Geeking Out Since 1998

About Me

Shropgeek Rebellion, May 2018. Thanks to Drew McLellan for the photo.

Hi,¬†I’m Darren Beale or feel free to call me Bealers (it is what I call myself).

I’ve been working in the web industry since the late 90’s and have been self-employed¬†for most of that time.

Professionally I used to be a back end PHP web programmer and Linux system administrator but these days I am focused on running my PHP development, support & maintenance company, Siftware.

I no longer code. My very capable team do a better job than I could and indeed in most other roles in the business that I used to be responsible for. These days I just work on business development.

I write this blog because I want to improve my writing, but I also figure I may as well pass on any useful & actionable information that I manage to glean whilst I travel upon my journey.

I am a father of 3. I live in Wales. I love being outdoors, preferably running on a mountain or by the sea.


If you’d like to get in touch then email or I am active on Instagram (@bealers) and much less so, Twitter (@bealers).

Additionally, I am on Linkedin and some of my Facebook feed is public.

You can also call me on 0845 680 9676 during UK office hours and leave a message.

My story

Health of the mind and body is a subject very close to my heart.

I lived a very unhealthy lifestyle for a long time and this caught up with me in a pretty spectacular way soon after my 40th birthday. The cause ended up being a compounding of lifelong acute stress & anxiety as well as very poor body management (no exercise, no veg, lots of booze and so on).

I’ve since managed to turn things around so my diet and physical fitness are now A1 (for a middle aged man!) and I suffer a lot less from stress & anxiety, but only because I’m careful to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

If you’d like to read more then these few posts are related to that period:


I started running in 2015, reluctantly.

Previously I’d been a fair-weather cyclist but I needed something more portable, that I could do when away from home so I gave running a go.

Instantly I became a born again runner and I couldn’t get enough. So much so that I very ill-advisedly went from¬†Couch to 5K to completing the 2016 London Marathon in 10 months, a feat which nearly broke my untrained body.

I got away with it, though. I’m regularly running up to 5 times per week and have ran 3 marathons to date (PB 3:39 if that means anything to you). I don’t bother with racing so much now. I just run because I can and prefer to do so on a mountain, my happy place. The reality is road running most of the time which given I live in a beautiful Welsh valley, is still a pretty good fallback.

Obligatory before and after photo

Circa April 2014

Spring 2014: me presenting at The Business of Web Design roadshow. I was a mess, mentally and physically.

April 2016

Spring 2016: Running past Buckingham Palace to finish the London Marathon (10 months after starting Couch25K). At this point I’m well over 2 stone lighter and have gone from 36″ to 30″ waist.

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