About

Hi, I’m Tom - a JavaScript consultant based in Bristol, UK.

For the last 12 years I’ve been architecting and developing single-page web applications and mobile apps, primarily using JavaScript. I’ve worked for an early stage startup and an award-winning mobile agency, and for the past 4 years I’ve been running my own consultancy Studio Zeffa, where I provide app development and training services to a variety of different clients.

Read on to find out more about the services I offer, my portfolio and previous experience. You can also check out my GitHub profile and visit my LinkedIn page.

If you are interesting in hiring me to work on a web or mobile application, or would like to learn more about the training courses I run, why not get in touch?


Testimonials

Here are a sample of kind words from past and current clients: more testimonials can be found on my LinkedIn page.

It was a true pleasure working with Tom. Right from the first point of contact Tom quickly understood and applied himself to the needs of correlating my designs to the finished app. His attention to detail was exceptional, it was incredibly refreshing to work with someone who really cared and realised the importance of detail.

Ed George, Brand and Business Strategy Specialist at Postsaver Ltd


Tom is excellent! He teaches our students how to build mobile apps on our coding bootcamp, and has delivered high level, bespoke, technical workshops for our clients. He is extremely personable, professional, reliable and knowledgable and never fails to deliver outstanding work.

Pete New, founder at DevelopMe Training


Tom is a fantastic full-stack JS developer. He is equally skilled in front-end and server-side work, and will work quickly and thoughtfully, whatever the task. Tom will offer constructive feedback on designs/plans where he has ideas or suggestions. Rather than simply implement blindly, he will think of the objectives and practicalities, and work to develop a solution. I don’t often come across developers like this.

John Jackson, founder at Flow XO


Tom has worked with Natural Apptitude on a number of projects ranging from mobile app development to work on our backend services. During these contracts Tom has demonstrated a very high level of professionalism and impressed not only with excellent and broad technical skills, but also his soft-skills: fitting in quickly and working well with both colleagues and clients. Overall, Tom has been an excellent member of our team and we would not hesitate in recommending him to others.

Joe Woodhouse, founder at Natural Apptitude


Portfolio

Postsaver

A smartphone app to provide video instructions on how to install a Postsaver sleeve. Created for iPhone and Android.

  • I was contracted to build the apps from a set of supplied design files.
  • The app allows users to view ‘how-to’ video instructions on installing the Postsaver product, a protective sleeve for fence posts.
  • The app also includes an FAQ section and other illustrated guides, along with a link to call or email for support, to ensure that the user has everything they need to install the product.
  • All content is cached for offline use, a key business requirement as many users will be installing fence posts without an Internet connection on their device.
  • A sister app Polesaver was also created using a similar look and feel, with different content.
  • The apps were built using the React Native framework and deployed with the help of fastlane.

Háblame Bebé

A smartphone app to encourage parents to speak to their baby, and develop bilingualism. Created for iPhone and Android.

  • I was part of a team that designed and built the app from the ground up, for both iPhone and Android platforms.
  • Users can monitor their baby’s development by tracking words spoken for the first time, in both Spanish and English.
  • A range of baby milestones are included, indicating the expected stage of development for the baby.
  • Conversation starters are also available, to encourage a variety of different phrases that can be spoken to the baby.
  • The app is available in both English and Spanish, and was built using the React Native framework.

Blooms for Bees

A smartphone app to track bumblebee populations in the UK, for iPhone and Android.

  • A brand new app, designed and built from the ground up for both iPhone and Android platforms.
  • App users complete a 5 minute survey, taking pictures of bumblebees and categorising them with help from a bee guide.
  • Surveys are submitted to a central server, where researchers confirm the categorisation of the bees.
  • Prototype originally devised for client using wireframe screens to capture detailed requirements.
  • App was built using the Ionic Framework, with custom designs implemented from supplied Photoshop comps.
  • The BBC ran a story on the app which aired on the local evening news.

Flow XO

A SaaS platform for building chatbot workflows, without any coding knowledge needed.

  • A greenfield project which was built from the ground-up.
  • Worked from requirements and wireframes to architect and build the core app and corresponding admin UI.
  • Collaborated with other developers to create connectors to various different chatbot platforms, including Facebook Messenger, Slack and Telegram.
  • Built an SDK to allow other cloud apps to connect to the platform.
  • Built using the MEAN stack - MongoDB, Express, Angular.js and Node.js, using Test-Driven Development.
  • Workflow logic distributed via a message queue and deployed to Heroku to allow for horizontal scaling.
  • Integrated with Recurly to handle recurring subscription payments.
  • The client is happy with the progress, implementation and stability of the application. In particular, the test-driven nature has led to no major issues in the field.

Top Value

A responsive product catalogue for a leading technology brand.

This app was designed and built by a team at Mubaloo. As Head of Web Team, I was responsible for the development of the app, which was built as a single-page web application using Backbone.js, and integrated with a RESTful API.

