• Phrase most used to describe you

  • “Safe pair of hands”.
  • Project you’re most proud of working on

  • Meedan.
  • Luxury Item

  • Glossy magazines.
  • Technology that industry got right

  • Music.
  • Technology that industry got wrong

  • Glossy magazines.
  • Guilty Pleasure

  • The OC, Trashy holidays on the beach.
  • Karaoke Standard

  • DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince - Summertime.
  • Missing Talent

  • Peter Lindbergh’s eye.

. . .

Darren Shaw Technical Lead and Full Stack Developer

I’m a technical lead and developer in IBM’s Emerging Technology group with 16 years experience of taking research technology through to proof of concept and production systems. I’ve been responsible for the agile delivery of projects for WimbledonRoland GarrosThe US MastersThe British Library, RBSShop Direct and Homebase.

I have a reputation for pragmatism and making things work in high pressure situations, leading many of IBM’s sports event innovation projects since 2013. I enjoy mentoring colleagues through these projects.

As an early adopter of IBM’s version of the Design Thinking process I ran the first trial workshops with UK clients. I’ve since run workshops for: Universal Music, The Natural History Museum, Unilever, KPMG, Carphone Warehouse, Wimbledon, EDF, British Gas, BBC and Stop the Traffik.


Javascript, NodeJS, Java, PHP, R, CSS, Apache Spark, Elasticsearch, DB2, MySQL, Postgres, IBM Watson Machine Learning, IBM Discovery, IBM Conversation, CouchDB, Cloud Foundry, Bluemix, IBM Cloud, AWS.

What Else?

I’m a (still learning) fashion and portrait photographer. I’ve been published in The Guardian, BBC Online, Hampshire Life, Guys+Girls, HairstylesOnly. I shot a cover of HairNow. I write about photographs I love.

Awards and Publications

23 patents issued, 5 industry awards, 1 published academic paper, 1 published Redbook.

23 Patents Issued

Including IBM’s High Value Patent Award for “Cooperative non-repudiated message exchange in a network environment” a verifiable, shared chat transcription log.

The Drum Awards for the Digital Industries 2017 - Best use of AI/Machine Learning

I was the technical lead for the Wimbledon “WhatMakesGreat” campaign that won the award.

Hermes Creative Award 2017 - Best Use of User Generated Content

I was the lead developer for “Watson Poet”, an AI based system that generated poems from social media messages. The system was used in an IBM marketing campaign, winning the Hermes award.

Best Fan Engagement - 2016 Sports Technology Awards

IBM and Wimbledon won against competition from the Rugby World Cup and European Golf Tour. The Social Command Centre I led the development of was referenced in the reasons for IBM and Wimbledon winning the award.

Best use of Social Media - 2015 BT Sports Industry Awards

IBM and Wimbledon won the award for best use of social media in sports events. I was the technical lead on Wimbledon’s social media analytics tools, referenced in the award.

Alsbridge Innovation Award 2014

The Fantasy Fashion project I led for Shop Direct won the innovation in outsourcing award.

Building a ‘living database’ for human-machine intelligence analysis

Joint author on a paper presented at Fusion 2015. The paper proposed a new way for intelligence agencies to make use of unstructured information from a range of sources.


Computer Science BSc (Hons), 1st class, University of Portsmouth.

Project Examples

Wimbledon WhatMakesGreat

Wimbledon - WhatMakes “Great” (2017)

I was the technical lead for a machine learning project with the goal of understanding what makes a great Wimbledon champion. I worked with sports journalists, tennis players, coaches and statisticians to create the analysis and led the development team through production. I was responsible for helping journalists and marketing creatives understand and make use of the new analysis, while balancing direction from IBM executives. The work was published in The Telegraph, Wimbledon’s Facebook page, digital advertising at Heathrow airport and was the focal point for IBM’s Wimbledon 2017 marketing campaign. The project won “Best use of AI/Machine Learning” at the Drum Awards for the Digital Industries 2017.

US Masters, Roland Garros, Wimbledon Social Media Analytics

US Masters Golf - Social Command Centre (2016)

I was the technical lead for the development of a real-time social media analytics system to enable a small US Masters media team to respond to activity about the event. A machine learning classifier was used to identify content relevant to the tournament and natural language processing to understand the text. An Apache Spark cluster was used to handle the volume of traffic, at peak, 400 messages per second. I went on to lead the implementation of the solution for Roland Garros and Wimbledon.

Wimbledon Chat Bot

Wimbledon - Chat Bot Prototype (2015)

I was the technical lead and developer for an AI chat bot. The bot was capable of answering both statistical questions (“how many French players made the second round in 1999?”) and questions that needed to be answered from unstructured data (“how do Wimbledon keep the pigeons away?”). Machine learning allowed the bot to answer unstructured data queries, combined with research technology (Controlled English) to answer structured data queries.

Shop Direct Fantasy Fashion

Shop Direct - Fantasy Fashion (2013)

I was the technical lead and mentor for an Extreme Blue project to prototype a fantasy fashion game for Shop Direct’s “Very” brand. The project allowed customers to predict fashion trends, increasing time spent browsing Very’s catalogue, promoting social sharing and providing Shop Direct with data that could be used to predict future sales. The project was presented to Shop Direct’s board and won the Alsbridge 2014 Innovation Award.


Meedan (2009)

I was the lead developer for a bilingual social network, using statistical machine translation to facilitate discussion between native English and Arabic speakers. Meedan was the first social network to make use of machine translation and the first to allow user generated corrections.