Matt Wilson, Developer in London, United Kingdom
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Matt Wilson

Verified Expert  in Engineering

Software Developer

London, United Kingdom
Toptal Member Since
December 1, 2021

Matt is a software developer, entrepreneur, and veteran problem solver with extensive experience defining technical strategy, building teams, developing infrastructure, complex applications, and scalable solutions throughout the entire lifecycle of large-scale systems. Matt designed and built a photography-driven first-class market research and survey platform to revolutionize the sports photography industry. His roles have included CTO, co-founder, and lead engineer.


Python, PostGIS, PostgreSQL, AWS Lambda, Amazon S3 (AWS S3)...
Python, NixOS, Data Build Tool (dbt), PostgreSQL, MongoDB...
Kubernetes, Python, PostgreSQL, Celery, RabbitMQ, Prometheus, Docker, Grafana...




Preferred Environment

Linux, Amazon Web Services (AWS), PostgreSQL, Flask, FastAPI, Python, GraphQL, React

The most amazing...

...startup experience I had was being one of the lead engineers building Zoopla from an insignificant player in the property portal space to the largest in the UK.

Work Experience

Co-founder and CTO

2015 - PRESENT
  • Designed and built a photography-driven first-class market research and survey platform to revolutionize the sports photography industry.
  • Created custom, in-house reporting tools and a Redash dashboard to offer real-time access to data reporting. Using photography as currency, event organizers are offered access to insights better than ever before.
  • Engineered a flexible event registration platform to enhance the existing photography offering.
  • Built a sports and fitness-based rewards system to offer additional value to existing users, such as discounts on F&B, technology, or other partners.
  • Reduced costs by re-engineering the platform to take advantage of AWS serverless, both AWS Lambda via Zappa and RDS serverless to greatly improve on the unpredictable and inherently spiky nature of traffic.
  • Prototyped and built the concept of virtual events during COVID-19 lockdowns to motivate users to continue their fitness journey. Achieved by integrating with Strava, Garmin, and Fitbit wearables.
Technologies: Python, PostGIS, PostgreSQL, AWS Lambda, Amazon S3 (AWS S3), Relational Database Services (RDS), Amazon RDS, JavaScript, HTML, CSS, SCSS, Redash, Zappa, Web Scraping, Architecture, APIs

Technical Consultant

2020 - 2021
  • Advised executive team on technical strategy, and direction, after a number of years without any technical leadership.
  • Subsequently worked closely with new CTO to address challenges facing the business.
  • Introduced an automated data pipeline using Airflow to provide the data analytics team with up to date data, having previously been forced to work with manual data extracts only.
  • Introduced DBT as a method for the data team to manage, document, and version modelling work.
Technologies: Python, NixOS, Data Build Tool (dbt), PostgreSQL, MongoDB, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Docker, Google Cloud API, Git, Apache Airflow

Co-founder and CTO

2018 - 2019
  • Integrated with several communication channels to receive leads from different sources, including SMS, email, phone, website, and LinkedIn.
  • Built a decision tree system to process incoming leads and act accordingly depending on the data held within. Examples include forwarding to the client, auto-responding, delayed responses, notifications for internal staff, etc.
  • Developed a website widget that could be easily added to a client's website, which would prompt the visitor for further information about their requirements, making it quicker to communicate, with a higher chance of conversion.
  • Created and integrated with a Zapier app to open up the platform to all that Zapier has to offer integration-wise.
  • Reverse-engineered the LinkedIn web and mobile APIs to automatically send and receive messages via the back-end platform.
Technologies: Kubernetes, Python, PostgreSQL, Celery, RabbitMQ, Prometheus, Docker, Grafana, Web Scraping, Scraping, Data Scraping


2016 - 2018
  • Modernized an infrastructure not built for purpose, migrating existing Snowflake servers towards predictable, rebuildable environments.
  • Recruited many in-house engineers to replace an external agency in iOS and Java, not performing to expected standards.
  • Synced up with investors and product teams to devise a realistic product roadmap taking into account the reality of the challenges we were addressing.
  • Involved in fundraising for series A, which at the time, was one of the largest investment rounds in the industry.
Technologies: NGINX, Amazon Web Services (AWS), SQL, Agile, Recruitment, Management, Strategy, Snowflake

