Sam Phillips

I'm a passionate and bright technology leader with a deep engineering background, customer focus and commercial drive.

Today I am CTO and Co-Founder at Residently, where we're building the global platform that empowers renters to thrive in their homes. If you've ever rented, you know it's a problem that needs solving.

Most of my career has been spent in startups, where I've been part of two successes.

Previously, I was Head of Engineering at Shutl. I led a major replatforming, the launch in the US and was part of the team that sold the business to eBay in 2013.

Before that, I was developer #1 for On The Beach Travel (built 2005, sold 2007), now a major UK travel agent, with IPO in 2015.

I believe that every project can be made simpler, easier and more enjoyable for everyone involved - and that there is always a win-win solution, if you look hard enough. I’m happiest when I’m learning.


I Love Being a Programmer… Should I Become a Manager?

What to think about when considering the jump from programmer to manager.

How software engineering management can be a great career choice for the right person, but also about the sort of impact you, as a manager, can have on the world

Growth, Impact, Joy: Should I Join a Startup?

How by working in startup world you can optimise your life for growth, impact, and joy.

When I’m building a team at a startup, I’ll spend a lot of time talking to candidates and answering questions. One topic that comes up a lot is why join a startup versus a big company, and for good reason.

The Right-Handed World of Technology

Why it's right that we focus our efforts when trying to build a more diverse technology community.

I've worked with codebar since its inception two years ago and I’m frequently asked how is it fair to not invite straight white cisgender men to workshops? I have a fresh answer to this question, which I thought I'd share.

Do We Understand Our Startup Equity Options?

1 in 4 people with startup equity options is in for a surprise.

After both good and bad experiences with startup equity options, I wrote and researched this piece based upon survey data from the UK and US tech communities.


In recent years I've preferred to spend time on teaching rather than speaking. I'm a passionate activist for more diversity in the world of technology. It's a complex problem but I believe a fundamental lack of technological education is a root cause, so that's where I concentrate my efforts.

Codebar Manchester

After coaching at Codebar London for 3+ years, I've been one of the organisers for Codebar Manchester since 2017.

We run monthly workshops open to all underrepresented groups in tech.

Code First: Girls

From 2016 to 2019 I was an instructor for Code First: Girls Manchester, and founding lead instructor of the Manchester General chapter.

This is an eight-week course with one taught session a week, run twice a year. We're very proud to have a fantastic success rate of our students subsequently landing jobs in tech.


#enjoying - share your reading list

I love reading and I'm always looking for recommendations for what to read next. I wanted a lightweight way to save and share my list, and see others' lists.

Goodreads is old and clunky: I wanted something modern, so I built it! #enjoying


I read non-fiction, focused on biography, business/finance, leadership, policy, science and technology. Here's what I've been reading:


Forward Partners Live: Scaling Engineering

Forward Partners invited me to speak in July 2015 on how we scaled Shutl's engineering team pre and post acquisition.

  • CTO Craft Con, 2020
  • uncodebar, 2016; 2017; 2018; 2019
  • North West Ruby User Group, 2009; 2018
  • Women Who Code London, August 2015
  • codebar London, July 2015; November 2014
  • QCon London, 2014
  • Seedcamp CTO Day, 2015
  • Etail Europe, 2014
  • GraphDB San Francisco, May 2014
  • Makers Academy, October 2013
  • London Ruby User Group, July 2012
  • MagRails, 2011