Andrew Beacock

Startup/Scaleup CTO | Head of Engineering | Technical Leadership

As a senior engineering leader, I’ve nearly 30 years of software development experience including leading development teams, line-managing squads, and solving many varied business problems using my technical skills. Excellent at building relationships and communicating effectively as well as explaining complex technical issues to non-technical people, I’m a massive fan of using analogies to aid understanding.

I’ve followed waterfall, agile and everything-in-between methodologies, as well as being an advocate of unit testing, test driven development & pair programming. I’ve spent a chunk of my career building telecoms carrier-grade resilient server-side mobile solutions, and over a decade building secure, fast, scalable web applications for the financial industry. I led & managed a 40-strong development team at Very migrating a massive e-commerce monolith to microservices, was Head of Engineering for a PropTech scaleup, and I’m currently CTO for a LegalTech startup.

I’m passionate about hiring, onboarding & growing tech teams, supporting my engineers development as well as providing technical leadership, mentoring & coaching on software development best practices. I love serverless & cloud computing and was a member of OWASP to help promote secure coding practices. Extremely comfortable working remotely having spent half of my career working from home!

I’ve been fortunate enough to have been a guest on several live webinars over the last few years. I love being able to share my passion for hiring and growing teams, engineering leadership and management, remote working, and personal brand. For details and links to the recordings please see the ‘Featured’ section on my LinkedIn profile.

CTO – Aturna LLC (remote)

February 2022 to present

Responsible for all aspects of technology, engineering & product at Aturna. We’ve built a client-facing US legal services platform currently offering affordable wills, powers of attorney and health care proxies, backed by lawyers.

The engineering team are based in the UK, but the rest of the company are in the US, most in upstate New York, so I’m very familiar with communicating and collaborating remotely with teams spread across time zones.

The platform runs on GCP with a React/Typescript frontend, Scala/Akka backend and a Postgres database. We use Cloud Run & Pub/Sub services (IaC via Terraform), Firebase for frontend hosting & auth and Stripe for card payments.

Following agile product development methodologies (utilising JIRA’s Kanban board) we perform releases at least weekly, with a very high confidence level due to PR code reviews, extensive unit, integration, and end-to-end tests - we’ve had just a couple of minor post-release issues in the last two years.

Head of Engineering – Canopy (remote)

March 2021 to February 2022

Responsible for all aspects of engineering at Canopy, a FinTech scaleup, from roadmap & strategic planning, quarterly OKR goals as well as day-to-day engineering management. Leadership of two off-shore outsourced teams and a small UK remote engineering team (total of 20 developers). I perform weekly 1-2-1s with my small UK team, I run a cross- team daily standup to ensure alignment across the teams as well wearing many other hats due to us being a scaleup.

The platform is a microservice-based architecture (60 microservices) running in AWS, written in TypeScript, JavaScript and React Native. Hosted in GitHub, built via CircleCI & AWS CodePipeline. Our data lake is hosted in GCP with BigQuery, and reports & dashboards built in Metabase.

Software Engineering Manager – The Very Group Ltd. (mostly remote)

January 2020 to March 2021

Responsible for the 40+ frontend & backend engineers who develop and maintain the website and Android & iOS apps, as well as Littlewoods & Littlewoods Ireland websites & apps. Working in the ‘Spotify model’ of tribes & squads I had 8 direct reports (6 squad leads and 2 tech leads). Operating at a tribe level, I fed into the tech & product roadmaps for the tribe, working closely with the chief architect, Head of Product and Head of Delivery.

Very were in the process of migrating from a large legacy java-based e-commerce monolith (Oracle ATG on WebLogic) to AWS-based polyglot microservices: Java (Spring Boot) & Golang backend services with React & Node.js micro- frontends. Using numerous AWS services including ECR & ECS, Lambda, DynamoDB, EventBridge, AppMesh & Fargate. Code is stored in BitBucket (Git) and services are deployed via CI/CD pipelines using Jenkins.

Senior Software Engineer / Team Leader – Hansard International Ltd. (remote)

May 2008 to December 2019

Led a team of five senior developers responsible for the design, development & deployment of award-winning financial web applications, allowing clients & brokers to self-manage their life assurance policies and perform fund management. Good at analysing incomplete requirements and working closely with numerous departments to ensure the applications fulfil the needs of the business. Excellent at explaining complex technical issues to non-technical people and communicating effectively whilst being home-based. Extremely comfortable managing my workload & priorities having worked remotely for over a decade (Hansard are based on the Isle of Man).

The enterprise web applications are developed using JSP, JSTL, HTML, CSS & jQuery on the front-end with Spring MVC Java services running on Tomcat accessing Oracle databases. Bootstrap, AJAX & JSON are used to create mobile and tablet-friendly web applications which are secure, scalable, fast and easy to use. Code is developed using IntelliJ IDEA, built using Maven & Ant, continuous integration via Jenkins & version controlled in Subversion & Git.

Software Developer / Team Leader – 2ergo Ltd. (Rawtenstall)

November 2002 to May 2008

Led a team of five software developers creating Java mobile applications. Estimated & allocated tasks and reported progress to the product management board. Responsible for the design, development & deployment of applications powering mobile services such as SMS chat, text voting, ringtone & wallpaper subscription services & various WAP/mobile internet sites.

Applications were developed using agile methodologies in Java using Spring & Hibernate to access Oracle, MySQL & Postgres databases. Team advisor for good OO & Java design, refactoring, unit testing & server configuration & deployment. Systems administrator for the CVS & Subversion code repositories.

Principal Software Engineer / Architect / Team Leader – Nokia (Boston, MA, USA)

October 2000 to October 2002

Responsible for development team management and leadership for mobile internet services. Managed six senior software engineers creating MMS-related web & WAP services developed in Java. The MMS services were based on J2EE & Struts running on Sun Microsystems hardware using BEA’s Weblogic Application Server and an Oracle 9i database. Technical architect for Multimedia Messaging (MMS) and mobile services, including software architecture and design, clustering and scalability, and fault-tolerance for large-scale carrier-class systems.

Software Engineer / Team Leader – IntervoiceBrite Ltd. (Manchester)

April 1998 to September 2000

Responsible for designing & team leading a J2EE-based “unified messaging system” that provided web & WAP access to voicemails, faxes, & emails. It included a ‘Text-To-Speech’ email reading service & message filtering rules stored in an LDAP directory. It was designed to allow several million subscribers to access it, using a highly scalable & fault- tolerant architecture based on iPlanet application server products & a Sybase database running on Sun Netra hardware.

Responsible for developing, installing & configuring mobile services for BT Cellnet (now O2). These included their voicemail system and “TrafficLine” - a mobile location-based road traffic news service (resold as “AA Vodafone Roadwatch”). Products were developed in C running on Solaris along with an in-house IVR language running on QNX.

Software Developer – Softlok International Ltd. (Bolton)

October 1995 to March 1998

Responsible for developing & providing technical support for Windows drivers of software security dongles creating linkable stubs for many varied languages & compiler versions.


1992 to 1995: B.Eng. (Hon.) Electronic Engineering, UMIST (University of Manchester)