Hi, my name is John. I’m a freelance developer.

freelance developer John Peden

Occasionally, I have been known to wear a suit

I’m a freelance developer (specifically I’m a contract JavaScript developer) but I’m also a dad, a husband, an investor a (not-especially-successful) entrepreneur and a big fan of strength training and travel.


Still figuring this one out if I’m being totally honest but I’ve spent the last few years working hard towards building a systems for me and my family to thrive.


Each year, I conduct an annual review but I feel as though these shouldn’t change too frequently and that they’re pretty deep-rooted in who I am:

  • Love
  • Fun
  • Growth
  • Knowledge
  • Friendships


I try to frame any tricky decisions through the lens of my priorities. These are non-negotiable:

  • My family
  • My physical/mental health
  • My friends
  • My finances


I’ve been a freelance developer since 2009 and contracting since 2012. In that time, I’ve run a couple of small side-business and bought (and then closed) a tutoring company. Right now, my focus is solely on my contracting business Tweak Digital (trading as the rather aspirational Tweak Digital Holdings UK Limited).

Most of the projects I’ve worked on over the past few years have been replatforming legacy web applications to use modern JavaScript frameworks like React or Vue. I’ve been working from home since COVID hit the UK hard in 2020 and can’t really envisage a time when I’ll return to the office. I really like working from home and the freedom it offers.

Mostly Manc

I was born in Belfast, to Irish parents and spent the first few years of my life in Scotland. When I was 5, we moved to Manchester and I grew up here. I studied mechanical engineering at Sheffield University for four years and after getting an expensive degree (that I’m yet to use) my then-girlfriend (she’s now my wife) left the UK for 6 months to teach English in Thailand.

6 months became almost 2 years and honestly the time we spent abroad remains a period of my life that I’ll always cherish. It completely changed our outlook on life, we made some amazing friends and saw some incredible views. We might have attended a few full moon parties as well.

Other Points

I know that I think differently to most of my friends, but I think that’s a good thing.

I once bought £1052.84 of Lego to take advantage of a generous offer on Clubcard points, to convert them to Avios points, to fly me and Michelle to Dubai in First with British Airways for example. If you know, you know!

I love learning languages and while my Spanish is pretty good, I’ve got a bit of French, German, Arabic, Italian and Thai in my locker too.

I got into strength training when I was about 20 and loved it. During my time in Thailand, I stopped strength training and took up Muay Thai. Upon my return to the UK, I took up CrossFit. I’ve been a keen cyclist at some points in my life too but a lot of my time for fitness has been eaten up by my kids…c’est la vie!


I fell in love with the idea of becoming a business owner after reading The Four Hour Workweek back in 2007. I actually went to the UK book launch and met Tim Ferris when the book was released here in the UK. That said, I kind of lost my way with business ownership and got sucked into web development.

Building websites was always a great way of procrastinating but hey, it’s led me into a very cushy career as a freelance developer. In more recent times, I’ve become interested in FIRE (financial independence, retire early) not necessarily with a view of retiring early but perhaps being able to.

Looking for more info?