MICHAEL HOUGHTON
Freelance PHP Developer

About Michael Houghton

Laravel & CakePHP Remote Developer


I have only ever known doing business on the Internet.  In fact, I was fortunate enough to start at a young age.  By the time I was in my second to last year of High School, I was already a successful Online Retailer - importing CD's from the United States, and selling them on New Zealand's most popular Auction Website, Trade Me.

In fact, I was a fantastic Internet Seller - and with over 1500 transactions, I managed to uphold a perfect customer feedback record.

By the time I finished High School, I had started New Zealand's first subscription based wholesale directory - where customers paid a small yearly fee to access a list of wholesalers who shipped directly to New Zealand.  It seems like such a simple concept now, but back in 2002, there was a huge demand for such a service.

It was in that time, that I started learning how to make websites.  What started off as simple HTML websites, soon developed to full featured database driven websites written in PHP.  In fact, by 2004, I had a Web Design Consultancy business with two other co-founders - Elive - all while finishing my last year at University.  I was a self taught programmer, but was fortunate that it was at a time, where qualifications in web development weren't as important as experience, and within a few short months, the Web Consultancy business grew rapidly.

In 2006, I moved to Brisbane, Australia.  The Web Consultancy business I had started in New Zealand had shifted focus and was now selling IT products online.  Today, Elive is one of New Zealand's most popular online IT Retailers in New Zealand.

In Brisbane, I took the opportunity to join ActionCoach - a leading Business Coaching Franchise.  It gave me fantastic exposure to both web development and entrepreneurship.  Within a few short months, I found myself leading a team of PHP Developers on a large Membership Portal for the company.

It was during this time, that I started developing with CakePHP.  By 2008 I had moved back to New Zealand and had formed my own Web Development Consultancy Company - Feisty Sites.  It grew rapidly and within a few months I was managing up to 7 remote developers, based around the world.  It was during this time, that a huge online craze was taking off - Penny Auctions.  I happened to be quick to recognize the craze and was able to develop the first licensed Penny Auction Script - and over the next couple of years, I would sell hundreds of licenses for the software to entrepreneurs who were looking to run their own Penny Auction website.  In 2010, I sold the rights to sell and maintain the code to a large UK based software company.

After taking some time off to travel in 2010 and moving to Ireland in 2011, I joined the Ixian Team, as a Freelance Contractor Developer. Ixian was a large New Zealand based Digital Agency. During the 3 year period, I developed hundreds of website, mostly using CakePHP.

In 2013, I joined the CakeDC Team.  This was a hugely exciting time, as I got to work alongside alongside Larry E. Masters, the CakePHP founder and James Watts, the CakePHP community manager at the time.  CakeDC allowed me to refine my programming techniques, and I got to work alongside some fantastic developers during this time.

Toptal

It was then in 2014, that I discovered Toptal - an exclusive talent marketplace who hire the world's best software developers.  After passing the tough screening test, I started working with several Toptal clients.

During 2016, I spent 8 months on the Toptal core team - initially as a Director of Client Success and lastly as a Director of Engineering.  As Director of Engineering, my role was to help match developers with clients.

Today, I am a Freelance PHP Developer, gaining clients through my own professional website, as well as via Toptal.


Want to learn more about me? View my LinkedIn Profile.  Interested in hiring me - get in touch!