keep up the pace,
whilst shaping the team

Are you looking for a unicorn 🦄 tech co-founder, but finding them to be elusive? Consider using a fractional or interim tech leader to find the right first technical hires, onboard them, establish code quality standards and sustainable development processes all whilst continuing to progress your application forward.

If you're curious about whether working with me fractionally could be a good fit then schedule a meet or send me an email.

"My 'go-to' when I want an opinion on a technical dilemma I’m facing. I would hire Chris in a heartbeat, should the opportunity arise, and highly recommend him to any org looking for a master technical strategist."
picture of Arafat Sadiq Arafat Sadiq
@ MyPulse

      Think fractional focused

      There's a need to keep on developing out the tech but current abilities are exhausted and so you may be looking for your own full-stack developer or been told you need a 'CTO' to take point. Immediately gain a senior development lead and experienced consultant to raise the quality, bridge towards your own capability, that understands the environmental tech space, and quite simply who cares.

      The advantages can be;

      • You've launched an application or prototype but are now finding that it can't keep up with the momentum you've created. Remove your technical limits and de-risk your application development with 'been there, done that' experience that can diagnose, develop and strategically move the product forward again.
      • Design and implement the strategy and architecture that'll keep up with demands, remove mystery from the machines, quickly align tech to goals and pique the interest of the best tech talent (including that long-term tech leader) to come and work with you.
      • Find and have confidence in your first tech hires, knowing they are setup to succeed with the right culture, processes and standards to enable them to do their best work. Stay strategic about filling those all important long-term roles.
      • Have someone in your corner who can quickly address any known or unknown security and privacy issues.
      • Get an outside perspective, fresh insights and ideas drawn from tech experience working with many organisations in many different sectors.
      • Increase funding relations & sales opportunities with seasoned tech representation that can operate at and represent all things tech at the executive level.
      • It can be more cost-effective and flexible access to senior level tech know-how at a fraction of the time, cost and risk of going all-in too soon on an unproven tech leader. I like to keep it simple and nimble with no lengthy contracts or undue process getting in the way of how we work together.

      It's really just a fancy way of saying a 'focused' leader 🤷. I'm typically called upon to help start (or reboot) your own software development capability. Putting in the work to translate from initial vision into a high-quality technical reality. I focus on what matters most, diagnosing challenges along the way, recommending solutions, and getting hands-on (yes that does mean code and terminals), to align the tech to your needs.

      The number 1 goal is to boost your environmental efforts, with your own tech capability, so they can be sustained for the long term.

      The process

      Initial consultation >> The first step involves a transparent and in-depth discussion about your project. We’ll talk about your goals, the desired timeline, and any known requirements or constraints you may have. This allows me to fully understand what you’re looking to achieve and whether I'm the best person to align with you on them. You can schedule a meet with me or send me an email to get the ball rolling.

      Retainer agreement >> After our initial consultation, we’ll agree on a monthly retainer option, based upon level of involvement required and the strategic outcome you want delivered. I don't do banks of hours or require you to keep track of my time during this retainer. There are no limits to how often you engage with me.

      Strategy workshops & interviews >> Once that is all out of the way we can get to work. The first thing I'll do is organise a strategy workshop to go through, in detail, what you're trying to do, what you've done so far and identify what needs to be done cross the gaps to get there.

      Review & audit your tech capability >> As soon as I know your strategy and motivations inside out then I can go deep into your current tech capabilities. This involves a thorough review and audit of all the development and processes that are currently in place. This consists of examining the code 'n' infrastructure, assessing the quality of work, and identifying any potential issues or areas for improvement in your current capability.

      Tactical recommendations & remediation >> Once the audit results have been laid out and presented. I'll work with you and your team (if you have one) to breakdown and recommend the quick wins and prioritise addressing any immediate concerns. This could look like too much time spent on low-value things, missing processes not catching things early enough, avoiding re-inventing the wheel or misalignment to the overall goals of the project itself.

      Take ownership of the tech >> This is where the benefits of a fractional leader really shine. Once we have addressed the tactical we can start implementing the strategy. I take ownership of ensuring the tech can and will support your vision. Spanning from high-level comms down to low-level code commits. The buck stops with me. I encourage working out in the open, in order to foster an open and transparent culture. I'll facilitate and setup the adoption of standards with regards to forming/working with remote product teams. We’ll setup the right tools to allow for meaningful remote collaboration. Nothing will be gated and you'll have access to everything. Unlike some high-level tech leaders or CTOs I touch the tech. In early stages you need higher code throughput and things moving into the 'done' column. I'll plug any short-term development capability gaps myself until we can find a great long-term human to bring in.

      Deliver a sustainable capability >> One of the key benefits of working with me as a fractional lead is I care not just what we're working towards but that we walk our own talk. Our tech needs to be made equitably, ethically and sustainably. I'll ensure the checks and balances are implemented so you can sustain the vision for the long-haul. One nice side effect of this is that it puts a laser focus on efficiency. This often results in significant cost savings. My eye is always on preventing unnecessary work, maintaining high quality delivery, respecting energy costs and minimising costly errors.