Lead Software Engineer

2009 - 2015
Zoopla Property Group
  • Assisted in coordinating and implementing several technology platform migrations during company acquisitions and mergers. Migrations involved data schema and transformation, feature gap analysis, and feature implementation.
  • Designed and implemented an advanced search process for polygon searches, involving both front-end and back-end work, implemented using the Solr search engine and Perl. Launched as a project called SmartMaps and became the popular ZPG feature.
  • Assisted in improving and extending various back-end services, including search systems (MySQL, Solr), email batch processing, agent report generation, and others.
  • Produced a system for automated listing data exports on a nightly basis in various XML formats to different third-parties.
  • Collaborated with the head of analytics to produce a near-real-time property value estimation system that has since been incorporated into the existing Zoopla Estimates system to improve their accuracy.
  • Developed an automated regression testing system based primarily on Selenium, including a variety of web-based tools for the user acceptance team to build new tests and extend existing ones without requiring specific knowledge of other systems.
  • Generated static image tiles based on area value estimations for use with Google Maps to develop a method of visualizing Zoopla Zed-Index area values in a more user-friendly manner.
  • Contributed to the Zoopla mobile apps fixing bugs, implementing new features, and improving integration with the Zoopla API, which I also wrote and have since extended considerably, handling day-to-day modifications and improvements.
Technologies: Perl, MySQL, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon RDS, Amazon S3 (AWS S3), Amazon EC2, JavaScript, HTML, CSS, Gearman, Apache Solr, Web Scraping, Web Development, Scraping, Data Scraping, Architecture, Integration, REST APIs, APIs

Senior PHP Developer

2008 - 2009
iFactory Pty Ltd
  • Built a number of websites for clients, usually involving customisation of Joomla CMS to meet the client requirements.
  • Improved internal processes to introduce stringent security checks, version control systems, and education around the importance of web security through basic fundamentals along the lines of OWASP.
  • Determined deliverables against resource availability and investment costs by working with clients to understand their requirements.
Technologies: Joomla, PHP, Apache HTTP Server, MySQL, Web Development

Software Engineer

2006 - 2008
  • Provided extensive improvements to a publishing pipeline built in Perl, in a similar vein to a CMS. Powered by XML and XSLT it was unfriendly for users to work with before the introduction of a user interface written by myself and one other team member.
  • Developed an XSLT parsing Perl module as part of the ongoing improvements to the user interface. It would load XSLT referenced in the source file and provide auto-completion for elements in the document.
  • Assisted with several of the BBC's Perl CPAN modules, providing improvements, documentation, bug fixes, etc.
Technologies: Perl, Oracle, Mod_perl, DBI, XML

Rent In One

An ongoing proof-of-concept project for a client wishing to develop a centralized dashboard for their users and agents to view property details. The project consists of three primary parts:

1. A Python back end serving a GraphQL API of data.
2. A Python back end integrating with third-party data providers.
3. A React front end to integrate with and present the data provided by the back-end API

Designed and developed in its entirety by myself.

Inphota is a content-driven market research agency. We developed a revolutionary product that has been designed to optimize the collection of audience data at live experiences. By using event photography as the incentive to drive participation in post-event surveys, we can effectively and efficiently uncover wide-scale participant insights around various segments surrounding an event.

Starting as a part-time project, inphota has grown into a significant market research offering for several major international events, including the Abu Dhabi Marathon, the ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi, and the Muscat Marathon.


ZPG Ltd. is a British real estate company based in London, England, owned by Silver Lake Partners. Its brands include the property website Zoopla, price comparison service Uswitch, finance comparison website, personal finance content site Bankrate UK, PrimeLocation and Hometrack.
2001 - 2004

Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science

University of Leeds - Leeds, UK


Zappa, Slack API, React, jQuery, Mod_perl, Google Cloud API, SQLAlchemy, REST APIs


Apache Solr, Apache Tomcat, NGINX, Celery, RabbitMQ, Grafana, Redash, Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS), Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS), Apache HTTP Server, Git, Apache Airflow, GitHub, React Apollo


Linux, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon EC2, Kubernetes, Docker, AWS Lambda, Joomla, Oracle, SolrCloud, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Apache Kafka


Flask, Gearman, Qt, Django


Python, Perl, HTML, SQL, Python 3, JavaScript, CSS, SCSS, GraphQL, UML, Snowflake, PHP, XML, YAML


PostgreSQL, MySQL, Memcached, Amazon S3 (AWS S3), PostGIS, Redshift, MongoDB, Data Integration, JSON, NoSQL


REST, Agile, Management, Testing, Automated Testing


Software Engineering, FastAPI, Amazon RDS, Relational Database Services (RDS), Web Scraping, Data Build Tool (dbt), 3D Graphics, SOAP, Distributed Systems, Recruitment, Strategy, Prometheus, OAuth, DBI, Web Development, NixOS, CI/CD Pipelines, Serverless, API Integration, Scraping, Data Scraping, Architecture, Integration, APIs

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