Who We Are

DabApps is an established member of the digital community in Brighton.

Our core business is designing and building custom applications to help businesses succeed and grow. As well as building an impressive client base we have formed a number effective partnerships with other digital agencies providing the technical resource they lack in house. In addition to this, with a number of specialist programming skills to our name, we also offer a technical consultancy service.

We have a strong team of designers and developers led by co-founders Chris Palk (MD), Caroline Pickering (Creative Director) and Jamie Matthews (Technical Director).

Our Approach

It is important to us to forge a positive, productive and long-term relationship with our clients, bringing focus to their immediate development requirements, providing ongoing, day-to-day support and helping to build a clear and workable IT strategy for the future.

We apply strong project management skills to the work we do and bring together the necessary skills and expertise to give you the very best that DabApps can offer.

Our Values

At DabApps we believe strongly in the principles of social and environmental responsibility, delivering the highest quality work we can and creating an environment in which both people and projects can thrive.

Profiles

Chris Palk

Managing Director Chris Palk

I am the Managing Director of DabApps. My role is to make sure the company runs seamlessly, delighting clients and providing our employees with a challenging and rewarding place to work.

What do you do?

At the moment, everything aside from the detailed technical day to day programming - although I do roll my sleeves up at times. My time is split between client focused work such as client relations, project management and technical design review, and also internal management - trying to ensure that our employees have a good working environment and are not hindered in the production of their best quality work.

What drove you to set up DabApps?

Primarily it was the frustration of working in large IT departments and seeing creativity and action curtailed by bureaucracy and red tape. By keeping DabApps focused on what the client actually needs and developing in an Agile manner I believe we can create applications that surpass the client's needs, on time and on budget.

Secondly the environment is perfect for growth at the moment. Web and mobile applications look set to continue to expand even through the current recession. They can make a real difference to the bottom line of many companies.

How should clients see DabApps?

For larger clients we are an extension of their IT department. We have specialised knowledge in Web and Mobile design, as well as Big Data experience that even many large IT companies will lack. We will be able to work with internal IT resources and build relationships with the right people to help us deliver.

For smaller clients we work in partnership. The web is often a key component of their business model and we work together to try and realise their vision for the budget that they have available. Sometimes that's a challenge but we are always ready to offer clear and honest advice, right from the start.

Why Brighton?

As I write this in 80 degrees heat with the sea as a back drop, the answer seems obvious! But seriously, Brighton is a hub for all kinds of digital design and the quality of people we can work with here either as employees or partners is second to none.

How do you relax outside of DabApps?

A few drinks and nice food with good friends is always an option on the weekend.

Caroline Pickering

Creative Director Caroline Pickering

My background is in user experience (UX), visual design and frontend engineering and I am responsible for design and innovation at DabApps.

What do you do?

I am Creative Director at DabApps and am in the envious position of supporting the most amazing team in designing and delivering great applications to our clients. I also lead on innovation and product development within the company.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

I'm very happy when I'm focused on a new challenge; you just can't beat the satisfaction of solving a complex design or technical problem. I also love getting everyone in the company together to find more creative and fun ways to solve problems and generate ideas.

What makes life richer?

I love travelling and spend a lot of time in France where I have friends and family. It's always wonderful to come back home though - Brighton is the most amazing city!

I'm a keen photographer with lots still to learn. I love walking The Downs, spending time in the garden and practicing Tai Chi.

Jamie Matthews

Technical Director Jamie Matthews

I'm in charge of our technologies, standards and development strategies. I make sure that the software we build is as good as it possibly can be.

What do you do?

I'm Technical Director at DabApps.

I enjoy making things with software. Usually this involves the web, but I've also been known to dabble in data visualisation, microcontroller programming and scientific simulations.

What gets you excited?

All good developers are lazy. I'm constantly looking for ways to improve my workflow and development process to maximise efficiency and minimise time wasted on boring things. I'm also particularly interested in choosing the very best tools for the job at hand, which (when it comes to web development) usually include the Python programming language, and the Django web framework. I think the healthiest kind of software is open source, and believe in being as transparent and open as possible with the way I work.

Do you do anything less geeky?

I play guitar, and I try to take in as much live music as I can. I take photos, watch movies, go out walking and spend a healthy amount of time in the pub with a nice pint of real ale.

What's your favourite thing about Brighton?

That intangible impossible-to-describe outlook on life that you only start to understand after you've been here for a few months. The moment when you realise you can't really imagine living anywhere else.