      To summarise

      • We start by talking about your current situation.
      • All being well we agree on a monthly retainer that we're both happy to commit to.
      • I setup a strategy workshop to look at the macro of where you're at, tech and beyond.
      • I do a deep dive into your lower level capability (that includes product, team, processes etc).
      • We address the burning issues and quick wins.
      • I take full ownership of the tech.
      • I deliver your own in-house development capability that can be sustained for the long term.
      • We make something meaningful together.

      The end game

      Ultimately there is only one end game to aim for — your own sustainable tech capability, a decent product iteration and a development trailmap for the next 6-12 months. I'll support you as your interim tech leader or CTO closely during the first three months, with a view to helping you find, attract and onboard a long-term option within that time. I can stay on board, part-time, until you’re satisfied with the processes and we've reached the sustainable pace needed.

      "His help is always friendly, practical, and given thoughtfully with what's best for the future in mind. I always look forward to our meetings which keep me on track, sane and entertained! He's a vital part of our team and cannot recommend him enough!"
      picture of Adam Bastock Adam Bastock
      @ Small99
      "Chris is the type of tech leader I love working with. He executes his duties in the style of a true collaborator, one where disciplines and craft are what you bring to the table but working together to jointly solve problems is the priority. It’s in this highly collaborative approach that I felt Chris shined above all others. He's as interested in the big picture and challenges for all disciplines as he is in the technical landscape."
      picture of Ray Mosley Ray Mosley
      Head of Design
      @ eBay
      "I can thoroughly recommend him as a mentor for / or as your senior project lead in a fast-paced environment. Special mention in my case would have to be his "been there, done that" people-management skills - which really helped me to prepare for and surmount roadblocks ahead. I very much look forward to working with him again someday. One of life's rare gems. The pleasure was all mine!"
      picture of Jeremy Armes Jeremy Armes
      Director of Digital Platforms & Data
      @ Planet

      Some frequently asked questions

        How soon can you start?

        I can usually start as soon as you're ready, it's one of the benefits of working with someone on-demand like me. On average clients have chosen to start as early as 2 weeks after the first conversation.

        Can I hire you as a full-time CTO?


        I provide on-demand tech experience and capability designed to boost the progress of eco projects in their earlier stages.

        If you're at the stage where you need a full-time CTO then I can always help you find the right one.

        What stops me from making demands of you 24/7?

        To be honest not a lot. I do not want to be counting pennies and totting up hours each time we need to work together. Typically I will dedicate ~1-2 days to work on the priorities and needs of the organisation. I am however also available 24/7 where I can be contacted either via email / phone / chat for any enquiry. I commit to responding within 48 working hours though in practice this is more like 12 hours.

        Lastly the value comes from leadership, capability building and strategic support. Anything outside of that is not in scope for this service and there are better options I'd recommend. And for those who do not utilise me enough, then I'll tell them so!

        Will you sign an NDA?

        Yes. I'll be more than happy to sign an NDA, provided it is mutual and we have a commercial agreement already in place.

        I do not need access to confidential information or trade secrets in order to have an initial discussion with you to determine whether we're a good fit.

        Will you fix my bug at 2AM?

        This doesn't include hands-on development or maintenance work. However if your tech team could do with some advice at 2AM in order to resolve a bug then this service is the one for you. Or alternately if you're finding that bugs are cropping up too often and at unsociable hours then let's talk about going after the cause rather than dealing with the symptoms!

      Send me a direct email to if you don't see an answer to your question here.

      Principles for meaningful apps

      • 1. Tech should serve us and not the other way around. Nature is our majority stakeholder. Let's do the hard work to make visible, avoid or mitigate the unintended cost of digital.
      • 2. Strategy, design and development are parts of the same whole. None of them succeed in a vaccuum. We make better things when these work together.
      • 3. It matters what technology choices and practices we employ. When working for environmental benefit then privacy, security and sustainability are not optional but fundamental for a more convivial world.

      Who on earth am I?

      A profile picture of Chris Oram standing in a forest

      My name is Chris Oram. As you'd expect, I'm a former software developer, tech lead, architect, 'head of', advisor to 'C' people and overall digital maker for too many years (15+ if you want a quant). I provide tech strategy, capability development and software to those who care about the environment.

      I've made tech stacks and cultivated teams for public and private sectors spanning finance, media, retail, food, education, government, socialcare, healthcare and deathcare (yep, that's a real thing). I've been trusted by well known mega corps. But now I help small teams to do more with less.

      Tech is not neutral. How we intentionally apply it, matters. I advocate for sustainable engineering, post-growth/degrowth/coop models, local-first software and fostering FOSS.

      I write a newsletter called spored that puts a lens on biodiversity software. If you'd like to read more about me, here is my personal site.

      When not strategising, developing or hitting a keyboard I can be found home steading, rambling or running outdoors 🌲🌲🌲.