Software product engineer

Hi, I'm Luke

I'm a fullstack software developer

(with a focus on frontend and UX for web apps).

Well I say that because it fits nicely in a little box.

But really I’m a product engineer.

I like writing code. But I love crafting software that makes peoples’ work lives better. I help SaaS companies grow by turning their software product into a tool people want to use.

I'm experienced with small teams and startups punching above their weight and out designing the big guys. Companies who need someone who can see the big picture and get things done when you don't yet have specalists in every role.

Luke Foster

I’ve been thinking about:

Product engineering

A product engineer helps you develop software which meets the user’s needs. It’s the glue between real world usage and technical engineering. They replace what would be a number of roles (or even teams) at a larger company. This obviously saves a bunch of costs, but also makes them much more nimble and cohesive. They can do user research and then design features in a way which is efferent and achievable, then they can dive into the code to get the job done. It’s almost like a product co-founder. Someone who takes pride and ownership of the software being developed.


80/20 UX

80/20 UX makes your software a lot more useable and attractive with a minimal amount of investment. Startups and little SaaS companies need better UX to grow and reduce churn. But they often can’t find room in the budget for a UX team and don’t have anyone dedicated to it. But by smartly applying the 80/20 rule to UX, they can get big wins with a small effort.

Bang for buck development

Software craftmanship and realistic engineering is where quality meets practical constraints. On one hand we need to develop a product we’re proud of with code that is durable, on the other we need to make realistic decisions based on the time and budget available.

Let’s make software people can love.


User onboarding is crucial for growth because it is where marketing meets product design. There’s no point driving tons prospects to your product if they never convert during the trial, or renew for a second or third month. If you’re a growing startup, then most of the people will use your software, haven’t used it yet. Their experience needs to prioritised.

Sensible SaaS

There’s venture funded startups, then there’s everything else. It might be bootstrapped, calm, owner funded, small funding, etc. These are the startups who have to deliver value as soon as possible. Become profitable. Do a little with a lot. Balance cost and reward. Sensible SaaS has a much higher probability of succeeding, but on a smaller scale.

Software projects I've worked on
  • Improving the overall UX of complex accounting and business management apps, so they're easy to use while still having powerful features.
  • Building new features at all stages of the lifecycle, from handling requests, talking to users, writing stories, wireframe design, implementation from UI styling and logic to API and database, testing, getting feedback and improving.
  • Complete UI refreshes or new UIs. While I wouldn't call myself as a designer I often fill in as one, or take a design concept and apply it across the whole app.
  • Improved in-app user onboarding to increase the number of trial customers converting into paying customers and the retention of new users.
  • Making data import tools easy for users. Often spreadsheets are frustrating for users and a barrier to start using a business app, but I've built solutions which are much easier to use than the typical experience.
  • Automated SaaS subscriptions so new users can sign up with no or low touch from sales.
  • Improving performance for web apps with large amounts of data displayed on the client, including custom virtual scroll and optimising logic.
  • Working with and customising web based text editors like TinyMCE and Froala.