Ed Hickey

Commercial Director Ed Hickey

I'm the Commercial Director here at DabApps, with a background in business management and experience helping companies grow through great customer experience. My role is to oversee revenue generating activities, working closely with our clients, prospective clients and internal teams to ensure we offer great solutions and amazing applications.

What do you do?

I talk to people from all walks of life about who we are, what we do and how great we are! This ranges from early stage start-up businesses with a great idea, potential strategic partners through to corporations looking for the right partner for their latest application projects.

What do you enjoy most about the job?

Apart form working in an office full incredibly clever techy's, I love the variety. I can honestly say that no two days are the same and it's really inspiring and motivating to meet so many people with great and creative ideas. Turning these ideas into reality is the icing on the cake.

What do you get up to in your free time?

Family life in Brighton keeps me pretty busy and we love the beach, the Downs and the great bars and restaurants. I also love to cook at home and enjoy reading cook books and trying out new recipes.

Travel has always been a passion and prior to joining DabApps I spent 2.5 years living and working in Asia. During that time we visited 12 countries in total with Sri Lanka and Vietnam being the standout favourites.

Catrina Baker-Bassett

Digital Business Manager Catrina Baker-Bassett

I am the Digital Business Manager at DabApps and my role involves project management, business development, sales, marketing, PR and anything else non-techy!

What do you do?

I work closely with Chris and the rest of the team to oversee projects from start to finish, talk to our clients and make sure we meet (and exceed!) their expectations. I love our transparent approach, the variety of clients we work with and the range of projects we take on - it sounds clichéd but no two days are the same. In the time I've been with the company, I've taken the opportunity to learn a lot more about the technical side of things and have thrown myself into the ever-evolving digital side of Brighton life.

What do you get up to in your free time?

I like to keep fit and recently took part in a charity boxing match for Cancer Research UK which was a pretty intense experience! I love reading and Iris Murdoch's "The Sea, the Sea" is currently on my coffee table. Walks with my sausage dog, Winnie, cooking and a nice glass of wine also make me happy. Travelling and seeing as much of the world as possible will always be on my 'to do' list.

Caroline Oldham

Project Manager Caroline Oldham

What do you do?

I am a Project Manager at DabApps. I help clients through the process of building their projects and making sure it all runs smoothly. My role ranges from managing the techy folk, sales, marketing and baking for the office. I also own an app called Biteappy which DabApps developed and so I have worked with the team for a long time. This really helps me work with clients well as I have a very client focused approach when it comes to managing projects.

What bought you to Brighton?

I lived in the Middle East for 5 years until I met my boyfriend who has lived in Brighton his whole life. He pulled me from one beachy town to another, however it is not so hot here as it was in Dubai.

What do you do in your spare time?

I am a bit of a 'gym bunny' so after work that is where you will find me. Having my app based around food also means I am a very keen baker, so I am often in the kitchen when at home... cooking. I also love to travel and explore the world.

Rebecca Tapley

Office Manager Rebecca Tapley

What do you do?

I am the office manager and it's my job to look after all aspects of office management, including Internal Comms, HR and Finance. I enjoy the variety of the role and take pride in looking after everyone. I am also studying Accounting, so this an area of my role that I will be keen to develop further with the business.

What brought you to Brighton?

I moved here from London 2 years ago, to be closer to my friends after having a baby. I love how family-friendly it is in Brighton, and so much easier to travel about. I love the beaches - my house is now quite full of pretty pebbles!

What do you in your spare time?

Parks, parks, more parks, the beach, walking the dog, enjoying cafes and cooking new healthy recipes. I'm quite focused on my career at the moment, so I don't have a lot spare time for my hobbies... but I always make time for red wine and dark chocolate to reward my good behaviour.

Al Power

Senior UX Designer Al Power

What do you do?

I'm a senior web developer and designer who loves web standards and good UI design with a real user focus. I've been working on the web since 1998 and have worked through the early wild-west days of tables for layouts and spacer gifs through to the more exciting progressive web standards of today.

My role at DabApps is to collaborate with clients, helping to transform their ideas and requirements into reality using user research, rapid prototyping techniques and visual design to deliver a great user experience across mobile and the web, both before and during development.

What brought you to Brighton?

A move to the coast - I've always wanted to live by the sea, and while working remotely moved to Seaford for the amazing coastline and the lovely South Downs, so working in Brighton was a natural next step. Previously I worked in Oxford and Cambridge, and ran 'UXOxford' (a UX meetup) for four years.

What do you do for fun?

