Chris Pook: London Based Magento PHP Developer
Doing web development the right way
Using my vast experience in web technologies, particularly e-commerce and API services, I am able to aid clients and digital agencies through consultation and development
of their business offerings. This spans all aspects of the digital domain including coding, systems, deployment, strategy, SEO and marketing. Utilising my background in
software engineering along with my enthusiasm and ambition to its full potential, I am keen to lend my skills to any project. My hard working and outgoing disposition make
me a great asset to any team, large or small.
Having worked at large international companies through to small start-ups and as a solo freelancer I have built up a solid foundation of understanding when it comes to
the latest technology stacks. Throughout my ten years' experience in the ever evolving e-commerce industry I have tracked the changes, giving me confidence
when implementing systems from the ground up or working with existing frameworks. I specialise in Magento and be it pure development, team management or in a CTO role I have the experience and
ability to make the right choices to direct a development of web technologies in the desired direction.
Who is Chris Pook ?
A confident, highly motivated and hard working London based CTO level developer.
My experience to date has equipped me with valuable software development skills from design phase through to deployment.
I am an expert developer as well as a capable manager.
I have also filled many client facing roles giving me the advantage of
being able to communicate on both a technical and non-technical level, bridging the gap.
Combined with my constantly growing technical knowledge in numerous fields I have refined my ability to confidently work
in fast paced environments where high standards are expected.
I am currently working on a freelance basis in and around London. Please get in touch
if your business is in need of web development skills or consultation.
Redbox Digital is a London based full service digital agency delivering Magento Enterprise projects for big name clients. As chief technology officer I handled the ongoing investment in technology
from overall strategy and direction to details in implementation. This role encompassed a number of the areas I had previously worked in spanning skills
drawn from my experience as lead architect/developer on tasks through to being involved in client consultation and driving pitches as well as development
team management and ensuring high standards.
In my time at Redbox I worked on a number of enterprise level ventures. As lead developer I saw projects through from start to end, including the award winning
Paperchase site and
Studio Moderna's omini-channel
e-commerce platform. It was great to work with big name brands such as
Screwfix Germany and Heals building and supporting the systems they require
to continue their ventures in to digital. The many tasks involved in supporting all of Redbox's client's sites saw me heavily involved in dev-ops work, using my systems
experience and development skills in tandem to trouble shoot and constantly improve on the service offered. This includes setting up a dedicated off-shore dev-ops team
to deal with the day to day running of sites and provisioning for new projects.
Overseeing a team of twenty developers in London and across six other global locations was a great challenge and one that I learned a lot from. In my time there I helped
instill an ethic of higher code quality, introducing standards for dev workflow and release management. By keeping to simple principles of "design generic, build
once and always reuse where possible", I was able to distribute dev work across small teams to build up an ever evolving suite of modular code.
My most recent challenge at Redbox was building up our Magento2 capabilities; taking part in the Magento2 beta
scheme and getting started on client projects with the new platform. This brought a fresh approach to delivering
e-commerce and another chance to up my skills on the latest web technologies. It was great to see our first M2
offering Sun and Sands Sports go live and to be involved in
the Magento2 product's early adoption in the industry.
Being involved in each aspect of running the technology behind an award winning agency keeps you on the go at all times. My delegation skills have been aided by the
trust I was able to put in a great team. I am keen on documentation and ensuring that the company as a whole had visibility of what the dev team is achieving and how.
I pride myself on being able to communicate even the most technical of subjects to the rest of the company as well as clients and partners.
Lead Magento Developer
Lewis Ecommerce is a middle size London based web agency providing Magento builds for their clients. I was contracted in to the company on a four month contract.
My main task during this time was the build and launch of www.okapi.com for a South African
fashion brand. I saw the project through from concept to release including the build of their South African payment gateway integration; numerous
front and back-end customisations to fit the client brief and also the server setup and successful release of the site.
