Phil Jackson

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Phil Jackson


London / Maidenhead, UK
Tel: 07772 809 487


Strong technologist favouring a hands-on leadership position. Passionate about technology, building and leading great teams, and producing scalable and correct systems.

Two companies founded, Qwerly (CTO), a social media marketing company (acquired by FlipTop) and ApiAxle (CTO/sole founder) which provides an open source API proxy and related tools/services (acquired by Exicon in 2014).

Many years of management experience from time at Skimlinks, Qwerly, ApiAxle, Betconnect and RBS. Recruitment played a big part in each role, honing skills for finding the right people to create great teams. Well versed in agile methodologies.

Generally a back-end developer but with good front-end skills. Expertise in several languages including Clojure, Clojurescript, Javascript, Python, Ruby and Perl. Excellent knowledge of various web markup languages and post-processors such as HTML, CSS, React/JSX, Clojurescript/Reagent/Re-frame etc.

Recent work experience


Yipgo (Consulting/contracting)
June 2017 - Now London, United Kingdom

Many clients served as a developer, advisor or interim CTO. Key roles included:

  • A return to RBS to lead the API Enabler team through several projects. This role involved creating the Customer API which could provide select TPPs information about their customers should consent be afforded via OAuth. This involved managing ~20 people invcluding developers, architects and testers. Communication about the benifits of the APIs and tools developed with the wider organisation was a key part of this role.
  • Due diligence reporting for several prospective investment opportunities through Firestatr.
  • Help Gendius manage their new build of the Intellin phone app. This involved coordinating a couple of external teams and an in-house developer and designer.
  • Serve as interim CTO for Two Up Digital - a digital agency and supplier of a large gaming system. This mostly involved managing a team of ~30 developers as well as system architecture and a small amount of development.


Head of API (contract)
Feb 2016 – June 2017 London, United Kingdom

In efforts to drive innovation and to preempt the regulatory requirements laid out by Open Banking and PSD2, RBS formalised their API strategy and created this role.

The following responsibilities came with this role:

  • Help define overall API strategy.
  • Feasibility studies on third-party tooling.
  • Building relationships with relevant technology partners.
  • Pitch to senior leadership and stakeholders within the bank.
  • Help define the developer and end-consumer experiences when interacting with APIs.

Building a small public API that represented a small portion of Ulster Bank retail customers was chosen as a precursor to the larger, upcoming Open Banking/PSD2 projects. This project required a new team which was sourced mostly internally and grew to about 15 people including testers, devops, developers and a scrum master. The project was run in an agile manner with short sprint cycles and regular show and tell sessions. Managing stakeholders, tech. partners and data providers within the organisation was an essential part of this build. Documenting pain-points was also key given the path-finding nature of the project.


CEO / Founder
January 2013 – Feb 2016 London, United Kingdom and Hong Kong

ApiAxle is an opensource, lightweight API management solution that handles all the boring stuff and let's you focus on your product. ApiAxle was acquired by Exicon in early 2014.

ApiAxle enjoyed rapid growth and was often touted as the go-to solution for open, on-premise API management. The project grew - almost completely organically - from tens of downloads a month to more than 500 at time of writing. ApiAxle currently powers several high traffic commercial APIs.

Though the intent was to hire a co-founder, as a sole-founder the following tasks fell to hand:

  • Development/design of
  • Development/architecture of the ApiAxle product suite (proxy, api, etc).
  • Marketing/blog posts/partnerships/branding.
  • OSS community management.
  • Stakeholder management.
  • Customer aquisition.


Team lead (Freelancer)
December 2011 – February 2013 (1 year 3 months) London, United Kingdom

Tech/team lead of the API and data teams. Several products managed within team including customer facing reporting and management APIs which together were multi-million calls-a-day systems.

At peak managing 20 developers within an agile environment. Liaised with several product mangers to help drive strategy for Skimlinks' systems. Strategy discussions with C-level staff were regular and an important part of this position.


