Five years at TLA, what’s next?

The video below from two years ago talks about how this company got me so passionate about technology and I’ve enjoyed every moment of it, even the hard times.

Over the past five years, not only have I been developing the .Net backend infrastructure that is now the business’s core lead generation platform but I found time to also compete in extreme charitable events such as completing two Ironman events and also founded a .Net Usergroup right here in Liverpool!

None of which could I have achieved without the true leadership and support from TLA. I just want to say a big thank you to everyone who played a part in this journey and helped me be the developer and person I am today.

I wish TLA all the best as they embark on the next phase of enhancing their platform and I hope our paths cross again one day. But as one door closes, others open and I am extremely excited for what is to come in my next future role.

For my next role, I would like to gain more front-end exposure to help me transition to a more full-stack role ideally picking up more knowledge around Typescript and React or similar technologies.

I’m very entrepreneurial and have loved being innovative in my role helping architect out the platform at TLA. My true passion for the future is to one day start a technology company of my own so exposure to leadership and building on my current technical knowledge while helping support a company would ideally be in my best interest and serve the company I support next.

If you feel you have a position that I could potentially be a good fit for please reach out via my

Ironman Portugal 2022 Review


After about 8 months of training and coaching from Ian Williams under I Will Triathalon coaching, organizing hotels, car rentals, and adjusting to a new tri bike for a 3 days away trip around what will be my second full Ironman event.

This Ironman was a little different from the first, I wanted to not solely let the triathlon training and event take over my year. During the first triathlon, I cut my weight to 90kg, stopped drinking completely, and was obsessed with doing everything I could to prepare myself to the point where it controlled my lifestyle by the end of the event. Even though I finished an epic event and was ecstatic about completing my first Ironman I soon fell out of love with the sport and ended up putting on weight instantly after the event.

Fast-forward through a pandemic and depression I decided it was time to hit that red carpet one last time with TLA offering to fund the event for me. I had a different mindset coming into training by knowing I had to put in the effort but on the other side make time to wind down, spend quality time with the family, and have a drink if I really wanted (but not too much).

The Swim

My wife, good friend/boss watched as the 70.3 group of athletes descended into the water the sun rising and the music sounding out like a battle song over the beach. After watching for half over 20 minutes and sipping my bottle of precision hydration water mix I zipped up the wet suit and put on my swim cap as I made my way slowly to the start line.

I was expecting 1 hour 20 but the sea was calm and as I ran into the water quickly. Drafting behind other fellow athletes saving as much energy as I could. I felt great apart from the vaseline on the back of my neck didn’t seem to help the wet suit from rubbing so I changed my swim technique slightly to roll my body instead of moving my head and neck which helped.

The sun was glaring and even with my tinted goggles, it was hard to identify the buoys. My goggles steamed up and I ended up trusting the direction of the wave of athletes I was with and drafted even closer. At the first turn to come back on myself I stopped in a daze double checking my position and looking at the buoys to confirm my turning point. After realizing all the red caps turning here signifying the Ironman full event I shot back into the front crawl to resume my race.

After completing a 2k swim and coming back on myself I focused more on my technique making sure my fingers were closed and I was taking hold of the water. My fingers started aching as I pulled forward and pushed the water under me. I looked ahead and chased the next athlete constantly looking for the next drafting opportunity. This was for two reasons, one was to deter any marine life such as sharks and jellyfish and the second was for speed.

Coming out of the water I clocked 1 hour and 15 minutes 43 seconds with an average pace of 2 minutes per 100 meters, wow! My fastest open-water swim was more relaxed in the water and I used a lot less energy which was surprising. I used the quick-release zip and took my wet suit to waste height as I ran the 600 meters to transition with ease.

The Bike

I took my time in transition amounting to a whopping 15 minutes and 02 seconds which could have been improved, making sure I was comfortable and ready for the long ride ahead. Put on my socks, helmet, and bum bag with enough nutrition to get me around and applied a layer of sunscreen which burnt on the back of my neck due to the swimsuit rubbing. The only thing I forgot was my gloves which was a slight inconvenience later on when I noticed my hands sweating slightly holding onto the breaks descending downhill making the bars slightly slippery but nothing I was majorly concerned about.

