Richard Parkins

Spalding, PE12 9LL · (44) 7764 684815 · richard@rgparkins.co.uk

I am experienced IT professional of 25 years and I have worked in Banking, Retail and also consulted for many companies around the UK. I like to keep things simple and over the years I have graduated from writing and developing both front end and back end systems, to leading teams of developers, which involves a new set of skills honed over the years.

I am currently an Applications Architect at CompareTheMarket in Peterborough, involved with developing the next phase of our pricing platform, continuing the move to a micro services model on AWS. I am available for any consultancy so please PM me on any of the links below


Skills

Security

Implementation of Application and APi level securities, security by design

  • OWASP trained and applications developed with OWASP in mind
  • OAuth implemented on REST Api's

Governance

Technical leadership and documenting services created by my team

  • Swagger specification written for all micro-services
  • Docker images and containerisation
  • Inner sourcing model used across department to speed up the time to deliver and decouple teams
  • Testing of application at all levels, unit, regression, load and contract

Team development

Mentoring and coaching of team memebers across the department

  • Drilling into what individuals need and require to further their career
  • Influencing and leadership courses attended to help me help the team
  • 1-2-1's of team members, allowing myself to be approachable with an open door policy

Leadership

Technical leadership across the department at an Applications Architect level

  • Driving common standards across the department for example naming conventions
  • Contract testing initiatives across a micro-service infrastructure
  • Driving forward the Personal development plans for developers
  • Service catalogue for all our micro-services

Cloud

Azure and AWS platforms used to host, more experience in AWS

  • Lambda server-less implemented to install real time updates to AWS services
  • EC2, Route53 and ELB to scale
  • S3 storage used to store configuration and satellite assemblies
  • Windows and Linux Os development

Distributed messaging

Implementations RabbitMQ, NServiceBus and Tib/Rendezvous

  • RabbitMQ used for asynchronous processing of data
  • NServiceBus used in Azure platform for b2b communications
  • Tib rendezvous implemented in a Java platform for service support and SMS messaging

.Net c#

Experience in writing .Net services and applications. These range from stand alone installations for private clients to bespoke public facing sites.

  • From .NET framework 1 to NetCore 2.1
  • REST API's using ApiController and MVC
  • HATEOS implemented in some designs for scalability of systems
  • Security of API's using custom authentication and authorisation services (OAuth)
  • Containerisation (docker)
  • DI via Castle/Unity/Autofac

LAMP

I have written many applications using Apache, PHP and MySQL. These range from public facing sites to administration areas for internal sites.

  • PHP 4 +
  • Apache administration and multi site hosting
  • Custom projects created to generate PHP data layer against MySQL database to help development time

NodeJs

Micro-services written in NodeJs as express and node are a good fit with fast development time and easy POC

  • ExpressJS used as scaffold for services
  • Used npm packages from mongo and rabbitMQ for true distributed architecture

Workflows

Used the following application in order to deploy amd develop

  • CI/CD with teamcity and GoServer
  • Github and BitBucket used as source repositories
  • Jira and Confluence used for keeping requirements and stories
  • Kanban and Agile used in teams, dependant on the way teams want to work

Experience

Application Architect

CompareTheMarket

Responsible for the architectural vision for the new Pricing Platform at CompareTheMarket. Focused on developing scalability, stability and security for the system, keeping the customer at the centre of our business.

Always looking to perform investigations into better ways of solving specific issues with cloud based technology, for example serverless vs EC2, Kafka vs RabbitMQ. Spent time bringing solutions to the table in terms of POC and present these to the Architecture Forum for discussion. Many of these were to either increase performance for existing event driven systems or expose current processes out to the business teams so they can make better decisions.

Moving the platform over to a micro-service architecture allowing almost zero system downtime, multiple deployments per day whilst also supporting load spikes on areas of the system when marketing campaigns kicked in or we had the 'martin lewis affect'

Chaired of the Tech forum, a meeting twice weekly where tech is discussed and people bring their ideas to the table for solving common problems. These could be common library solutions for HTTP clients, to what is currently on our tech radar as accepted, obsolete. Presentations to the forum to discuss issues the teams are having.

Responsible for several working groups looking into governance of our micro-services and how we consume, document and test these at both an integration level and contract level. Lead the team on rolling out contract testing across 3 geographical sites, which involved workshops, presentations and one on one coaching.

Attended many tech leadership, speaking and influencing workshops where the lessons learned were implemented in real world to bring people along in the journey at CompareTheMarket.

Mentoring and coaching of firstly, technical leads, and other developers looking to progress their careers or looking for advice in how to solve specific problems within their teams

April 2018 - Present

Tech lead

ComparetheMarket

Leading a team which developed, maintain and increase performance of the new quoting platform which can supported 1000's of transactions a second.

Hosted in AWS and using distributed micro services across RabbitMQ, the platform is fully scalable and uses MongoDb to store data sent to the platform. REST based services using HATEOS to allow customer journeys to communicate with the aggregated providers to get quotes for risks sent to the system.

Responsible for mentoring developers across the department and designing personal development plans for each individual as well as providing technical leadership in my team.

Working closely with the architects it is my responsibility for the technical solutions following the architectural vision.

Responsible for driving technical excellence and security/immunisation across the CompareTheMarket infrastructure, creating the governance that allows teams to consume the services we write.

August 2016 - March 2018

Consultant - CompareTheMarket

Pricing services

A new platform to move away from old legacy core services that were difficult to maintain. Built on AWS and deployed with Teamcity/GoCD with bespoke scripts wrapping the AWS CLI.

