Mike Thornley

Manchester LAMP stack Developer

 (+44) 79127 62045


I am a North Manchester based PHP developer, living in Bury, Greater Manchester. I've a few of years of commercial PHP experience under by belt having worked within various industry sectors.

Right now, I am taking on the next step of my career working with machine learning and AI in the public sector. Currently, my focus involves mostly extending PHP development by integrating machine learning and NLG/NLU in to applications in order to create intelligent, cognitive services within EdTech.

I am a highly motivated developer, eager and very quick to learn new concepts and technologies. I'm also a good communicator, and very able to establish good relationships with the multi-discplinary team. These skills enable me to quickly gather requirements and advise on technical specs and translate technical concepts to a non technical audience. I am continually striving to learn in order to keep pace with the evolving world of development and improve my skillset. Most importantly, I pride myself on writing clean, well documented, version controlled code.

Work Experience

Systems Developer

November 2017 - Present
Bolton College, Dean Road, Dean Road Campus, Bolton, Greater Manchester
HTML, CSS, Bootstrap, OOPHP, MySQL, JavaScript, jQuery, JSON & Linux, RESTful API, XML and git, as well as the management of internal systems.

Bolton College are leading Further Education in the use of learning analytics, adaptive learning, supervised machine learning and natural language processing. The college has built and utilises their very own digital assistant client, Ada, using the Watson API, to improve services to students and staff at the college. The Watson API and the tertiary service, Wolfram Alpha, are currently being utilised in most PHP projects.

I have written several applications to assist both the learners and staff at the college including, but not limited to:

  • Refactored and updated the original desktop API used by the college to interface with IBM Watson on their learning experience homepage. The Ada client the college have built, interfaces via the Watson API. We wrote a client interface which sits on most applications, acting as a learning aid, initially for students but also being rolled out to staff members. This service enables users to query Ada around the clock, in an intelligent way, to interface with the college data set in order to access and present tailored and intelligent student and college data.
  • Created a multi tiered Work Experience solution, incorporating a student journey, Work Coach section, CRM and employer login and review section. This application uses various restFUL APIs including, Google (Maps and GeoCode), Saleforce CRM & the IBM Watson platform.
  • Created a CV writing application, with a spell check facility for students to create and edit a personal, partially completed template, using student data pulled from the EBS system and other college datasets, before finally enabling the saving or printing of the CV as a PDF document. This application also incorporates the Ada assistant on top to assist the learner.

Technical Analyst

August 2016 - November 2018
Manchester City Council, 7th Floor, Manchester Town Hall, Greater Manchester
HTML, CSS, Bootstrap, MVC frameworks (Fat Free F3, OOPHP MVC, JavaScript, Linux, MySQL, XML, restFUL APIs and git for version control.

Formerly a Technical Analyst role, rebranded to Delivery Analyst on MCCs Microsoft & Web Team.

  • Coded various PHP scripts, which sat on top of the Jadu CMS the council use as their main website. These scripts had varying functionality on the website. Some PHP applications were also used to compliment XForms on the council website before finally being processed by the CRM system, Microsoft Dynamics.
  • Recoded various legacy outdated PHP scripts to enable compatability with the new updated PHP 5.6 and MySQL servers infrastructure, governed by the service provider, Jadu.
  • Created a PHP (MVC Fat Free Framework) CRUD application for the Births, Marriages and Deaths dept, enabling them to view present and historic records.
  • Providing general website development and support of new and existing council web services, as well as managing a reverse proxy - Open source CMS to CRM integration.

This later became an Agile working environment with daily standups and scrums.

Also, whist at MCC, I completed the ITIL certification, which focuses on aligning IT services with the needs of the business.

Software Developer

June 2015 - June 2016
Tetrosyl, Walmersley Rd, Bury, Greater Manchester
HTML, CSS, MVC frameworks (custom built, named Crystal), OOPHP MVC, JavaScript, Linux, MySQL, XML.

Worked as one of their two (me in-house, and the other remotely working) PHP developers, mostly creating modules for the in-house, custom MVC PHP framework, Crystal. This was a full custom MVC framework adapted over a number of years to suit the needs of the business.

I was also involved later in some very brief custom Magento module and template development for the e-commerce side of trade online, and the migration of the current groups websites to a virtual hosting.

Junior PHP Developer

March 2014 - June 2015
Cardinal Maritime, Sharston Ind Est, Whythenshawe, Greater Manchester
HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScript, MySQL and XML. Mainly a windows environment.

This was my very first commercial role where I cut my teeth and mainly consisted of hand coding freight related scripts using pure OOPHP, JavaScript, XML, MySQL, JSON and AJAX, for the company in-house CRM software. I did have some input to builds of client facing projects later. This was mainly a Windows environment, both client and server side.

  • Created a small freight calculator to determine the cost of customer freight shipped commercially around the world having been given a formula for cube per pound on spec.
  • Created a PHP portal, used by the UK & Shanghai, to record freight shipped/received from all around the world.
  • Created various applications to track logistics, warehousing and company expenditure, as well as dynamic shipping screens used by the sales department to record available and sold consignments of freight to customers.


BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT

March 2017
ITIL® Foundation certificate in IT Service Management

CIW Web development certifications

August 2006 - May 2010

The CIW certification course was completed whilst I was working in a different sector. The course focused primarily on both Perl and JavaScript scripting, with some front-end development fundamentals. I later picked up and focused on PHP with a view to persuing this professionally and commercially.

Foundation: Associate Certification (V5)
Core fundametals of web development

Covered foundation elements of web development, including but not an exhaustive list of: XHTML, CSS, W3C (usability and accessibility), networking fundamentals, images, encryption, Project management etc.

JavaScript Specialist
JavaScript specicalism: front-end scripting

Covered fundamental elements of client side script including but not an exhaustive list of: The DOM, program flow, object fundamentals, form validation, custom objects etc.

Perl Specialist
Perl scripting and CGI functionality

File I/O, packages, arrays, RegExp, hashes, filehandles, custom objects & OOP (including modules, classes and inheritance) etc.

Site Design Specialist
Insight in to various front-end technologies, code and the ACS software package.

(Adobe Creative Suite) Multimedia with Fireworks, Flash, XML, RSS, ATOM, Cookies, CSS, HTML Website Usability & Accessibility, Multimedia, MetaData, SEO, HTTP Servers and Web Applications.

Secondary education

September 1986-June 1991
Castlebrook High School, Parr Lane, Unsworth, Bury

8 GCSE passes including Maths, English, Physics, Chemistry, Geography, Computer studies, Design & communication and Art.


Programming Languages
  • Mobile-First, Responsive Design
  • Cross Browser Testing & Debugging
  • Agile Development & Scrums
  • Kanban & Trello boards
  • git & version control
Tools of the trade
  • Sublime Text 3


In addition to staying as current as possible in programming and learning, using various resources, I love and own most items of gadgetry and tech and am really enjoying exploring machine learning and personal assistants.

Away from development, I also enjoy socialising, cinema and film, tech blogging, some gaming, foreign travel, motorsport, cask ales/festivals, and the odd high profile sci-fi convention.

I've also very recently become more of a reader of non-fiction, mostly biographies.