Chris Northwood

Technical Leader and Author

Hello! This is the website and portfolio of Chris Northwood (I'm sometimes found online using the handle laser or a variation and I hold the radio callsigns M3NTW and 2E0NTW). I'm trans, and use the pronouns she/her.

I'm currently working as the Head of Development for Tech for Good startup Culture Shift and help run BarCamp Manchester.

I'm a campaigner in Manchester City Centre for the Liberal Democrats.

I use Twitter quite a lot, and I occasionally blog at Medium. You can also get in touch with me using the details below.

Photo of Chris Northwood

I've written a book: The Full Stack Developer, published by Apress. It's the book I wish I had when I started as a junior developer, and covers almost everything I've learnt in my career so far. You can buy it from Amazon.

Book cover of The Full Stack Developer

What I believe


  • I believe in Continuous Delivery in a cross-functional product team embracing DevOps and design together.
  • I believe in Agile projects and Kanban
  • I'm a polyglot programmer, working across the full web stack, who believes in using the best tool for the job


  • I work in cross-functional teams focussed on delivery: swarming on problems, rather than siloed roles and responsibilities
  • I believe that software delivery should be integrated into the business, not a separate team
  • I believe in effective code reviews


  • I build accessibility and security in from the start
  • I use Test-Driven Development and Continuous Integration
  • I believe in working at a sustainable pace

What I've done

Culture Shift

Consultant on addressing scaling issues

Head of Development from May 2020


Software Developer

The Trial Platform

Digital Transformation Project Lead

Single Operator Mixing Application

Product Owner

Paradigm Shift

Full-Stack Developer

BBC Taster

Technical Lead

Manchester Tech Nights



Technical Lead

BBC iWonder

Full-Stack Developer

BBC Bitesize

Full-Stack Developer

Connected Red Button

Full-Stack Developer

Games Grid

Back-end Developer

Mobile Oxford

Full-Stack Developer

Temporal Expression Recognition & Normalisation in Python

MSc Thesis


Technical Lead

Sophos Anti-Virus for Linux

QA Engineer & Intern Developer

What I know

MSc Computer Science with Speech & Language Processing (University of Sheffield)

Final result: Performance with Distinction

Awarded the Fretwell-Downing prize for performance in thesis: Temporal Expression Recognition and Normalisation in Python.

BEng Computer Science (University of York)

Final result: Second class honours, first division