The app is now hosted by the client and is used by sales professionals all over the UK.

Pro Attend

A hybrid mobile app for iPhone and Android phones to allow teachers to track student attendance.

This app was designed and built by a team at Mubaloo. As Head of Web Team, I was responsible for the development of the app, which was built as a hybrid mobile app using Backbone.js, integrating with a RESTful API, and wrapped with PhoneGap.

The app is now live on the iOS App Store, and is used by trainers all over the UK. The Android version is due to follow.


Training Sessions

DevelopMe Fellowship, 2016-present

I’ve been an instructor on the DevelopMe_ fellowship bootcamp since its inception in 2016. The fellowship is a 12-week intensive course aiming to teach students the basics of web development, through a series of instructor-led sessions and workshops.

Instructors are given a topic to teach, but otherwise are free to set their own curriculum. Currently, I teach the fundamentals of React Native over the course of a week, and all of my resources are freely available on GitHub.

AngularJS / TypeScript training, Wazoku

Partnering with DevelopMe_, two separate workshops were prepared and delivered to developers from Wazoku. In this workshop, we covered advanced concepts of AngularJS and TypeScript in a collaborative environment, working through challenges as a group.

Feedback from Wazoku was very positive, proven by the desire to follow on from the AngularJS workshop with a TypeScript one.


Community

SWmobile

Co-founder of SWmobile, a mobile-focused tech group based in the South West.

The group meets every 6-8 weeks to discuss mobile design and development. We have held a number of meetups in Bristol and Bath, which are well attended and liked. We attract speakers and sponsors from around the UK and overseas, and plan to grow the group further in the South West.

Node School Bristol

Co-founder and organiser of the Bristol branch of Node School, the open source workshops that teach Node.js skills.

The inaugural meetup was held in February 2015 and was a great success.


Experience

For more details on my past experience, please refer to my LinkedIn profile.

Technical Director, Studio Zeffa

April 2013 - Present

Designing, architecting and developing web and mobile applications for a number of clients, and offering training in software development. Available for hire for your next project or training course.

Head of Mobile Web, Mubaloo

November 2012 - August 2013

In addition to my duties as a Senior Web Developer, I also carried out the following tasks.

  • Responsible for managing a team of web developers.
  • Involved in high-level management meetings and discussions on the direction and vision of the company.
  • Involved in resource planning to ensure the team were running at full capacity.
  • Implemented coding standards and testing best-practices.
  • Championed Agile methodologies resulting in adoption of user stories and rapid prototyping across the business.
  • Responsible for new hires and existing employee well-being.

Senior Mobile Web Developer, Mubaloo

January 2012 - November 2012

  • Deputy of the mobile web team; responsible for the development of browser-based and hybrid mobile web applications in a fast-paced agency environment.
  • Worked on a variety of projects, including financial apps and HTML5 games.
  • Daily use of modern web technologies, including HTML5, CSS3, SASS/Compass, JavaScript, jQuery, Backbone.js and Twitter Bootstrap.
  • Frequently involved in client meetings, scoping/quoting, user stories, wireframing, UX design, development, testing and deployment to app stores.
  • Experience developing for a number of different devices, including iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry and Window Phone.
  • Introduced a new single-page web framework - Mobile Backbone Boilerplate - which became the standard for all new client projects.

Co-Founder and CEO, Isca Networks

November 2007 - January 2012

  • Startup developing web-based touch screen kiosk hardware and software.
  • Part of 4-strong agile development team creating product using web technologies, including HTML, CSS, JavaScript and jQuery Mobile.
  • Launched product in 2009; achieved sales in UK, France and Canada.
  • Led team to deployment of over 200 kiosks across 9 retail stores in France.
  • Other duties varied from handling hardware operations and logistics, liaising with customers and investors, supporting product, setting targets, reporting results to Board of Directors and handling financial forecasts.
  • Business was relocated to Canada and reborn as Toushay. I decided to remain in the UK and resigned from the company.

Libraries

All libraries are open source and can be found on my GitHub profile.

passport-oauth2-refresh

A passport.js add-on to provide automatic OAuth 2.0 token refreshing.

body-parser-xml

XML parser middleware for express.js.

express-mongo-sanitize

Express 4.x middleware which sanitizes user-supplied data to prevent MongoDB Operator Injection.

ng-elastic

Angular/Ionic 2 directive to auto expand textareas according to their contents.


Technical Knowledge

Front-End

  • HTML5 & CSS3
  • SASS & LESS
  • JavaScript
  • jQuery
  • Bootstrap
  • AngularJS & Modern Angular
  • React & React Native
  • Redux
  • Ionic & Cordova
  • Vue.js

Back-End

  • JavaScript
  • Node.js
  • MongoDB

Other

  • Git

Where Next?

Head over to my blog for semi-regular updates on what I’m working on. Or if you’d like to get in touch, you can send me an email.