Willy Wonka

Hi, I'm Paul

I’m a freelance backend developer
I help teams build things that work reliably and
make life better for people.

I'm also proudly geeky about automation, testing, open source, security, and technology for good.

Things I've Built


Pilot Planner

A mobile-first web app built for the marine industry using React and Django Rest Framework.

PicoColour Software

The entire software stack for a digital printing machine, using Python, PyQt and Arduino.

Festival Weather

A hack-day project to deliver daily weather reports by SMS. Built with Python and Twilio.

Open WiFi Pi

A custom Linux build providing an isolated wireless guest network. Configured with Ansible.

Twitter Trains

A Twitter bot to find your next train and platform number. Built with Python.

Thinking Liverpool

An event listing of talks and debates in Liverpool. Curated by me, built with Jinja from iCal.


I have a First in Engineering (Electronics) from Durham University.
I've built software for printing machines and high-speed network devices, collected and aggregated data for ScraperWiki, Shelter and Global Witness, built dashboard backends for Government Digital Service and created the whole tech stack for Sea Level Research. Full CV on LinkedIn.


I've talked publicly about Information Hiding at Breakerfaire, Building With Straw at Barcamp, Modernising the Shipping Industry at a mySociety Meetup and an Introduction to Public Key Cryptography at Liverpool's Bitcoin and Cryptography meetup.
I enjoy communicating complex ideas to non-technical audiences.

Blog Highlights

GPG For Humans, Part 1

Screen Scrape Your Utility Bills

Resisting the Urge to Build

Arduino Isn't Just For Hackers