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Chris Aadams

Polyglot developer and product manager, with keen interest in user research, service design, continuous delivery and devops.


Wireframing and Prototypes

  • Omnigraffle Pro
  • Sketch

User research techniques

  • Wireframing
  • Paper prototyping
  • Personas
  • Guerilla User testing
  • Workshop facilitation

Configuration management

  • Ansible
  • Chef
  • Puppet


  • Ruby
  • Python
  • Javascript
  • bash, zsh and fish shells

Development tools

  • Git & Github
  • Subversion
  • Vagrant
  • Jira


  • nginx
  • Apache
  • thin
  • unicorn
  • uwgi
  • gunicorn


  • Linux (Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS)

Amazon AWS

  • EC2
  • RDS
  • IAM
  • S3 / CloudFront


  • PostgresSQL
  • MySQL
  • MongoDB

Monitoring and measurement

  • Kissmetrics
  • Intercom
  • Google Analytics
  • ServerDensity
  • PaperTrail
  • SentryApp

Backup and recovery

  • Duplicity
  • Tarsnap
  • Wal-e


Jan 2013 – present 2013: Director, Product Science for Product Science, London

I set up Product Science Ltd to help people build better digital products for solving environmental and social problems.

This tends to range from helping them change how they build their products, to a more iterative process involving smaller, incremental releases, or using user research techniques to get a better idea of who is using their products, how well they are work, and what to change next.

When there isn't capacity in-house, my company helps with implementation: either on the user research front, using personas, user testing, and other tools from the UX toolbox, or on the development side, building features using Ruby, Python, HTML, CSS and Javascript.

Finally, we help clients make sure their products don't damage the planet, by helping them run them on servers powered by clean energy.

This either involves hosting them on our own servers, or helping them set up their products on on their own servers, using the same open source configuration management tools that we use internally.

June 2012 – Jan 2013: Associate Product Manager for AMEE, London

While at AMEE, I moved into product management from engineering, working with the VP of Market Solutions to adopt a more user-focussed approach to how we built our products.

I introduced the use of personas, user stories, and regular user testing, and we moved to working in weekly sprint based workflow. I would collaborate closely with developers, speccing out features and testing new features, as well as, creating mockups and wireframes as needed.

We used this updated process in the creation of AMEE Profiles, the new product the company's relied on as part of its new strategic direction.

During this time, as part of my professional development I became a Scrum Certified Product Owner.

September 2011 – June 2012: Developer - Clients and Communities for AMEE, London

I built and maintained a number of Ruby on Rails applications, and software libraries for 3rd party developers to use, as well as providing client support for external organisations using the AMEE platform.

I also travelled around Europe, speaking at conferences and hackathons promoting the company, as well as building example applications for others to use themselves.

During this time I became very familiar with Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions reporting standards, and learned to apply this knowledge in automating the calculation of CO2 emissions of thousands of activities.

Jan 2010 – September 2011: Technical Developer and Systems Administrator for Headshift Ltd, London

I was initially brought on to help with managing technical infrastructure inside the company, looking after around 40 virtual servers running a mixture of Windows and CentOS/Red Hat Linux systems.

These ran applications based on Java (including Scala apps like Etherpad), Ruby (Chef, Rails 2.3.x and Rails 3.x ), and MySQL.

During this time, I introduced configuration management to the ops team (using Chef) to manage the infrastructure, and moved all of the PHP apps (mainly Wordpress, Drupal and Mediawiki) to a Capistrano based deployment workflow.

In June 2010, I became responsible for the technical aspects of most new PHP projects, introducing TDD and BDD practices for the first time, as well as overhauling the recruiting process for finding freelancers and full time staff on these projects, to introduce code tests, and pairing.

From the summer of 2010 onwards, client facing technical consultancy became a larger part of my role: I visited clients in Europe, Australia and the United States, working with their internal development teams to design and implement APIs to integrate their existing systems with new applications we were building for them.

I also began to work as the solutions architect for a number of projects, where I designed, and deployed vertical and horizontally scalable clusters of servers with high availability for MySQL (using Heartbeat/DRBD), using AWS's EC2 and Rackspace's cloud computing products.

March 2008 - December 2010: Co-founder at Stemcel Studios, London

Stemcel Studios was a small agency I set up after graduation, to work with early stage startups and social enterprises in the environmental and social sector. Initially worked as a designer and front end developer, with my cofounder specialising in hardware and server-side programming.


B.Sc. (hons) Contemporary Media Practice, University of Westminster



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