I'm an independent product designer, software architect & engineer with 20 years experience designing and building technology products.

CURRENT STATUS: Contract Software Architect - Advisory Role - Working on Product Development - Available in a month or so.

Independent contractor since 2003.
Launched my first mobile, software-as-a-service product in 2006.
Native iOS and ANDROID developer since 2009.
RUBY on RAILS developer since 2010.
User-focused DESIGNER known for removing complexity.
LEADERSHIP on cloud, software product development and strategy.
Director @DTGROUP, owner @JOBSAPP, early @LAWVU.
I have a healthy obsession with simplicity.

How I Work

I have extensive experience in the software business, software product development and technology R&D.

My particular strengths are Mobile and API design & development; Performance; AWS/Azure; Security; Systems Integration; Hardware Interfaces; Engineering Leadership and working with end-customers in presales, design and implementation stages.

Most teams I work with are in some state of flux. This usually means early growth start-ups with proven market fit or large existing organisations looking to minimize risk while innovating with new products, services or business models.

My work is about 95% remote, I spend time on-site with teams where neccessary. Typical contract engagements vary from 3 to 9 months.

I'm based in Tauranga, New Zealand. My work schedule is fluid and enables me to interact across multiple timezones.

Leadership and Software Architect

In recent years I have transitioned to focus more on leadership. I have been privileged to work with amazing teams of people to lead change and empower teams to think differently about the software they produce; specifically in terms of its lifecycle and how it feels and performs.

I choose to spend a portion of time doing hands-on design and development. As well as enjoying this, I consider it an important part of keeping current and relevant.

Recent highlights have been helping a long-standing software company transition to user-centered mobile design; helping a high-growth company overcome performance bottlenecks prior to a rapid (1000x) expansion of user numbers; transitioning a startup team from 'build cheaply' to 'build for near-term scale' by leading a change in their design and engineering practice.


In 2006 I began investing heavily in a mobile future. I believed that these smaller screens would lead us to better designed interactions with technology. I was excited that these interactions would happen in a near-infinite range of different places and contexts. I had a belief that technology must provide a better user experience.

In the same year, I released a mobile-based job dispatch and tracking system called JobsApp. One year later the iPhone was released and Android followed soon after.

I develop native iOS apps using Swift and Objective-C in XCode. For native Android apps I use Kotlin and Java in Android Studio. I also use C# and Xamarin where client teams and projects require it.

It's rare for an app to exist in isolation. I have extensive experience in designing and deploying APIs. For these I prefer Ruby-on-Rails and .NET Core.

Before Mobile

Prior to mobile, I worked in smart device development. Today, this is part of the 'Internet of Things'. Combining this experience with my mobile and design skills has proven valuable. This kind of work is increasing in volume.

My background is physics, electronic engineering and embedded systems. I've worked on a variety of projects involving robotics, sensors and networking and developed solutions using machine vision, microwave sensing, x-ray and nir-spectroscopy. I’ve applied this to industries including agriculture, horticulture, manufacturing and high-tech product development. I was an early adopter of Cellular M2M. For a time I was the only Microsoft Embedded Partner in the southern hemisphere.


I dedicate some of my time to mentoring. I believe in smoothing the path for others. I have been a Startup Weekend Mentor as well as involved in other local programs.

I'm currently 41, have an amazing wife and two incredible girls. We are constantly thinking about the future and have many opinions on life, business, the future of work and education. We're {home|un|*}-schooling, resto-modding a 30 year old cedar pole-house in the trees and I like to ride my moutain bike.


If you think I may be able to help you or your business or want to ask me a question, you're most welcome to contact me. Emails and Tweets are encouraged.

darren [AT] overair.co.nz
+64 21 543 925

Updated: 31 March 2021