After ascending up the red carpet out of transition I looked down as I started turning on my cycle computer and setting up the navigation. The cycle computer really helped, it didn’t just give me information on how much further I had to go or directions if I wasn’t completely sure but also helped me mentally by knowing how much of the incline I had left which is a fantastic tool to have by your side.

The roads were closed off from traffic and the bike route was easy to follow. There was hardly any wind and the weather was hot but I found these conditions perfect. I knew I had a long day, my cycle computer connected to my pedals through blue tooth to give me my average watts which were around 170-180, and occasionally hitting around 300 briefly going up some hills. It felt comfortable and a pace I could easily manage and I was happy to have kept low down in an aero position on the tri bike all the way around apart from standing upright a few times when ascending up some hills.

I stopped frequently to refill my water bottles and use the toilet both taking up a good amount of time. If time is of importance in the future I could always throw cheap water bottles away. It was good that I needed the toilet though as it showed I wasn’t dehydrated and managed to take on a lot of fluids on the bike something I’ve been practicing more since my first Ironman.

Coming to the end of the bike around 10 miles hit higher watts and pushed more to get to the finish with a lot of energy in reserve and feeling good I completed the bike in 6 Hours 49 Minutes 48 Seconds with an average pace of 26km/hr.

Racking up my bike and taking time to get comfortable again I got to my last transition bike sat down and swapped my socks, applied more sun cream, and tightened my shoes ready for the run taking 12 minutes 36 seconds in transition.

The Run

I knew what to expect, I felt great coming off the bike and the swim but knew this feeling wouldn’t last very long on the run. Even though I was feeling really strong, to the point I could probably do some star jumps, I applied a 4-minute steady run and 1-minute walk sequence to conserve my energy and walked through every aid station which was around 2 minutes every 3-4 kilometers.

My first 5k was easy, I took on fluids and started eating at the first aid station. Then it hit me, and I started feeling my energy drain. I changed my running sequence to a 3-minute steady run and 1-minute walk and knew I just had to keep moving forward. I didn’t want to overeat and cause nausea which I faced in my half-Ironman leading up to the event so I was cautious to eat accordingly and drink sips of water without gulping it down.

About 23k in was the expected darkness, fewer participants on the course, and thoughts about can I even do this. I was expecting these negative thoughts around this time which knocked me down a lot on my first Ironman but I just reminded myself that I knew I could do this and it didn’t matter about the time. In my mind, I was prepared to walk the whole way without being frustrated with myself if I really had to which gave me some positivity.

Nausea kicked in followed by stomach cramps which made me not want to take on any more nutrition but I knew I had to try so I mixed some of my precision hydration gels with some water and sipped slowly as I walked through the aid station. My energy levels dipped and spiked strangely one minute I could run for 5 minutes straight and others I could barely hold 1 minute.

Keeping some structure I tried to motivate every move forward clocking and giving myself small goals to achieve. Common Josh, I said, let’s move for 1 minute and then rest for 1 minute as I hit rock bottom.

The final lap out of three boosted me knowing I was nearly there. I hope to improve this discipline in my future races as clearly this was my worst discipline performance but I had the strength to get around which I have to be proud of in a total of 5 hours 48 minutes 28 seconds averaging 8.16 min/km.

The finish line

What a day, 14 hours 21 minutes 35 Seconds later and I get to that red carpet and even took the time to appreciate it and slow down. My wife and boss were already waiting at the finish line to congratulate me.

There was another couple of kilometers afterward as I collect the bike from the transition and walked to the Uber pickup point which was further out due to the road closures.

Get Amazon Alexa Notifications For PS5

To get started, just enable the notify me skill in your Alexa App, giving it permission to send notifications to your Alexa and linking it to your Amazon account. Next, just say, “Alexa, open Notify Me” and the skill will introduce itself and send your access code via email.

