Who We Are
BlackCat was founded in 2012 and has grown rapidly into a thriving technology partner providing consulting, development and delivery services to innovators across a variety of industries.
The company was founded by Simon Godden and Craig Barker, who shared a passion for solving complex business problems through leading technology solutions.
Their shared vision was to provide a ‘one stop shop’ for accelerating digital product development through the Agile and DevOps principles of ‘people first’, communication and continuous improvement.
8 years later, Simon and Craig have built a growing team of like-minded technologists, analysts, developers and consultants. BlackCat has gone from 5 to over 100 employees with offices in central Birmingham and London, where together we work, learn and deliver value for our clients. Day in. Day out.
Simon Godden is BlackCat’s CEO and co-founder. Since starting the business in 2012 with Craig Barker, he has continued to provide the insight and support which has enabled the team to thrive and grow.
Simon’s vision was to create a technology business focussed on accelerating the delivery of world-class products. His personal values of openness, integrity and transparency have shaped the culture at BlackCat and are reflected in all our dealings with our customers and each other. Simon’s background is in software development and prior to founding BlackCat he built up over 20 years experience in senior technical roles. While Simon’s day job is now less hands-on, he retains his passion for moving companies forwards through the application of technology.
Craig BarkerChief Customer Officer
Craig Barker is BlackCat’s Chief Customer Officer and co-founder. He acts as the voice of the customer, ensuring the business remains focussed on their needs and that we always deliver the best possible outcomes. Craig also supports BlackCat’s engagement and delivery functions and can often be found guiding and coaching our teams, encouraging a culture of collaboration and learning.
Craig’s background is technical. Prior to founding BlackCat with Simon Godden, he gained a first class honours degree in Computer Science from the University of Aston then built up almost 20 years experience in delivering innovative software across a variety of industry sectors. He’s an advocate of lean and agile methodologies and is happiest in the thick of the most complex of deliveries.
Andy BrashawChief Operating Officer
Andy Bradshaw is BlackCat’s Chief Operating Officer and is responsible for developing our delivery capabilities to continually improve our customer experience and ensure we have the skills and frameworks in place to keep pace with increasing demand. He is focussed on the quality of services we provide so we continue to enjoy long-lasting relationships with our customers.
Andy plays a key role in developing, motivating and supporting BlackCat’s technical community. Prior to joining BlackCat, Andy started his career as a software developer before moving on to senior technical delivery roles. He has a MEng from Bristol University, is an accredited Prince2 practitioner and has extensive experience of the practical application of Agile principles to deliver value-driven customer outcomes.
Matt ToddChief Architect
Matt Todd is BlackCat’s Chief Architect, helping our clients create and execute technology and data strategies that solve complex business problems. Matt has nearly 20 years experience as a consultant in the technology and data space, including 10 years as co-founder of an application development company. Latterly, he has been at the forefront of thinking regarding data lakes and their role in helping businesses manage and realise the value of Big Data. Matt gained a BSc in Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science at the University of Birmingham and has remained an active member of the Birmingham technology scene. He set up the Docker and Cloud Native MeetUps and is a regular speaker and host at their events.
Joao FerreiraPrincipal Business Analyst
Joao Ferreira is BlackCat’s principle business analyst. He acts as a vital link between process owners, endusers and development teams, helping customers define product visions which deliver business value.
Joao’s background is in development but over the past decade he has taken on increasingly strategic technical roles, including a number of years as a product owner for a leading technology company. Joao has a degree from the Santarem School of Management and Technology, is a certified Scrum Product Owner and an accredited member of the Chartered Institute of IT.
Alison ShepherdTalent Manager
Alison Shepherd is BlackCat’s Talent Manager and is responsible for ensuring we have the best technical talent available to develop world class products and provide first class services for our customers. Ali has over 10 years’ experience of talent acquisition and retention and manages all aspects of our recruitment, finding and securing top people who share our values.
Ken BaxterEngagement Manager
Ken Baxter is BlackCat’s Engagement Manager, focussed on delivering successful projects for our clients. Ken works closely with senior stakeholders to ensure we have the right people, processes and roadmaps in place to achieve our customers’ business objectives and contribute to their wider growth strategies.
Ken has a degree from the University of Durham and a PhD from the University of Liverpool, following which he embarked on a successful career in the field of technology. His background is in helping fast-growing organisations scale through implementing agile methodologies and technology strategies. Prior to joining BlackCat, he held a number of senior technology roles and brings this extensive experience to our business and our clients. His trademark approach of honesty, transparency and collaboration is appreciated by colleagues and customers alike.
The BlackCat WayOur Mission and Values
At BlackCat out mission is to help customers advance their performance through technology. We are invested in your long-term success. Our goal is to make a long-lasting and positive impact on your product development and delivery capabilities and ultimately help grow and support your culture, however long or short a time you choose to work with us.
We keep advancing
We advance our people, our customers and our art. We constantly look for new and better approaches to the application of technologies.
We think creatively
We solve problems and focus on finding better ways of achieving outcomes rather than just executing a brief or accepting the status quo.
We are honest and transparent
We keep it real with customers and each other so there are never any nasty surprises. We always say what we believe to be true and in the best interests of our clients.
We build great teams
Great people are the cornerstone of our service delivery. Our work also helps build better in-house teams for our customers by sharing skills, encouraging collaboration and breaking down operational silos.
Life at BlackCat
BlackCat’s mission is to improve our customers’ performance through technology. To do that, we need the right people, who share our values, love solving problems and really want to make a difference.
If you share our values and are interested in finding out more about job opportunities at BlackCat, check out our current openings. We’re always on the lookout for the right people to join our growing team.
Explore our services
BlackCat offers a wide range of services combining the best people, technical expertise, proven methodologies and a genuine passion for helping our customers advance through leading technology solutions.
What’s new at BlackCat
Whitepaper – Data Series: Riding the Wave of the Data Revolution
BlackCat Chief Architect, Matt Todd, discusses the need for a value-first approach to data lake implementation. Data lakes are one potential option for businesses looking for ways to best manage and use the vast quantities of data now being generated, but if you jump in with both feet without first understanding the value you’re trying to extract from your data estate, you risk creating another business silo – unused and unusable.Read More
Blog: What a Great SCRUM Team Looks Like
As you probably know Scrum is a methodology that enables teams to self-organise and iteratively deliver value. Today I am not writing about how to successfully implement Scrum, my focus is on what it looks like when you have achieved it.Read More
Blog: Using story maps to retain the bigger picture – once we have abandoned Big Design Up Front
Once we accept that Big Design Up Front doesn’t work, and that big version-controlled documents that can’t be easily revised and corrected don’t promote shared understanding in a team, then we’re ready to do Agile.Read More