I’m Lead Platform Architect at the Wikimedia Foundation. I’m not the person to call if you need someone to design something to stand on when you’re painting, rather I help design the software and systems that run Wikipedia and other Wikimedia websites, with a focus on backend, performance and operations.
I have a degree in physics with a specialisation in engineering applications. I did 6 months of work at a microwave-frequency integrated circuit design company, then in 2003, moved towards computational physics with a postgraduate project modelling quantum computers.
I learnt BASIC at age 12, and at age 16, avidly wrote computer programs in assembly language using the “a” command in Microsoft debug as an assembler. During my undergraduate degree, I wrote thousands of lines of C++ code as a hobby. I discovered Wikipedia in 2002, and by 2004, I was very active in the Wikipedia community as a volunteer developer and system administrator.
In 2006, I finally let the computer geek inside me take free reign. I joined the Wikimedia Foundation, as the third full-time employee to be hired. In cooperation with Brion Vibber, Mark Bergsma and several volunteers, we kept the site running on a shoestring budget until increasing donation revenue allowed more engineers to be hired. I’m now the longest continuously-serving employee of the Foundation.
My knowledge of physics now seems sadly underutilised, however I have recently started refreshing my electrical engineering skills by taking up electronics as a hobby.