Chaos on Toast

Who we are

Welcome, we are Chaos On Toast, and we help software companies to wrestle legacy software into tests so that their development teams can stop firefighting all the time and start creating again.

We are a remote first software engineering consultancy and education company, based in Birmingham, but not constrained by location.  As well as consultancy services we also create online training for software development managers that you can access from the convenience of wherever you are.

We come prepared with 30 years of software engineering industry experience, and the enthusiasm and relentlessness of a startup.


We believe that caring is sharing – we aim to create the best learning experiences to share our expertise with the widest group of people we can.

We believe that nobody has a monopoly on good ideas.

We understand that software developers have an innate drive for mastery of their craft, and we aim to help you unleash it wherever possible in a direction that most benefits your company.

We understand that software companies have customers and financial pressures, and they will be better served if all parts of the business are pulling in the same direction, and that clear communication and mutual understanding is the key to that.

Some problems require specific skill sets, and there is no one size fits all. We know our own strengths, and we know when our clients will be best served by bringing in other expertise.

We will collaborate with consultants and freelancers who are experts in their fields. We will work with user experience experts, and test automation experts and product management experts and software engineering experts to deliver the best of the best for our clients. We believe in horizontal relationships, professional to professional, founded on openness, honesty and mutual respect. If you’re interested in working with us, let us know.



We believe that complex problems in software are best addressed by simpifying them.  Breaking them down, converting mountains to molehills, and then prioritising the molehills. The same approach that works everywhere else in life.


We aim to help software development teams become calm, creative and collaborative places to work. We aim to inspire and enable those companies to create exceptional software and exceptional working relationships.

Our name is Chaos on a Toast

because we believe

  • that the flutter of a butterfly’s wing in Brazil can create a Tornado in Texas
  • that Small changes can have big impacts
  • that the root cause of a complex problem can be very simple

Helen Abell

Director and founder of Chaos on a Toast

I have 30 years experience in the software development industry, and 9 of those years working as a consultant with various development teams to deliver software projects under real world commercial conditions. I have learned what works and what doesn’t.

Some key approaches to software development have evolved during that time certainly do work, and those include Agile development, Iterative changes, small projects, and Automated Testing, and I have built and honed my processes on these principles .

Founded on these principles and my own experience I have developed a pragmatic approach to working with complex software and honed techniques in the field of working with mature software products that are experiencing growing pains and challenges of increased technical debt.

The result is Chaos on Toast.