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Back with my good friends at The Economist working on some short-term projects.


Freelancing for a UK-based startup (Rails 3 platform) created by the QI research team. Unbound provides a crowd-funded publishing platform for writers, both published and unknown, and has garnered an impressive amount of press over the last few months:

I was originally brought in to assist in refactoring the original codebase but have since jumped in full-time. Here's my contribution.

“Dave has been an absolute pleasure to work with at Unbound, with his ability to see web development not simply from the coding perspective but from the users experience as well. Producing a site that is clear, works elegantly and doesn't fall over when people with 1.5 million Twitter followers tweet it, is a major achievement. Dave is also extremely affable, very easy to work with, highly conscientious and technically excellent. You couldn't ask for more.”

Justin Pollard, co-founder.

“Dave produced creative, well structured and stable code for the Unbound site, rewriting and testing large sections of an existing code base to better suit the application's purpose, as well as building features and squashing major bugs. He was on time, on budget and very conscientious. It is great to be able to work with a developer who is not only highly skilled but who thinks things through to the point of user interaction before implementation as well as during the testing process. This allowed his skills as a developer to help augment product creation in a swiftly changing startup environment. He is an exemplary freelance developer and a pleasure to work with.”

Xander Cansell, product owner.


“I worked with Dave Goodchild at the Economist. Dave is a fantastic person to work with. Not only does he hold to a high standard of excellence (even if that means spending great amounts of time cleaning up other people's messes), but he brings a charisma and enthusiasm into his work that is just contagious."

Judah Anthony, lead developer, New York office.

"I had the luck to work with Dave for almost a year. He is one of the hard worker colleagues who helps you first whenever you have a problem. It was surprising sometimes how quickly and precisely he can solve problems. His technical skills are really great - and also as a team member he is able to keep up a good spirit no matter how hard the pressure is. I would love to work with him again in the future."

Peter Arato, Drupal developer.

Worked as a contract developer for the Economist Online London team, part of a larger distributed team based in London, New York and Austin Texas. Part of the SWAT sub-team responsible for both ongoing maintenance and feature delivery. Work touched on every part of the codebase and associated infrastructure, from building custom modules to reviewing and vendor branching contributed modules through to front end work, assisting with fine-tuning development methodologies (workflow involves topic branches, peer review and continuous integration). The Economist employ pressflow and varnish, use bazaar for version control and operate one of the slickest development setups I have ever seen.


Worked as a freelancer for a UK-based startup on the build of a social food application. I pitched in on the Rails side (Rails 2.3.8, subsequently updated to 3), working on features, tests and refactoring.

“Dave joined us at a key time in our development of, to build out our Ruby on Rails web app prior to launch. He was a pleasure to work with, skilled, had a very positive attitude and a thorough approach.”

Mark Spofforth, CEO.


Freelance developer in London-based digital team looking after Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Adult Swim for 14 countries. Core remit is as a drupal developer with time split between building custom modules and maintenance tasks. Was instrumental in introducing Subversion branching and merging to the development team as well as building common code libraries and improving the overall development process. Also patched and extended the webistrano (rails) app used for deployment.

“Dave is basically a great bloke with an excellent sense of humour. He really knows his stuff when it comes to Drupal development and is a pleasure to work with. If there's a technical issue that you need help with, Dave is the first to offer assistance.”

Mike King, web designer.


Worked on the Sport Relief 2010 campaign as well as the Comic Relief and Red Nose Day sites. Main remit was to build custom drupal modules for the sites. Also rebuilt the existing web services back end for Sport Relief end using zend framework and ported this to Comic Relief.

My work at Comic Relief was varied, touching on back end work (writing back end services for the flash-fronted part of the Sport Relief site using AMF; refactoring the Mile Event registration and management system using a combination of zend components and pure PHP; working on internal rails application used to manage data flow between various databases) and front end (building fundraising hub pages for major donors; working on theme layer for all three sites).

“I worked with David during Sport Relief 2010 and found him to be a consummate professional and technically proficient. His ability to understand the client's requirements and provide a swift and streamlined solution was commendable. As such I have no hesitation in recommending him as a proficient developer and an able communicator.”

Paul Wood, senior designer.


Worked as senior developer on a fast-moving PHP development team comprising 12 developers, three seniors, one lead, a DBA, QA tester and manager. I was been involved in a number of projects, starting with converting the existing campaign site templates to standards-compliant tableless design, to playing a large part in rebuilding the entire PHP4 platform from scratch and delivering a PHP5 platform – team used the scrum agile methodology, version control and daily standup meetings to adapt fast to changing requirements. My domain included building a centralized signup process for all campaign sites, re-engineering the fulfillment system and redesigning the product module as a web service.

“It was a great pleasure to work with Dave. He is a dedicated and focussed developer as well as being keen to help steer the direction of any product he is working on. He takes ownership of his work and was known for this tenacity in creating good, solid code. Dave is also someone able to talk to clients and colleagues without baffling, scaring or belittling them, something not all developers are capable of. I would definitely work with Dave again.”

Mike Pearce, lead developer.

“Working alongside Dave at Jellyfish is an experience I will never forget! He is extremely skilled and still manages to fork out time to help guide younger developers when they need explanation / guidance. Dave has a great sense of humour but at the same time works hard when needed to achieve the set goals.”

Bart Shelfhout, senior developer.


Part of a enterprise development team using a mixture of technologies (primarily java) to migrate over 40 European websites from a legacy platform to a new platform built on oracle and documentum. I was initially hired as a contractor to assist in the migration process and was offered a permanent position after six months, working in a variety of domains in the global tech department, including working on and building a series of applications to aid in site maintenance and content delivery.


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