Miguel Leal, Developer in Lisbon, Portugal
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Miguel Leal

Verified Expert  in Engineering

Drupal Developer

Lisbon, Portugal
Toptal Member Since
December 1, 2022

Miguel is a senior developer with 10 years of experience. A true follower of technology, he currently loves working with Drupal, an open-source management system that helps him develop cutting-edge products. Miguel has worked with numerous digital marketing, eCommerce, and e-learning companies, as well as on a startup as a team leader, overseeing the development of B2B of a traveling application, TWISPER.


Drupal, PHP, MySQL, CSS, JavaScript, Vue, Agile, Sass, Platform.sh, Jenkins...
TWISPER International
Drupal, Laravel, PHP, JavaScript, CSS, Sass, RabbitMQ, Linux, Jenkins, Nexmo...
Drupal, Jira, Git




Preferred Environment

MacBook, Docker, Visual Studio Code (VS Code), Slack, Sequel Pro, Postman, Chrome, Jira, Bitbucket

The most amazing...

...experience I've had was being part of a startup and leading the B2B of a traveling mobile app that provides hotel and restaurant recommendations.

Work Experience

Senior Drupal Developer

2020 - PRESENT
  • Developed a new website for the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, which improved the old one.
  • Implemented a dynamic chat using Vue where users can determine their vocational aptitude and discover a more suitable course by answering multiple questions.
  • Integrated a payment system along the university website to sell small digital items, subscriptions, or even tickets for restricted events using web forms and Mollie.
Technologies: Drupal, PHP, MySQL, CSS, JavaScript, Vue, Agile, Sass, Platform.sh, Jenkins, Git, Postman, Jira, Elasticsearch, REST

Lead Senior Developer

2019 - 2021
TWISPER International
  • Developed a B2B platform to provide a way for business clients to claim their business displayed on a traveling app.
  • Managed a team of four persons and oversaw all the B2B development.
  • Implemented a service machine based on Laravel to work as a middleman and process everything that needs more computing power, such as processing and optimizing images, verifying offensive descriptions, and more.
Technologies: Drupal, Laravel, PHP, JavaScript, CSS, Sass, RabbitMQ, Linux, Jenkins, Nexmo, Agile, MySQL, Postman, Jira, Stripe API, REST, Google Places API, Pantheon, SugarCRM, Yext

Drupal Developer

2017 - 2018
  • Developed an e-learning portal for Alimentarium by Nestle. The project was based on Drupal 7 using an Opigno distribution system.
  • Implemented an online store using Drupal Commerce for one of the biggest Swiss watch brands, Blancpain.
  • Built an internal platform for managing issues of a security forum to be handled by the company's security penetration tester. The idea was to provide a direct communication channel between the tester and the client to report issues found.
Technologies: Drupal, Jira, Git

Drupal Developer

2015 - 2017
  • Developed a new corporate portal for Energias de Portugal (EDP), a project based on Drupal 7 and hosted by Pantheon services.
  • Included Apache Solr as a search engine configured with the possibility of providing autocomplete suggestions.
  • Created a new custom Drupal module for handling multiple publishing workflows for Drupal 7.
Technologies: PHP, Drupal, Jira, Git, Pantheon, HP Quality Center (QC)


2013 - 2014
Jornal i
  • Developed a new website for an online newspaper to replace the old WordPress one.
  • Created custom modules to provide a better user experience, such as tracking user preferences and time spent on each news.
  • Implemented an Ubercart-based eCommerce, integrating payments through credit cards (Redunicre).
  • Created a hybrid mobile app that was fed by a Drupal website.
Technologies: Drupal, JavaScript, CSS, PHP, Ionic, Linux

University Website Development

A replacement for an existing website made in Drupal 7. As a back-end developer, I was involved from the project's beginning until its release. I liaised with a front-end developer to integrate all needed features and developed most of the Vue modules. These modules were some of the most challenging features of this part of the project. They are similar to a chatbot as they include an interactive chat with pre-loaded questions to determine and recommend a field of study.

I also integrated Drupal migrations because a lot of news needed to be transferred from the old Drupal 7. The integration of credit card payments with web forms was another custom implementation needed since the type of products for selling didn't fit into a usual commerce store. Based on a provided list of points, I also developed a system in parallel with the mentioned chatbot that can calculate and determine the vocational aptitude of students.

Library Website

A website for a large group of libraries. I joined this project practically at its end to do some maintenance, but then I also started developing all the new features needed. As this project never had a dedicated front end, I worked as a full-stack developer on creating it. The website is uniquely complex because, even though it was made in Drupal, it is handled by an external API (OpenBib) that feeds it. This means that there is constant communication with this API, which requires careful handling of the cache to avoid performance issues.

Business-to-business Website

A business-to-business (B2B) website that was built for a traveling app. As a back-end developer, I oversaw a small team of four developers, including myself. I developed a system to claim businesses through a phone number, using SMS integration from a Nexmo third-party service and a Google Places API for retrieving phone numbers. This claim allowed us to verify actual owners of businesses that would be able to improve their businesses inside the app, customize their profile, or buy extra features to make it stand out.

I integrated it with Stripe to handle the plan subscriptions and with a listing manager called Yext, which provided the possibility of delivering business updates across the network of the most well-known platforms, such as Google, Tripadvisor, Yahoo, Yelp, and others. As the number of updates could be high and as there was a need for some additional treatment of the data sent, I created an operation machine in Laravel that did a middleman job by processing images, verifying the content of the texts, and sending back the data to the app.

Email Validation Service

An online email validation service that identifies false or disposable email addresses. This project came more like a free-time job that I did in cooperation with three more experienced web artisan friends who are also passionate about creating thoughtful projects. The platform allows single or file-based validations and provides direct API integration or plugins/modules for the most used CMS platforms. We built it using Laravel and integrated it with a Stripe payment system.
2009 - 2012

Professional Degree in Information Technology

Polytechnic Institute of Beja - Beja, Portugal


Acquia Certified Site Builder



Google Places API, Vue, Stripe API, Nexmo


Jira, Photoshop CS5, Git, Postman, Jenkins, HP Quality Center (QC), RabbitMQ, SugarCRM, Apache Solr


Drupal, Drupal 8, Drupal 7, Pantheon, Visual Studio Code (VS Code), Yext, Docker, Platform.sh, Linux, WordPress


Laravel, Ionic, Drupal Commerce, Tailwind CSS


PHP, HTML, JavaScript, CSS, Sass


MySQL, Redis Cache, Elasticsearch


REST, Agile


Drupal 9, MacBook

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