All sorts. I'm an avid photographer, preferring landscapes and street photography, but have worked as a wedding and product photographer in the past. I'm a voracious reader and podcast listener, both fiction and also anything design/web related - I like to try and keep up on the latest trends and thinking. I also like games (digital and board), kayaking, hiking, and running.

I graduated from Brighton University and, at the moment, see myself as a bit of an all-rounder.

What do you do?

I'm an Engineer at DabApps.

I enjoy getting involved at all stages of projects from initial planning to back-end development. I hope to be able to grow along with DabApps, discover my key strengths and get to know some nice people.

What brought you to Brighton?

I came to Brighton for University as it seemed like an exciting and vibrant place to live. I have not been disappointed and can see myself living here for a long time. Luckily it also turned out to have a very friendly and supportive developer community.

What do you do for fun?

I'm a big fan of movies and hope that I will be able to go to the cinema a bit more now I've finished University. I also enjoy wondering around sunny Brighton and like to have as many BBQs on the beach as possible.

Tony Aldridge

Engineer Tony Aldridge

I'm a programmer with a touch of knowledge in every programming language under the sun. Except that one.

What do you do?

I'm an Engineer at DabApps. I jump on whatever projects need doing, write tests and code, and get things done. I drink an unhealthy amount of tea.

What makes you happy?

Programming languages... the more obscure, the better. Also open-source development, getting things right first time, and knowing that the work I've done has positively affected people. Llamas cheer me up.

What do you do for fun?

I tend to play with obscure programming languages in my free time, that... or practicing lapidary. I am also a big fan of trips to the pub!

Riccardo Tonini

Engineer Riccardo Tonini

What do you do?

I am a software engineer at DabApps. I design solutions, model data, and distil code to accommodate the requirements of a varied array of stakeholders. I find this a very stimulating and intellectual challenge.

What do you like the most about your job?

I love designing data models and writing software with reusable, maintainable, and extensible components. I like to apply good principles of software engineering to improve and refine a code base and I strive to do that in the simplest, most elegant way. I enjoy doing this in an environment that encourages collaboration, openness, and innovation and have found DabApps to be the right place for all of this.

What's your favourite super-hero?

I've always been fascinated by Wolverine's loneliness and resourcefulness. He just never dies.

So, what else do you do in your spare time?

My background is in linguistics and I am interested in anything that has to do with languages, both artificial and natural ones. I enjoy sports, especially team-based sports; I like the strategic and collaborative aspects of it. I also like cooking, riding my bike, gardening, and pretending I can play the guitar.

Jake Smith

Frontend Developer Jake Smith

What do you do?

I am a frontend designer and developer at DabApps, which basically means that I make things look nice and easy to use. It's not always that simple though: there are many aspects to take into consideration such as platform limitations, user experience and compatibility. I take inspiration from a huge variety of places and this has allowed me to develop my own style.

Why did you decide to become an app designer?

Despite coming from a very artistic background, during my time at college and university I gradually became more and more fascinated by coding. I spent a lot of my time teaching myself new coding languages and techniques. Having a good eye for design on my side, app and or web design seemed to be the perfect way for me to go.

What brought you to Brighton?

For a long time I had the intention of moving to Brighton to follow a career as a digital designer. I started at The University of Brighton where I studied Digital Media Design. Although my course was not based at a Brighton campus, I had a chance to travel to Brighton and visit a variety of design companies based in and around the town centre. It soon became clear to me that Brighton would be a great place for me to start my professional career.

What do you do for fun?

Although I love designing and developing and spend a lot of my spare time working on my own projects, I also like to step away from the computer occasionally. I try to get out and see my friends whenever I can: pop to the pub for a pint or get some people together for a night of pizza, energy drink and gaming. I'd like to think that I'm an adventurous person: always wanting to try new things. Being based in Brighton has given me a fair few opportunities to try new foods and activities.

Emmanouil Konstantinidis

Engineer Emmanouil Konstantinidis

I graduated from University of Brighton where I studied Computer Science and I would say that I am addicted to programming and open-source projects.

What do you do?

I'm an engineer at DabApps. My daily tasks include working on every aspect of pretty much all the DabApps projects whether it is a web or a mobile application. Working next to Max, I am now obsessed with test coverage (100% tested or it didn't happen).

What brought you to Brighton?

After completing my first year of studies at City University of London, I transferred my studies to University of Brighton from where I graduated. Living next to the sea makes me feel at home and the city seems to be full of life!

What do you do for fun?

