Profile: Matt Zandstra

Skills: PHP development, Java development, Unit testing, Design Patterns, Technical writing and editing, Training

I am a PHP/Java developer, consultant, teacher and writer with nearly two decades of commercial experience. I was a senior developer and technical lead at Yahoo! for eight years, working in London and Silicon Valley.

I specialise in design patterns and object-oriented development. I am the author of PHP Objects, Patterns and Practice (Fourth Edition due late 2013). I also provide consultancy on development and codebase best practices.

PHP/Java Development

I love creating elegant reusable code. I have written full MVC applications for The BBC, Unilever, Time Out, CitiPages, Yahoo! and many others. Because I create application frameworks from scratch, I understand the principles and patterns that drive them, and I can happily work with existing frameworks.

Project Code and Best Practice Consultancy

I provide consultancy on development best practice. I help clients design new systems and/or reconfigure existing ones so that code can be cleanly shared, built, installed, and tested. I also advise on documentation and team selection.

Technical writing and editing

My book, PHP Objects, Patterns and Practice, has run to three editions so far, and I'm currently working on the fourth. I have also written for Pearson (SAMS Teach Yourself PHP in 24 Hours), Linux Magazine, IBM DeveloperWorks, Zend and PHP|Architect. I also have an MA in Creative Writing, though I don't propose to make stuff up.. unless that's what you want!

Full site development

I designed my first website for the ancient Mosaic browser back in 1994. Since then I have managed the full design and build process for dozens of dynamic web environments. With partners in design and front end build I have worked on web environments for Time Out, The Credit Card Research Group, Virgin Clothing, the Office for National Statistics and many others.

Recent work


  • Created stickleback - a plugin framework for creating extensible Web and command line UIs
  • Co-created r3 - a rich development tool for managing complex template and translation trees
  • Core architecture and technical lead on Conductor: a Java workflow system for co-ordinating complex multi-person IT tasks.
  • Many other projects and tools.

  • Authored automated (self-marking) PHP and Java tests examining and assessing candidates' abilities across the full spectrum of both languages
  • Created platform components, including a framework to manage Java tests
  • Provided consultancy on codebase best practice (implementation of build/install/unit tests)

  • Flexible directory system that integrates local data with Twitter profiles. Front end interface and fully featured administrator environment

  • Codebase review and recommendations.

  • Candidate PHP tests devised and assessed. /

  • In-depth codebase and working practice review and recommendations.

Contact Matt Zandstra

Tel: 07903 847 292


Website: getInstance()

Site Design: Simon Bloom   Construction: Paul Silver   Hosting: Paul Dalton