Paul Underwood

I'm a full stack developer, specialise in Laravel, ReactJS, VueJS and WordPress located in Bristol, UK.


As a seasoned software engineer with 15+ years in ecommerce and web application development, I excel in tackling challenges and crafting solutions for business needs. I specialise in writing clean, testable, and reusable code, leveraging various programming design patterns.

Proficient in full-stack development, I navigate seamlessly between backend APIs and frontend JavaScript. My leadership skills shine through extensive experience in leading teams and projects, collaborating closely with business stakeholders.

Certified in Prince 2 Agile, I am well-versed in agile development practices. Notable achievements include successfully managing high-traffic applications by implementing scalable solutions on GCP Kubernetes and serverless platforms.

My Skills

LaravelReactJSVueJSJavaScriptNextJSJestWordPressPHPUnitMockeryTDDTailwindCSSBootstrapMySQLNoSQLCouchDBFirebaseRedisElasticGCPAPIsPub/SubKafka (Confluent)Architecture designServerless (Cloud run)DockerDocker-composeKubernetesJenkinsGithub ActionsCloud buildBitbucket pipelinesGoogle tag managerAlgoliaStripePaypal


Digital Architect
Toolstation EU
Collaborated with international teams to ensure seamless support, upgrade, and maintenance of a Laravel-based website. Played a key role in enhancing performance, implementing updates, and resolving issues to optimise the overall user experience. Implementation of the Algolia search engine using VueJS which increased conversion rates from 3% to 8%.

Worked closely with the mobile app development team to develop and maintain the API powering the Toolstation EU mobile app.
Digital Architect
Toolstation UK
Oversaw the technical roadmap for the eCommerce division, encompassing website and mobile app development for Toolstation. Led the strategic direction to enhance the technological landscape.

With over 400,000 downloads, the Toolstation mobile app demanded meticulous attention to the scalability of its API during peak business periods. Ensured seamless performance and reliability to meet the dynamic demands of a large user base.

Lead developer in migrating the Toolstaiton website into a VueJS (NuxtJS) API driven application, allowing us to improve the speed of development and continuous delivery of the product. Using Bloomreach CMS to allow the content editors full control over the structure, layout and content of the website.
Head Of Development
Toolstation UK
Led and orchestrated software development teams comprised of 25+ developers at Toolstation, steering a delivery-focused strategy to meet business requirements effectively and within budget constraints.

Created a transformative initiative to shift from multiple legacy monolith systems to a cloud-native, API-driven, event-driven architecture anchored in GCP Kubernetes and Kafka. Oversaw a team of DevOps Engineers and Software Developers, orchestrating the modernisation of applications to align with the evolving needs of a rapidly expanding business.

Established a new development culture of DevOps first, where infrastructure, automation and deployment was setup first to ensure CI/CD throughout the development progress. Allowing us to deliver a more agile experience to the business. To drive a consistent development standard across all the development teams.

Worked closely with Project Managers and Product Owners to plan and deliver current and future requirements to the business.
Lead Software Engineer
Toolstation UK
Lead developer on the EPOS system installed on over 500 stores across Europe. Leading a team of 4 developers with projects that spread across many areas of the business.

The EPOS system is built with React, a Laravel API, using NoSQL database CouchDB syncing the offline tills with PouchDB. The till is a React application running inside electron and purpose-built desktop computers.

Lead developer on the upgrade of the Toolstation website from legacy custom PHP build to Laravel. We also used Algolia to add additional search features for the website. The new website increased revenue by 50%.

During my time at Toolstation, I’ve introduced a number of improvements to development practices such as test-driven development, continuous integration using Jenkins, docker for improved local development and event-driven design architecture using Redis.

Created a new promotion API used by both the Website and EPOS systems. The project consisted of a backend admin area to manage the promotions and an API to consume the promotions.

Created an application in Laravel and VueJS to handle the company’s translation process for, and This included an approval process of translation tasks before the changes can go live on the website.

Changed the content management to using modern WordPress development and improved security by accessing the WordPress content via the WordPress REST API.

Working with nightwatch.js and selenium to create automated front-end tests for the website.
Software Engineer
Worked on improving existing API built in Zend 2 and migrated over to a Laravel (Lumen) API.