About freestyle developments

In a nutshell, freestyle developments is a web and software development company. We're really good at what we do. We're small, flexible, and are relentlessly passionate about our work. We pay far more attention to detail than you'll ever need us to and we'll always be straight up and to the point no matter what. If you need some development work done, chances are that we can get it done for you. Try us, it really can't hurt.

Freestyle is owned by Alan Shaw, who likes to think he knows one or two things about computers. Here's some information about him that you might be interested in...


University of Bath degree in BSc Computer Science (2.1 classification)

A levels in Computing, Mathematics, Physics

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On completeing his University degree in 2006, Alan was awarded the Nigel J Day award.

Nigel J Day Prize in Computing is awarded on the basis of performance in the final year Computer Science units, to the student who has shown outstanding ability in computing.

University of Bath website

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Alan's undergraduate dissertaion, titled 'Optimising the Java virtual machine instruction set' was published on the University website in 2006

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Freelance work

August 2007 to present

Pending a trip to the other side of the world, a natural opportunity arose to continue doing what Alan does best, but remotely - and so freestyle developments was born. Since then freestyle developments has been enjoying the benefits of previous relationships as well as forging new ones.

MediaClash - developer

July 2006 to May 2007

e-scape media Ltd were acquired by MediaClash and Alan was invited to re-join the company after finishing his degree. In addition to his previous responsibilities, he was responsible for management and upkeep of a set of load balanced Linux servers, hosting a number of high traffic websites in an external data centre.

Naturally this required a familiarity with Apache2, PHP4/5 and MySQL4/5. Alan was responsible for setting up replication between two load balanced MySQL databases as well as the creation of a number of cron jobs to backup data to the network attached storage device attached to the network. Alan also became proficient at administering an OpenBSD machine running pf, the BSD packet filter.

Other experience gained included developing .NET components for Microsoft Outlook and .NET based websites. He was also involved in hosting tuition sessions for clients, helping them to use content management systems developed for their websites.

E-scape media Ltd - developer

June 2004 to September 2005 (Industry placement)

Alan was deeply involved in development, testing and maintenance of web applications as well as internal systems and components. He was also responsible for: the maintenance and upkeep of internal and external company and client servers and systems; being on call 24/7 for possible server failures/problems; and responsible for most, if not all development work that needed to be done.

Network administration included: rolling out Microsoft Exchange 2003; migrating the company to a new Active Directory enabled Domain Controller; setup and installation of a new external server located in a off site data centre; and devising and implementing a new tape based backup strategy for the company.

Development work involved working closely with most clients from the initial project planning phase onwards.

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Experienced in...

  • XML
  • CSS 1,2 & 3
  • PHP
  • JavaScript
    • jQuery framework
    • Prototype & Scriptaculous framework
    • MooTools framework
    • AJAX & JSON
  • Java
    • Apache Wicket framework
    • Spring framework
    • JPA
    • Hibernate
    • FreeMarker
    • TDD using JUnit and Mockito
  • Scala
  • ActionScript 3
  • SQL
  • Objective-C
  • ASP.NET (in C#)
  • ASP
  • Visual Basic

Familiar with...

  • JSP
  • C
  • C++
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Experienced in...

  • MS SQL server 2000/2005
  • MySQL server 4/5
  • MS IIS server 5/6
  • Apache 2 server
  • pf, the BSD packet filter
  • MS Exchange server 2003
  • Veritas Backup Exec server
  • IPSwitch IMail server
  • Filezilla server
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Flash
  • MS Visual Studio
  • Exim SMTP server
  • Dovecot IMAP/POP3 server
  • Spamassasin
  • Webalizer
  • Subversion
  • Git
  • Eclipse
  • Xcode
  • Intellij
  • Maven
  • Jenkins
  • Puppet

Familiar with...

  • Tomcat
  • Jetty
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Operating Systems

Experienced in...

  • Linux
    • Ubuntu desktop
    • Debian server
  • Mac
    • OS X desktop
  • Windows
    • 2000 server
    • 2003 server
    • XP home/professional
    • Vista/7

Familiar with...

  • FreeBSD
  • OpenBSD
  • Solaris
  • Mac
    • OS 9 desktop
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