You can use our contact form to send us your unique access code and we will set up your notifications against your registered account. If you unregister for email alerts, you will also unregister for any Alexa Notifications.

Please visit for official instructions on how to obtain your unique access code! Notify Me: Alexa Skills

Find Available Game Consoles With Bots

Father Christmas comes every year but even his magic has been stretched recently when it comes to putting your favourite game consoles under that tree. Although our children have been well behaved this year and despite Santa’s little Elves, having an incredible hard work ethic the production line for our latest game consoles such as the Play Station 5 and Xbox Series X is becoming a slim hope for some families. A new game console was on a lot of child’s wish list this Christmas and we understand the pressure of families searching for one. Even though we can’t guarantee you stock of these devices, three developers Danielle Smith, Shannon Miller and Joshua Duxbury have set out to program a bot to crawl the web to find you available stock!

After speaking to many family and friends, it became apparent that they were constantly picking up their phones to check if a console was available yet. We found this gap in the market and couldn’t believe Amazon and other retails didn’t offer any live notifications. But we saw where our expertise could help. Being equipped with the skills to program in multiple languages, we got together to produce a very efficient bot that crawls the web to find available stock and notifies a mailing list when it becomes available.

We are working hard to create a form to capture your contact details to notify you in real time of available stock. Think of us as your elves from the north pole – working just for you.

The form we are creating will target an Amazon item using a ASIN code and then we will match that product with similar products on a range of trusted retailers such as smyths toys, Argos, AO etc…

when you enter the valid ASIN code then a image of the product will be displayed for visibility and you will be able to complete the form for email notifications. In the future, we are also looking to provide free text notifications.

while we develop out our service, If you’d like to subscribe to our stock alert for free you can sign up using our current form below

Alexa Wedding Table Planner

So, we have come into the year 2020 with some big expectations and goals. Saying ‘I do’ to the one we love in front of all our family and friends, partying the night away and finally going on that dream honeymoon. Then it hits. COVID-19. Something that didn’t even cross our minds! Government restrictions mean that we have to put these events on the back burner or sacrifice some of the privileges… privileges like having more than 30 people attend!

I know, it’s hard but I’m positive that everyone who has had their event postponed this year will have an even better event in the future! And just to help you wedding planners out there, we have released a skill to the Alexa Skill Store to give your wedding a personal touch and much laughter. This skill provides your guests with their seating arrangements, plays music and provide a custom experience programmed by you! Not only can this reduce crowding by directing guests faster to their table but it can also be a fun, automated, contact-free experience for your guests to stay safe. Yay!

All you will need is one of the Amazon Alexa Devices and an internet connection (No WIFI? Hotspot to your phone – that’s what I did at my wedding!). There are various devices you can purchase from the cheaper Alexa Dot, Alexa Echo or even the Alexa Show ranging from as little as £29.99 to £100 depending on your choice.

Once you have your Alexa Device you can visit the Alexa Skill store to enable and install the skill on your device

You can then use the awake word followed by the skills invocation name to start interacting with the skill for example “Alexa, Find my table”. We haven’t set anything up yet though, so she will respond with a message saying that we need to visit the configuration page to set up our skill and customize the responses for each of our guests. Click Here to navigate to the skill configurator page. It’s designed to be simple to setup.

It’s quite easy to get started, we don’t need to register a new account on the configuration page, we can simply sign in with our Amazon account which will link the configuration we set up with the Alexa Skill.

We are presented by three tabs used to configure our skill and give it that personalised touch. The first section is the intro page. When we first invoke the skill an intro message will be announced to welcome guests using this skill. You can customise this as you see fit for any occasion birthdays, weddings or even meetings but seeing as we are focusing on weddings in this blog post I will write “Welcome to the Duxbury wedding”.

