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About Me

Hi, I’m Richard Bown. I’m an independent software consultant based in Amsterdam, NL. I help organisations increase customer satisfaction through better software delivery. I provide consultancy as a fractional CTO as well as offering training courses both publicly and privately. My CV is here.

Originally from the UK, I studied Electronic Engineering at the University of Bath before living in London for 8 years. I moved to Amsterdam, NL in 2007. I enjoy speaking about and coaching the practice of customer-centric software delivery.

Richard Bown | Content Map

Career Highlights

Centred around improving customer and developer experience, architecting and building new and unique projects or products as well as improving organisational efficiency:

  • Developer, systems administration and configuration expert for back-office systems accounting implementations for global banks and insurers such as Greenwich Natwest, Rabobank, ING, Swiss Re.
  • Managed multiple > $1m projects for IT infrastructure and DevOps migrations.
  • Implementing a +1000 developer Clearcase migration at JP Morgan, Bournemouth, UK.
  • Led decommissioning of TeamCity CI/CD and move to Azure DevOps as Head of Engineering at Twinfield, Wolters Kluwer.
  • At Shell, I helped migrate 2500+ developers from TeamCity to Azure DevOps.
  • At Rabobank, led an LCM project for an infrastructure decommissioning project.
  • Led and implemented a new source control system (Clearcase) and defect tracking systems (DDTS) at Motorola LMPS and transitioned to HP-UX workstations for 40 engineers. This was the basis of my Masters’s Thesis, “Migration in a Software Engineering Environment”
  • As part of JP Morgan’s Jupiter Swaps Trading System team, I reverse-engineered the legacy communications protocol and built a tool to decode and allow prioritisation of in-flight messages having significant $$$ customer impact.
  • One of the lead developers of a leading open-source piece of music software Rosegarden – now over 20 years old and still going strong.
  • Building suites of repeatable, re-runnable automation scripts and processes to improve reliability for a variety of high volume, back-office accounting systems using Oracle, Sybase, DB2 (and many other RDBMS) for investment banks (Greenwich Natwest, Rabobank International, ING), also at Swiss Re (credit insurance) and Debenhams (retail)
  • Customer visits while working at Nortel Networks – overnight upgrades for telecoms systems.
  • Implementation of 10x performance improvements in Informix (RDBMS) database upgrades while working at Nortel Networks to reduce downtime window for network management.

From the Start

Dragon 32 with Programming Manual

Like so many kids in the 80s, my passion for programming started with a home computer. My first was the Dragon 32.

The Dragon must have appealed to the Welsh half of me. The tagline for the Dragon was “Fire Your Imagination”.

I learnt BASIC and started writing my own games at the age of 11.

Skip ahead to 1990 and I graduated from high school and landed a sponsorship from Motorola Land Mobile Product Systems for my degree course at Bath University.

I graduated in 1994 with a BSc and then an MEng (1995) in Electronic and Electrical Engineering.

I have worked as a software developer, UNIX and Linux system administrator, project manager, client-facing support, product owner, DevOps Coach, Head of Engineering among other roles for many global organisations. I’ve built, integrated and delivered software systems of all types. From enterprise systems and software products, trading and billing systems to datawarehouses to reporting solutions, to open-source music and graphics software products, desktop, mobile, cloud, IoT, front-end and back-end, infrastructure.

I’m a full member of the Chartered Association of Project Managers where I’m active in the Systems Thinking SIG.