There is nothing better than hanging out with friends. By the time the sun comes out, I am heading to the beach to enjoy the sun and relax. When the sun goes down, I spend most of my free time working/maintaining open source projects.

Pete Wildsmith

Engineer Pete Wildsmith

I help to herd the servers and build the tools, keeping the application environments in tip-top shape and smoothing the journey from development to deployment.

What do you do?

I'm an Engineer at DabApps. That involves a bit of this and a bit of that, but my specialty is the lower reaches of the application stack: operating systems, databases, networking and security.

What gets you excited?

A confluence of the technological and the historical; how human ingenuity affects our world, and how our society and our environment shape the sorts of things we build. That, and things that go fast, explode, or both.

What do you do for fun?

I like baking, games (digital and tabletop), and I'm beginning to learn joinery.

Paul Mitchell-Gears

Engineer Paul Mitchell-Gears

What do you do?

I write code, with a strong emphasis on agile disciplines. I am an advocate of test-first coding, small and frequent releases, and an emphasis on simplicity and quality.

What technologies are you using?

I'm pretty excited about Javascript right now as finally beginning to fulfil the 'write-once, run-anywhere' promise originally made but never truly delivered by Java. I'm a strong enthusiast of a functional programming approach minimising side effects and concentrating state in one place.

What brought you to Brighton?

I moved here as a graduate fifteen years ago and never looked back, except for a five year hiatus where I lived in Bogotá and Birmingham. Brighton has better beaches.

What do you do for fun?

I try to take full advantage of all that Brighton has to offer - a pint on the seafront, dinner out with friends, biking on the South Downs, or going to a gig.

Charlie Tomsett

Engineer Charlie Tomsett

What do you do?

I'm an engineer at DabApps. I like writing code, solving problems and exploring open source technologies, especially when they involve the web.

What brought you to Brighton?

I've lived fairly nearby my entire life but I moved to Brighton for university and never left. It has a great relaxed pace of life, a vast array of interesting places to eat and it has the added bonus of being by the sea.

What do you do for fun?

On top of the usual Brighton pub and seaside activities, I also like cooking (and subsequently eating), playing the guitar and tinkering with the odd bit of computer hardware; my drawers at home are full of wires and computer components which are all completely necessary.

Jake Howard

Apprentice Engineer Jake Howard

What do you do?

I've just left college and have started an apprenticeship with DabApps and 3aaa.

How did you get into software development?

I've always had an interest in computers and technology, even from as young as five I spent a lot of my time on a computer - I loved it! At a parents evening in Year 10, my IT teacher suggested I look into Visual Basic for Applications. From there I moved on to VB.Net rather quickly and when I joined college I learned even more through contact with other people. Now I can write software for most platforms. At DabApps I'm now programming in Python.

Do you do anything less techie?

Whenever I'm not out socialising with friends, I spend my time at my desk or on my laptop. Before I had a car I used to enjoy cycling everywhere as my primary means of transport. I was a Sea Cadet for five years which meant I spent a lot of time down in Portsmouth and this also brought me the opportunity to spend a week sailing in Scotland.

What do you hope to get from your apprenticeship with DabApps?

I'm hoping to be introduced to the wider world of software development and to make a career out of it. I know I will gain a lot of experience working for such a fast-growing company in this competitive market. A successful apprenticeship will also allow me to start my career debt free which I see as a real plus!

Ioannis Latousakis

Engineer Ioannis Latousakis

What do you do?

I am a new member of the team and I'm really enjoying working on existing projects with the DabApps developers, reviewing their code, and getting to grips with DabApps' processes. I come from a Java/Groovy background, but have always had a keen interest in the technologies that DabApps use and have been writing Python for a few years. So far things are going really well, I'm learning lots and keen to get stuck in to a new project soon.

Which coding do you enjoy the most?

Code that runs first time is definitely a highlight of my day! I generally favour backend development over user interface work; completing a robust API feels very rewarding to me. I can also get pretty excited by a bank holiday weekend!

What brought you to Brighton?

DabApps! I have been looking for a company that always aims to use current technologies with Python on the backend, practices agile development and pays attention to code reviewing and testing. On top of that, the work environment is very friendly and open, instead of the gloomy corporate environments found elsewhere. All this makes working here much more enjoyable and motivating.

What do you do for fun?

My definition of fun usually involves long bicycle rides and sports that make you wonder "was this a bad idea?" during their course. Occasionally, I play with my electronics stack, my greatest invention being an autonomous wandering duster. Not quite a Roomba®, but much more fun!

Will Ockmore

Engineer Will Ockmore

What do you do?