On the next tab, we assume you are going to have somewhere to seat your guests. In this example, we have used table names but you could keep it simple and use numbers if you prefer. It completely depends oh your table setup but these controls give us the flexibility to customise it how we see fit. As you can see I’ve named my table based on the Disney theme and I’ve called my first table “Aladdin and Jasmine”. In the Audio Reference field, I’ve added a link to an audio file that is hosted on my personal website it’s an MP3 audio file of a short soundtrack from the Disney film Aladdin called a whole new world.

We can complete the setup and associate our guests with the tables we just created. I’ve added three guests to my example

Now if we go back to our Alexa device we can invoke the skill again by saying “Alexa, Find my table” but this time she will respond with the configured responses we set up in the portal.

Example, welcome to the duxbury wedding

Example, found a table for Victoria

Okay can I get any extras?
You have fallen in love with our skill, who wouldn’t? You have just made some funny personal messages for your guests attending your wedding. Hey, you even got that music to play for your friends who just love some 80’s music! But you don’t like the look of having an Alexa device ruining your entrance looking all basic. Well next we can look at customising the style of your Alexa Device for under £19.99 we can select from some premade designs or even make our own!

We hope this skill brings to your wedding some organsiation getting people to their seats, good laughter in those personal messages you setup and great memories when you recall you tried out something new at your wedding.

Click here and follow us on our Facebook Page for updates as we continue to add more features you will love and enjoy and don’t forget to tag us in your videos, comments and reviews! All the best, The Alexa Wedding Planner Team

Manchester Hackathon

[slideshow_deploy id=’64’]


Amazing time here, free Pizza, food and shelter.. What else do keen programmers need to get enthusiastic about hacking some code? People travel from all over the world to attend these events so I couldn’t not put an application in to become a Mentor at this event.

Personally, I can’t recommend these events enough, the Hackathons are very well run and put together to embrace a creative environment. If you are at university thinking about attending your first student hack or coming to share your knowledge as a mentor you are guaranteed to be impressed with the exceptional minds that end up hacking together.

From the 10th – 12th of March in 2017 I got to experience my first Hackathon as a Mentor.

Here is a short list of some of the projects the students who attended where hacking.

Leap Motion Gaming
The Google leap motion is super fun to play around with, one of the students used the sensor capability in a game. The sensor projected the users hand in the game and enabled you to pick up virtual objects. You had to use these objects to deflect on coming projectiles coming towards you.

Message Mug
This is a mug which you could send a message or picture to via an API. It was powered by the heat of the coffee in the mug and a programmer at the Hackathon programmed it to get the latest BBC news headline when a coffee or hot water was poured into it.

Mars Rover
A little robot shaped like the mars rover, having four wheels and programmable. The robot was programmed to move around the room to specific coordinates programmed beforehand simulating some of the features the Mars Rover would be using while exploring Mars.

Hand Controlled Hover Craft (Drones)
Controlling the movement and altitude of a drone using nothing but leap motion.

Welcome to my site

Thank you for taking the time to view my blog, I’m passionate about coding and while I may only know a drop in the ocean of what is out there I intent to bring together what I do know for people with less experience and want to find study material that I spent time seeking when I first started off.

I’m usually quite an active person, despite sitting at a desk writing blogs and writing code. I enjoy pushing myself to new levels. During 2015, I’ve enjoyed swimming, football, biking and running. I’ve participated and enjoyed signing up to many running events: Mersey tunnel 10K, Bolton 10K and a Race For Life 5K. The primary goal for the future is to sign up to harder events such as iron man, tough mudder, half marathons and eventually full marathon.

Amongst my other leisure activities, I also participate in weekly Thai Boxing classes; I started this activity in May 2014, after attending on average 3 classes a week, I now help out with the children’s classes.

Even though I enjoy keeping fit, my main focus is my hobby of computer science. Initially, I like to keep up to date with applications that could benefit and improve my skills: such as automating tasks, learning new programming languages, reading forums, passing exams and certifications to keep me focused on achieving my goals. Contributing on Stack Exchange when ever I can and giving myself projects which will eventually be open source and available on my website.