Designed with Security and Diagnostics up front to allow low barrier to entry for new developers amd maintainers. Monitored with Grafana and Prometheus and using pager duty for alerting.

Real-time update of new provider adapters that map requests and responses to and from the CTM domain model allowing zero downtime.

Autoscaling supported for the 'Martin Lewis Affect' where high spike loads, but also designed to fail gracefully with a distributed message bus (RabbitMQ) to give a service to the many under these conditions.

Motor

Writing new indicative quote process that allows us to drive users to a page indicating their policies are due for expiry and a calculation is pre initialised. Using KnockoutJS for front end UI on a single SPA application.

Snap2Quote

Brought in to help develop and maintain the new Snap2Quote energy offering allowing customers to send their energy bills directly to the system as a photo to get current quotes for their location.

Administration web interface for users to enter bill data, apple app used by customer to capture bill. Small team that brought the offering in under 3 months, giving return on investment in minimal time.

July 2013 - July 2016

Consultant - EasyJet

Seat seat selection services

Joined a team as part of allocated seating roll-out (hosted off site in azure), developing the functionality to allow customers to choose seats on the main easyjet.com website, one of the top revenue generating sites in the UK.

  • Developed Azure ServiceBus solution for 3rd party provider to access Restful API to pass pluscard data for real-time validation.
  • Required to allow validation of card at booking time Developed nServiceBus host to retrieve message of Azure ServiceBus queue.
  • Powershell scripts running .NET deployment for setting up ACS on Azure pluscard ServiceBus instance.
  • Implemented PHP client for 3rd party to access windows Azure ServiceBus.
  • MVC3 Razor implemented on Seating web site using knockoutjs to handle UI events.

Feb 2012 - June 2013

Consultant - Tesco Entertainment

Music/film and streaming

Part of a team developing new functionality on the www.tescoentertainment.com website and supporting applications.

  • Using Agile (SCRUM) to plan and present on bi-weekly sprints.
  • Developed concept Android application supporting purchase and download of MP3 tracks within time and budget allowed.
  • Maintained and developed new functionality on the Endeca search service used by the main entertainment site.
  • Part of team developing the price cross out (was/now/save) for all 400,000 products and saw successful implementation to live.
  • Implemented new MVC areas for mobile implementation of site
  • Automation and unit testing using Selenium, specflow, moq

Feb 2011 - Jan 2012

Consultant - Cambridge University

OCR admin site

Part of a team developing new functionality for the main OCR Examination portal for Cambridge University. A site that supports a base of 35,000 different centres across the world managing their candidate entries and results through one site.

  • Developed under Agile (SCRUM) split into bi- weekly sprints and presentations using new MVC design pattern.
  • Lead developer to upgrade existing disconnected entry sites into one site where users can manage their GCSE and Vocational Qualification data in one area saving users time when entering candidate entries.
  • Responsible for bringing Code review and new unit testing methods into the department Lead developer of project to move SOA to run on single tier server load balanced across 4 machines.
  • Developing process of silent deploys removing site downtime in many cases.
  • Progressive enhancements implemented using jquery/jquery UI/form plugin for a better user experience with fail back support for browsers that do not support javascript
  • Team city administrator
  • SQL scripting writing procedures across 3 disconnected databases

Feb 2008 - Dec 2010

Director

TouchScreenData.com

Formed company developing online management systems predominately written in C# .NET 2.0/3.5 but small scale site developed in LAMP

  • Developed an sold bespoke online management CMS and marketing system to blue chip antique dealers in London and New York
  • Online touch-screen concierge system developed and installed into prime location apartment block in London allowing customers to manage their personal and professional lives.
  • Online IT helpdesk, contact and stock management system developed for London based IT company. Auto billing and emailing via supporting windows services and auto update to Quickbooks accounts package for invoices sent and paid
  • Interfaces developed for many payment gateways
  • LAMP development for small scale websites using PHP 4 and MySQL. Developed many web services using nusoap including successful football league management portal

2003 - 2008

Thomson Reuters

Developer

Senior developer in 12 man team within the Mobile Development department developing mobile applications and desktop web portals to configure them.

  • PHP 4.0 financial management WAP site developed for handheld devices, development also included administration site reporting statistics on searches, news opened, companies viewed
  • NET mobile financial management application developed with desktop management interface to manage stock lists, watch lists, news, SMS alerts and forex information
  • Java J2EE SMS aggregation engine developed against Tib/Rendezvous messaging platform, the engine was used for pilot World cup SMS platform allowing users to sign up for goal alerts in World cup 2002
  • OTA (Over the air) messaging for auto configuring handsets to access mobile applications. OTA initiated by customer from Reuters Terminal portal.
  • Tibco Rendezvous messaging utilised as the messaging bus

2000 - 2003

Education

Loughborough University

Bachelor of Engineering
3 year thick sandwich course (1 year industry)

1st Class honours

August 1990 - May 1994

Northgate sixth form

A-Level
Maths, Physics, Design & Technology
August 1988 - May 1990

Holbrook High

CGSE
August 1984 - May 1988

Interests

Apart from enjoying work in the IT sector, I regularly play football and tennis. I enjoy spending time with my family and have 2 boys aged 8 and 12 who also enjoy most sports. I can also be found on the river bank fishing on the broads

I enjoy watching movies and playing chess when the weather is not the best