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“I just wanted to take note of what an asset Ian is to the NHS App team.

His well-roundedness as a Team Lead is impressive. He has both the technical knowledge and ability to apply it to ensure all components within the project have a good foundation. Ian has a superb eye for detail and is great at conveying how and why things should be implemented to the wider team, via code review, in stand-ups, and other technical discussions.

Ian is also a great team leader, particularly good at utilising individuals’ skills and juggling things around to make sure the team is both efficient, and more importantly that people are happy with what they are doing.

One of Ian’s greatest abilities is his patience. It is difficult working in a large team with a lot of different opinions coming from a lot of different angles. Policing these opinions to ensure things get delivered efficiently and to a high standard is a great challenge. I find Ian’s ability to stay calm under these scenarios impressive. He is able to approach problems with a cool head (no matter how sporadic or urgent the issue). He is able to mediate technical discussions and finds the right balance of listening to people’s opinions, while also being stern so that all team members are on the same page.

Last of all, and probably most importantly, Ian cares a great deal. Both about the team (his cell and the wider team as well) and about delivering high-quality software for the user. This is extremely important when delivering for the public sector, in particular healthcare. It also makes Ian a pleasure to work with.

If I was to give Ian one piece of advice, it would be to possibly delegate more. Ian works long hours and one way to mitigate this would be getting other team members to pick up some of the tasks. I’m not saying that Ian doesn’t do this currently, but could apply it a little more.

Overall Ian is someone Kainos is lucky to have, and I hope we continue to work together for as long as possible!”

— Sean Devlin – Technical Architect, Kainos

“I wanted to call out Ian Nelson for his excellent work on the NHS App. Ian has been fantastic to work with over the past six months. Of all the tech leads I found Ian to be the most approachable, often seeking technical advice from him, which really helped me settle into both my role and the project.

Ian really looks out for everyone on his team and does his utmost to ensure they are comfortable with their workload and aware of what is required from them on the project. He is excellent during stand-ups and in our planning sessions.

A particular example I would like to single out was this past weekend. Ian contacted me to explain that a particular piece of work with the Cosmos DB had become more complex than we originally forecast, this work was on the critical path for the 1.0.0 cut-off and Ian thought the team may struggle to meet the deadline. My plan on the Monday before the cut-off was to see what we could arrange in regards to code freezes to make sure this work made it in. This wasn’t required however as Ian had gone above and beyone by working over the weekend, pulling together the team’s work and finalising it to ensure it was ready to go.

Ian is a consummate professional, a real asset to the project in my opinion and it has been a pleasure to work with him.”

— Kevin O’Hara – Business Analyst, Kainos

“I have worked with Ian for coming up to 2 years.

In that time we have worked on two projects – one of which we have partnered as joint senior developers. For this I was the front-end specialist and Ian was the back-end specialist and overall technical architect.

I have been incredibly impressed with Ian’s ability to take on serious back-end challenges, sometimes with fairly minimal to no requirements and create an incredibly robust, highly-scalable enterprise-grade architecture.

His ability to work with the latest emerging technology stacks to deliver state-of-the-art services holds no parallel I have ever witnessed. Many times developers get used to a particular stack they are familiar with and stick with those tried-and-tested methods; but Ian’s ability to turn his hand to brand new technologies shows someone who is extremely adaptable with an incredible capacity to learn. I witnessed this first hand with his use of Azure which received Microsoft’s approval.

Ian can create architectures which are simple to follow with minimal architectural knowledge, yet powerful and dynamic enough to deal with pretty much any situation. This has been crucial in our relatively small team where in just 6 month we were loading real customers onto our system and have continually been adding features to support over 1,000 clients. In addition, being a small team Ian has had to speak and present to every level of the business and also deal with third-party providers and partners – and has done so with the highest grade of professionalism which has earned him the respect of his colleagues.

I can confidently say I am a better developer because I have worked alongside him, and between us we have created some state-of-the-art services which are well-respected within the PR industry. I would relish the opportunity to work alongside him again.”

— James West – Freelance Software Developer, Access Intelligence Plc

“Ian is one of the most hard-working and professional individuals that I have had the pleasure to work with. His methodical approach allows him to digest the problem put before him prior to making a reasoned and rational suggestion. Ian’s development skills and knowledge were able to cope with every challenge, identifying one or more solutions for every scenario that I put forward as Product Owner. This allowed me to then pick the best solution for the project.

Ian is a consummate team player and worked efficiently and effectively with the other members of the development team. He always made himself available for me to ask questions to help me understand the technical aspects of a story.

Ian’s expertise and problem-solving skills have helped to drive the project forward and I am extremely grateful for the contribution that he has made. He will be greatly missed, not just by me, but by the whole of the team. I wish him the best of luck with any future projects he undertakes and I hope to be able to work with him again in the future.”

