- Course studied:
- Computer Science
- Year of graduation:
David Whitehouse launched and runs a successful web development agency after completing a degree in Computer Science at Staffordshire University. Doubling profits year-on-year, David has hired a number of Staffs graduates and continues to go from strength-to-strength.
He recently moved his company InLIFE to a plush new office, with its own arcade machine and pool table, to accommodate the growing team. Five years since its launch, David’s ambition for continued growth is only strengthening, as he looks to take on bigger projects in future.
“We’ve been doing really well,” he explained. “We now have seven people working at InLIFE and we’ve moved into our new 1200sq.ft office, which is exciting.”
David graduated from Staffordshire University with a first-class honours degree and distinction in 2004. It was during this time he decided to pursue web development, choosing modules that would help him on this career path. A sandwich year at IBM led to his first job, providing IT support for the global computing giant’s customers, specifically tyre manufacturer Michelin.
Shortly afterwards, David moved to healthcare software supplier iSOFT, again providing IT support. However, his aspirations remained in websites and 12 months later he took a pay cut to join Newcastle-under-Lyme based Phones 4u as a junior web designer, quickly rising to senior web designer within 3 months. In 2007, David came back to Staffordshire University, to work in the web team, before moving to Vibe Audio in Sutton Coldfield. At the car audio specialist, he was tasked with setting up a new website and social media presence, which saw the firm’s Facebook page rocket to over 20,000 Likes and become a primary customer communications channel.
“I was at Vibe Audio for three years and developed a very good relationship with the company’s managing director,” said David. “It had always been a long term goal of mine to set-up my own business and I discussed this with the MD before leaving in 2010. Vibe Audio was one of my first clients when I launched InLIFE and we continue to work with them today.”
David has maintained good relationships with many of his former employers, which has led to ongoing recruitment of Staffordshire University computer science graduates. “Coming from the University myself, I know how good the course is and I have connections there,” he said. “When I chose Staffs, I think they had one of the biggest computer science courses in Europe at the time. I was also really impressed with the facilities at the Octagon on the Stafford Campus.”
Based in Burntwood, Staffordshire, InLIFE has worked with a range of clients, from local firms to large businesses. They include: Twycross Zoo, highways product manufacturer Instarmac, Channel 4 TV show The Repo Man, as well as Red Dwarf star Danny John Jules. Not only developing websites, InLIFE has diversified into mobile applications, search engine optimisation and other bespoke developments.
“In five years, I’d like to see the business aiming for bigger clients, taking on design and development work for blue-chip companies,” David ventured. “We’re also looking at developing our own mobile apps. We’ve got a great team and lots of ideas, so the future is bright.”