Whilst at Lewis I introduced Git source control and workflows to the development team; transitioning all of their projects to Github and standardising
the release processes. This was borne of the numerous maintenance tasks I was given to straighten out existing site builds that had gone awry with previous
developers. Other websites I made contributions to include www.ottolenghi.co.uk and
www.newandlingwood.com. I also setup and configured
Jira to consolidate their team tracking and add structure and workflows to the
day to day running of projects.
I am very proud of my work at Lewis, especially the Okapi site which was featured in the Financial Times recently. I am confident that in my short time
here I have improved overall working practice as well as produce a full site build; turned around a number of codebases that had fallen in to disrepair
and brought in processes to prevent a similar situation arising on my departure.
2010 - 2013
I started at Kurt Geiger as part of a development team of three brought in to take their bespoke agency built website in-house.
This project was very successful and lead to significant cost savings and numerous improvements to the site at the time.
Following on from this my next task was to move the website on to the Magento platform. This was a great learning experience for me having
previously only dabbled in the community edition. The learning curve was steep but I thrived on building custom modules and front-ends to tailor
Magento to the varied business needs of Kurt Geiger.
The new www.kurtgeiger.com website was launched on Magento EE 1.8 in early 2011. As a result
of the success of this project I was made lead developer of a team that began to grow as the work load increased. I now lead a team of six hand-picked
developers, built to take on a number of projects over the last year. I recently completed the re-launch of www.ninewest.co.uk
as team lead and scrum master, taking charge of the whole project running from start to end.
Kurt Geiger was bought by The Jones Group in early 2012 having seen the potential of the development team to produce sites for
their other brands. My most recent work has been to consolidate our entire Magento codebase to a generic base, allowing rapid
development and release of new sites. This single codebase implementation is now in the production environment as part of the recent
upgrade of www.kurtgeiger.com to Magento EE 1.12. This was seen as a major release in which new custom functionality was also added. I
took charge of the development and upgrade from start to end and it has significantly improved site speed and the ease of site management.
The single codebase approach paid off as my final project in my time at KG was the launch of www.shoeaholics.com which was successfully
developed sharing numerous modules developed generically during the Kurt Geiger site re-launch.
iVoucher are a startup company aiming to revolutionise the restaurant industry by providing a way of
capturing customer details to enable ongoing marketing campaigns to target specific audiences.
I was the first developer at iVoucher just 6 months after they began trading my time was spent building up
the systems from scratch along side the CTO. Given the unique nature of the business I worked on numerous
projects in an agile development methodology to spread the team's workload effectively. These projects included an SMS
communications pipeline and a workflow engine to guide users through multiple campaign streams utilising different
media including SMS, email and social networks.
I am very proud of my work at iVoucher especially the front-end customer portal and back-end admin system I created.
These systems were built on a customised version of the Codeigniter MVC framework.
Building an enterprise level communications system enabling users to signup and then be in two way contact with the system.
This can then be used to send direct, relevant marketing as well as voucher codes which can be redeemed within the system for discount offers.
Development of the front-end customer portal allowing users to signup via multiple sources and then gain access to their account via different media.
Building an SMS communication module allowing two way communication with the system via SMS. Using a dedicated SMS shortcode, users can send in commands
and receive information back to their handset. This is used extensively across the system, from signing up an account to sending out and redeeming voucher codes.
Ongoing design and development of the admin suite where administrators can build dynamic campaigns and manipulate the system's user accounts.
The admin system also includes an extensive reporting section providing stats on signups and their activity.
BSc Hons in Software Engineering - 2.1
University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne ( 2002 - 2005 )
BTEC Nat Diploma Computer Science - Distinction
York College, North East Yorkshire ( 2000 - 2002 )
I am a dedicated sportsman, playing football competitively in local leagues. I also play squash and golf
regularly to keep fit. I love to take on a challenge and recently completed a 69 mile ultra-marathon along
Hadrian's Wall as well as setting my marathon PB in Paris this year. I enjoy new experiences, meeting new
people and traveling. Most recently I have visited Thailand, New Zealand and the Himalayas in Nepal which
have all been amazing experiences.