My name is Niall Beard. I graduated from the University of Manchester with an MEng in Computer Science in 2013. Since then I have been working in the eScience Lab at the University of Manchester; developing software tools and platforms in academia.

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About Me

I'm an innovative developer and manager looking for challenging and unique work. I have experience in managing projects, developing across the full project lifecycle, and delivering training.

When I say I'm looking for unique work, I mean it. I want to get involved in building something exciting, something that will change the world for the better or that will entertain it for 10 minutes.

My previous engagement was developing, managing, and growing the TeSS project. TeSS is a website that automatically aggregates Life science training resources. The code is mostly Ruby on Rails and Javascript.

If you would like to know more about TeSS, the paper can be found here:

N Beard et al., TeSS: a platform for discovering life science training opportunities,
Bioinformatics, btaa047,


Aggregation through HTML scraping was far too much hard-work for my liking; too many bespoke scripts that each require maintenance. So I helped initiate a project to make my life easier by encouraging content providers to structure their web content. I achieved success here by developing new schema.org specifications with the Bioschemas group. As well as developing new specifications; I provided support for adoption and tooling for exploiting annotated data.

Before TeSS, I worked on The BioCatalogue [defunct] and its sister site The Biodiversity Catalogue [also defunct :(]. These are [were] catalogues of biological web services that aims[ed] to help users find useful web services and figure out how to use them. The web service landscape has always been horribly chaotic due to its distributed, heterogenous nature. These days I encourage people to conform just a little bit by documenting using Swagger or using JSON-API Spec.

Other things I have created include the Pretentious-O-Meter which determines whether a film is pretentious or not based on the difference between critic and public ratings. It did alright with over half a million visitors to the site (largely thanks to Reddit popularity).

Outside of the computer science world I'm into travelling, puns, pubs, running, and film.

My Portfolio

See my work for yourself...

Project Manager / Developer
Group Lead in Specification Design