CTO / Founder
March 2011 – December 2011 (10 months) London, United Kingdom

Lead a small development team in the design and implementation the Qwerly API, front-end and back-end technologies. Contribution to the competitive stratgey was a core component of this role.

  • Implementation of algorithms to access, clean, consolidate and store public data from hundreds of millions of profiles across over 125 social networks.
  • Over 2,500 developers on the API.
  • Stakeholder management.
  • Management of a large MongoDb database cluster with very high throughput.
  • API receiving tens of millions of reads a day.
  • Core application written in Ruby. Several sub-projects based on Node.js and Coffeescript.


Software Engineer (Freelancer)
October 2007 – March 2011 (3 years 6 months) London, United Kingdom

Part of a ten strong team working on the iPlayer meta data API. The API was conceived as a very fast, de-normalised API which would be used dynamically, primarily by the iPlayer interface itself. This meant scaling the system to many billions of calls a month which brought about sharding various database systems and implementing detailed monitoring systems to ensure performance and availability.

Lead of the performance team which involved keeping the API fast enough for use with, amongst others, iPlayer.

Products written in 'modern Perl' with MySql at the back-end. Frameworks used included Catalyst and DBIx::Class.

Side projects

Yipgo (side project, ongoing)

Founder / developer / etc
2018 - Now

Yipgo is a ticket management solution that aims to be a lightweight and fast version of the larger systems out there such as Jira.

Developed from scratch it is an SPA which utalises the following tools and languages:

  • Backend written in Clojure with a PostgresQL database.
  • Hosted on AWS and using SES, RDS, Beanstalk and Cloudfront.
  • Frontend is Clojurescript and React.
  • System has high test coverage and is built and deployed via Gitlab's CI system.
  • Semantic UI React makes up the UI framework.
  • CSS via Less.


University of Teesside - Bachelor of Science, Computer Studies (hons)
1999 - 2003

Technology skills

Node.js - Javascript/Coffeescript
Express, Passport, Jade, Ejs, etc.
Tornado, etc.
Front End
Javascript, Coffeescript, Backbone.js, React, Flux, etc.
Compojure, Ring, etc.
Rails, EventMachine, Sinatra, etc.
Catalyst, TT, etc.
Git, Make, NPM, Unix shells, nginx, varnish, AWS, Redis, Mysql, PostgresQL, Linux, etc.


Max Niederhofer
CEO, Qwerly

Phil is both a great engineer as well as a great engineering lead (CTO/VP Eng level). In our work together, he has consistently exceeded expectations, delivering quality product on time and on budget. He is diligent, punctual, thoughtful, cognizant of both user experience and performance constraints and always at the cutting edge of computer science knowledge. I'd recommend Phil whole-heartedly for whatever venture he embarks on next.

Dan Chiao
VP Eng, Fliptop

Phil built an amazing application in Qwerly and did an above-and-beyond thorough job helping us integrate it into Fliptop's infrastructure. I would most definitely work with him again.

David Wright
Head of Publishing Services, Future Media, BBC

Phil is a first class engineer. He writes great code, quickly, and is always looking at ways to improve or refactor whatever he works on. I worked with him over several years at the BBC and he made a huge contribution to the success of iPlayer. He's a pleasure to work with.

Nicole Clement-Reynier
Project Manager, iPlayer, BBC

Phil was part of a team of developers I worked with on a daily basis. His helpful insight, dedication, high standard of output and sense of humour made working with him a real pleasure. He has that rare combination of a creative, technical mind and the sense and ability to communicate with people from all aspects of the business.

John Sargent
Software Architect, McAfee

Phil is a very skilled perl developer, producing elegant solutions in a timely manner and consistently showed the inovation, insight and leadership of thought needed the high pressure Spam lab environment.

Terry Wong
CTO, Exicon

Phil is that rare mix of talented, experienced engineer and customer-oriented businessman that entrepreneurs seek out when plotting world domination. He is careful to outline what can be done, delivers consistent high-quality results, and is willing to take the right steps to seize opportunities.