— Robin Hackshall – Senior Information Analyst, Health and Social Care Information Centre

“Ian has enabled us to drive some major changes into the business whilst introducing new technologies and concepts to the team. We now have great working examples of Workflow, NHibernate, IoC, programming to interfaces and MVC code which can be applied in other applications. I couldn’t have asked for more – a combination of business and technological advancement. Thanks again.”

— Sion Harrison – Development Manager, Marshalls Plc

“Ian worked on a particularly troublesome project for me for eight months at NHS Choices without complaint. His development skills and knowledge are exemplary and his NHibernate knowledge is second to none. He worked well with all the members of the team and helped me to introduce pair programming and push the test driven development agenda. I will employ Ian whenever I have the chance.”

— Nick Porthouse – Development Manager, NHS Choices

“I was fortunate enough to work with Ian on a relatively complex distributed, ReSTful system for the NHS IC.

Ian is an exceptional software developer, who produces well thought through, clean and tested code adhering strongly to SOLID principles.

His knowledge of OO design principles, architectural patterns and his ability to reduce friction in a multi developer environment has an extremely positive effect on both the
systems he works on and the people he works with. Coupled with his expertise in data modelling and access patterns, you can be sure your project is in safe hands.

I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending Ian.”

— Paul Campbell – Freelance Software Developer and Service Architect, Health and Social Care Information Centre

“I had the pleasure of collaborating with Ian on a large scale survey data gathering and processing solution, incorporating distributed components developed using C# and SSIS.

Ian was able to take high-level business requirements and swiftly design and produce a set of solid, scalable, and efficient systems, and with meticulous attention to detail.

Ian’s grasp of agile tools, design patterns, and NHibernate in particular are masterful, and I would recommend him without hesitation.”

— Ashfaq Hussain – Freelance Application Developer, Health and SocialCare Information Centre

“Ian proved to be a fantastic choice; as well as being one of the most technically adept developers I’ve ever worked with he’s good company and delivers high-quality code in small amounts of time. All-in-all a very good hire, and I hope I have the good fortune to work with him again.”

— Joe Steele – Technical Team Leader, Ventura

“I worked with Ian for nearly 3 years in NHS Digital. Ian is dependable, forward-thinking, and quite possibly the most level-headed person I’ve come across!”

— Jack Morris — Platform Architect, Kainos

“Ian is one of the most intelligent and diligent people I’ve ever worked with. When Ian is involved, I know everything is going to be ok :)”

— Ciaran Colgan — Freelance .Net Architect, Developer

“Spending 2 years working with Ian was a pleasure. He’s a consummate professional, a highly talented developer, a great problem solver and a real team player. I learned a lot working with him, found him great to bounce ideas off and would be delighted to work with him again. Definitely top class.”

— John Conners – Senior Software Developer, Marshalls Plc

“I saw your post on DDDNorth which made me even more gutted that I couldn’t make it! I wanted to let you know that working with you at Piksel opened my eyes on how a professional developer should be. I still use NCrunch daily from your recommendation and I try to pay it forward by recommending it in the same way.”

— TG – Contract .NET Developer

“Ian, many thanks for your contribution to the Halifax project for the last 2 years plus. You showed a great deal of patience in a difficult climate and managed to create a very good impression with the Halifax people you worked with.”

— Robin H Scholz – Keane Limited

“Ian is certainly one of the smartest and most productive developers that I have had the pleasure of working with. His knowledge of existing and emerging technologies and trends, coupled with a keen sense of where they can be best utilised within a business environment ensures that the applications he produces are fully fit for purpose and are easy to maintain.

During his time at Marshalls, Ian produced several high-profile business critical applications that continue to function effectively day-in day-out. I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending Ian for any software development position and hope that I get to work with him again some day.”

— Colin Lowe – Development Team Leader, Marshalls Plc

“You’re good at solving problems, Daddy.”

— Ben Nelson (aged 4)

“Impressed how quickly you’ve done this. Take the rest of the week off.”

— Giles Foster – Principal Information Analyst, Health and Social Care Information Centre

“Thanks for all the tireless work, non-grumbling and above all, the massive amount of help you’ve been!”

— Sophie Stone – Profiles Lead, NHS Choices

“Ian set up the Team Foundation Server quickly and efficiently and worked straight out of the box. He was clear with his pre-install requirements, and good with follow-on support.”

— Sean Liquorish – Senior Software Developer, NBA Consultants

“Ian, you rock and I am sad to see you going.”

— Steven Heyes – Senior Software Developer, NHS Choices

“If we gave out gold stars, you would now be wearing one – many thanks!”

— Carl Bilsbrough – Service Desk Manager, National Institute for Health Research

“Thanks to Ian Nelson who managed to identify all the technical difficulties and proved to be a great support. Ironically [supplier] were not able to provide me resolution on the errors for more than a day (they are the ones to develop it), which Ian managed to crack.”

— Surbhi Trivedi – Project Manager, National Institute of Health Research

“You’ve given us some code to aspire to!”

— Ian Turner – Senior Software Developer, Ventura

Copyright © Ian Fraser Nelson 2023