Phill Sparks

About Phill

Phill Sparks' Gravatar

API Engineer

Climbing Instructor


Technical Skills


  • Ruby on Rails
  • PostgreSQL / MySQL / SQLite
  • Redis / Memcached
  • Sidekiq
  • RSpec
  • Software

    • Vim
    • Nginx (and some Apache / Lighttpd)
    • Git (and some SVN)
    • Capistrano


    API Engineer, CrowdLab 2013 - Present

    Programmer, Bulb Studios Ltd 2012 - 2013

    I developed APIs and back end systems to support mobile applications and client facing websites. I worked with front end developers, mobile developers and designers to ensure a joined up approach to project work. I liaised with external companies regarding hardware requirements and manage a varying number of servers hosting the company’s projects.

    Developer, Cuttlefish Multimedia Ltd 2005 - 2012

    I have worked on a range of projects including implementing designs; building page structures; designing databases; writing APIs; and working with a wide variety of data sources. I have helped Cuttlefish to develop their in-house CMSs and Frameworks; adding new and extending existing features; and especially enabling new ways of reading data in and sharing data out. I support the projects I have developed after launch and regularly recommend improvements.

    Assistant Youth Work Leader, Leicestershire Youth Service 2005 - 2011

    Supporting Youth Councils with both administrative tasks (taking notes, circulating papers, etc.) and supporting the Youth Workers in facilitating meetings and activities. I worked closely with the young people to enable them to maintain their sections on The Jitty website by training them to use the content management tools.

    Senior Sessional Support Worker, Connexions Leicester Shire 2004 - 2006

    A part-time job; supporting and leading groups of young people to carry out various activities including attending meetings.

    Developer, Churchhill Systems Summer 2005

    A summer job; developing and maintaining a few internal MS Access databases and some improvements to their website.


    Loughborough University 2003 - 2009

    2:1 Computer Science MComp

    William Bradford CC, Earl Shilton 1999 - 2003

    B Computer Studies
    B Mathematics
    C Physics
    C Business Studies
    Duke of Edinburgh's Award
    Bronze and Silver
    5 As, 2 Bs and 2 Cs; including English and Double Science

    Volunteering Experience

    County Scout Network Commissioner, Leicestershire Scouts 2012 - Present

    After 18 months as a County Scout Network Leader, I took the step up to Commissioner where I manage the other Network Leaders and support the Network Chairman. I attend County Scout Executive meetings and work to grow and develop Scout Network in the county by creating new opportunities for young people to engage with Scout Network.

    County Scout Network Leader, Hinckley Unit 2011 - 2012

    I setup the Network in Hinckley Area, forming links with local groups and Explorer units.

    (Assistant) Scout Leader, 1st Sapcote Scouts 2009 - 2012

    From 2009 - 2012 I was Assistant Scout Leader and then Scout Leader for the 1st Sapcote Scouts. During this time I completed my leader training and was awarded the Wood Badge. I helped to grow the section from a low of 2 scouts up to 9 scouts at the start of 2012. The section continues to grow under new leadership.

    Climbing Instructor & Manager 2009 - Present

    In 2009 I started to help with climbing sessions at the local scout campsite and since then have worked hard to become a qualified Scout and Guide climbing instructor. In 2012 I gained the Climbing Wall Award that enables me to take groups climbing indoor, and in 2013 I completed the Single Pitch Award that enables me to take groups out on rock. Now I continue working toward gaining the Climbing Wall Leading Award that will enable me to teach lead climbing indoors, and the new Coaching Scheme to further develop my coaching abilities. In 2013 I also attended two of the BMC FUNdamentals of Climbing workshops and look forward to attending the third in the future.

    I manage the climbing team at Fox Coverts Scout Campsite, where I run climbing and abseiling sessions for groups, and train new instructors from any experience up to scout/guide qualified level. I also instruct a variety of sessions at The Climbing Station and The Tower Climbing Centre in Leicestershire.


    MTUK: Single Pitch Award and Climbing Wall Award

    Scouts: Climbing (Single Pitch) Top Rope - Leadership and Supervisory

    Guides: Level 1 Climbing and Abseiling

    Leicestershire Youth Democracy 2001 - 2011

    From 2001 through 2011 I was heavily involved in Youth Democracy in Leicestershire through voluntary work with the County Youth Council for Leicestershire (CYCLe) and Connexions Leicester Shire’s Youth Executive, and later part-time paid work.