I became a member of the development team at DabApps in March 2016. I've always been interested in how software and computers operate, and have experience in several different languages and technology stacks. I'm particularly enjoying using Python with web technologies such as Django, and I'm excited to be working with a very talented bunch of people.

What brought you to Brighton?

It's a great place to live! I grew up close to Brighton, and after spending the last few years living in Devon, it seemed the logical choice - it's a vibrant city with loads going on, and you get all the benefits of living by the sea as well.

What do you do for fun?

Whilst at university down in Exeter, I was able to spend a lot of my spare time surfing, and it's something I try to do as much as I can - waves are the one thing Brighton is missing, so this means I normally have to take a trip away if I want to catch any! I'm a big music lover, and try to go to (and play at) as many gigs as I can. And of course, I'm always keen for a drink with a few friends.

Jordan Brown

Apprentice Engineer Jordan Brown

What do you do?

I'm an apprentice engineer at DabApps. I've only just left school and am very happy to have the opportunity to fulfil my aspirations of developing cloud-based software.

My apprenticeship is through the training provider 3aaa.

Why did you choose to work in Brighton?

I live in Eastbourne, a slightly smaller town on the South East Coast, which is a considerable distance when commuting. Although, it's totally worth it! I think Brighton is a wonderful place to work on a daily basis. I initially searched for apprenticeships here expecting to work for a company with a more generic, hierarchical approach to workplace management. At DabApps, it's the complete opposite and overall I love the projects I am involved in here.

What would you like to gain from your apprenticeship?

Ultimately, I'd like to become more involved in the open-source community, inherit valuable programming skills and would like it to advance me to a full-time job after my apprenticeship contract has ended.

What do you do?

My role is to design and build User experiences. From my first day at DabApps, I've had the opportunity to work on exciting projects using the latest technologies which has been very enjoyable.

What brought you to Brighton?

I moved over from Ireland to keep my girlfriend company while she did a masters. She's since finished the masters, but we've fallen in love with Brighton, it's become like another home.

What do you do for fun?

Boxing, football and Gaelic football are my main passions, but I also really enjoy playing board/video games and reading. I've followed my belly around the world and Brighton is no exception.

Narani van Laarhoven

Engineer Narani van Laarhoven

What do you do?

I'm an engineer at DabApps. As a junior developer I am excited to learn all the latest technologies and frameworks that are used at DabApps. My role involves anything to do with coding, whether it's backend, frontend or mobile development.

How did you get into coding?

I studied Mathematics in Amsterdam and in Barcelona and soon discovered that my skills of problem solving, logical thinking and creativity were easily transferable to the satisfying craft of coding software. After a couple of months of taking online courses in web and mobile app development I landed my first job as freelance programmer and a year later I was invited to join the team at DabApps. I am thrilled to be working with and learning from such a lovely bunch of developers.

What do you do in your spare time?

As a newbie to Brighton and the UK I'm enjoying trying out some of the local pubs; their roasts and local beers. But I also enjoy board games with friends, going to wine tastings, cycling along the seafront and recently I've discovered the joy of windsurfing.

Johnny Marshall

Engineer Johnny Marshall

What do you do?

I'm an Engineer at DabApps. Backend and scalability are my things, I like understanding and manipulating the many layers between end users and the hardware. It's an area where idealism and pragmatism are often in conflict. If it was easy it wouldn't be half so fascinating.

What brought you to Brighton?

I came to Brighton to study Artificial Intelligence at The University of Sussex. Like many people who study here, I didn't leave.

What do you do for fun?

Making video games. It's my passion. Don't get me started on the subject unless you want your ears talked off!

Bob Friston

Engineer Bob Friston

What do you do?

When the original iPhone was released I just had to have one, and I downloaded the developer tools to start app development. I loved the way you could code something and the next moment have it on your phone. Since then I have freelanced in the field and developed my own apps and projects. I am now developing my skills and building cross-platform apps for both devices and the Web with the fabulous DabApps.

How did you get into coding?

My career in software programming originates in building an e-commerce platform back in the days of dial-up modems (bzzzrrrreeeeekrrreeeek!). Lots of old-school JavaScript trickery and a Windows front-end built on VisualBasic for Access. We built up a company around this product we became one of the original internet companies of Brighton.

What do you do in your spare time?

Mostly outdoorsy types of things like cycling, walking and cafe-culture. I play a bit of volleyball and tennis for keeping fit. On Sunday afternoons I volunteer at a local charity and run their cafe.

Our Water Cooler
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