Developer & Systems Architect at Propertyserve

Propertyserve has been in the UK facilities management space for over two decades, and chopstik|/ has been along with them for the ride since 2004.




Developer, Systems Architect


Ian Robertson

In 2004 while contracting to Tag4 - a Brighton-based web development shop - I took a 2-week brief on a new web application, to be built from scratch and to support Propertyserve's nascent business in the facility management space.

From that brief, I developed a bespoke PHP web application — none of the modern PHP frameworks had yet to be released. For the next decade, Propertyserve was able to grow a sizeable business focussed on corporate estate owners and the property management needs arising from the reactive and planned maintenance of their buildings and sites.

This web application provided the Propertyserve helpdesk with a platform to take client instructions, turn them into one or more jobs & quotes that could be assigned to a network of contractors across the United Kingdom. Invoices, contractor management, job tracking, reports and reconcillations all conducted using the bespoke PHP web application.

In 2016, I emigrated back to the UK to take on a full-time role with Propertyserve to upgrade the early application into a modern framework (CakePHP). Initially into Cake v2 and then in 2018 upward into v3. Significant development work was required essentially re-writing the bespoke codebase into a modern object-orientated PHP framework. Once complete, the application delivers the company an excellent platform from which to grow and expand its range of services and facilities.

Propertyserve Job Page Propertyserve Contractor Page Propertyserve QR code facility

During periods of intense system development I managed an outsourced team of 12 other developers, testers and project managers briefing and managing development tasks using the agile platform Jira. Signficant application features and advancments were added at this stage until the Covid-19 pandemic intervened.

One such feature was an automated worker built using Puppeteer in ExpressJS. Deployed on AWS serverless infrastructure, the automated workers would regularly scan a third party logging system for instructions, quote requests and new messages and interact with our own application. Essentially developing an API where one didn't exist. Significant knowledge of Javascript and the DOM were required.

As the business pivoted toward engineer-led surveying, I oversaw the initial briefing and ongoing maintenance and development of a mobile application built using Angular within the Ionic framework. The offline-capable app allowed field engineers to capture intricate detail of surveyed fire doors coupled with web application integration producing multipage, highly designed PDF survey reports.

During my time with Propertyserve I made extensive use of AWS cloud infrastructure products, managing code deployments and security concerns.

Propertyserve Survey login Propertyserve Survey List
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