightful and produces work of an extremely high standard."

Greg Woods, User Experience Architect:

"I was fortunate enough to work with Ali on numerous digital projects. He was my lead programmer on many interesting but often complex projects. As a team member, he was my favored confidant when it came to project liaison and technical know-how and I could always rely on Ali to respond to my requests, demands (sorry Ali) and project related inquiries with efficiency, enthusiasm and genuine interest. He is a first class developer and a good bloke to boot. I wish him the very best in the future."

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