“What can I say about Hussein? Firstly, thank God we met him. Without his help, patience and fantastic quality of work, the site would never be live. He is always open to chatting through new projects and site developments, giving honest straight forward feedback. He has taken on a number of complicated problems and delivered a quality product every time. He has been available to meet and discuss our requirements, he is the best developer I have worked with and is seen as much more than just a developer, we see him as a key stakeholder in our business.”
Fed up with eBay’s cumulative selling fees, hoizo’s co-founders wanted to create a simple online market place, closer to a virtual car boot sale, rather than auction house. People would pay a fixed fee for the stall, and get every penny they make for a sale would go directly to them.
Living locally, I was able to meet the clients face-to-face, and consulted technical details in their design. Within two weeks of initial contact I had set up the VPS from scratch and began work on the site.
Throughout the project I regularly met up with the clients to discuss progress and ideas. I also supervised other developers who were introduced to the team to work on specific functions such as the Facebook API. In June 2012, I joined the clients in representing hoizo in a new BBC TV series, specifically to answer any technical questions that were asked.
hozio [sic] features a filtered search function, user authentication, and admin panel. I also optimised the product and store pages for search engines. One of hoizo’s user stores came 3rd in Google results for some popular Lego products, underneath Amazon and Toys R Us.
ZF wasn’t my only first experience with hoizo. I also needed to learn a range of APIs for the project; PayPal Adaptive Payments API was used to allow seamless money transfer between the buyers and sellers without having to be redirected to the PayPal website. hoizo also uses the Facebook API for one-click login, as well as social media sharing features.
Google Maps is a favourite API of mine which I’ve used many times before, so was probably the easiest third-party integration on the site. The by-product was a Google Maps extension for the Zend Framework which I released publicly on GitHub.