A big welcome back to Tim

September 4, 2020

In the space of 12 years, Tim McNamara has worked as a developer and data scientist, created multiple start-ups, got a Master’s degree, written a book on programming and begun giving online software tutorials. Now he’s re-joining Dragonfly to get back to data science and knowledge creation.

Tim first worked at Dragonfly back in 2011, when the team was much smaller and focussed on supporting government policy, mainly related to fisheries.

“They’ve grown organically over 10 years and now bridge pure research and commercial work, and sit at the intersection of quite a few fields. I think that’s really fascinating and a very nice space to be,” he says.

Tim was the first employee at Dot Loves Data 6 years ago – the business grew to a staff of more than 20 during his 4 years there. Most recently he has been working remotely for the international open source software firm Canonical, which develops the Ubuntu Linux operating system.

“I joined Canonical because I wanted to challenge myself and see whether or not I was really good at this software thing. It seems I did fine and remain on their ‘would re-hire’ list.”

Tim learned to code to support humanitarian causes. His first code contribution was to the Sahana disaster management system. He remains a voting member of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team and has been part of global disaster mapping efforts worldwide.

In early 2011, he helped set up the Christchurch Recovery Map after the Canterbury earthquakes. Using volunteers, the website made real-time information available like where people could access water and petrol and which schools or shops were open.

Tim is vice-president of the New Zealand Open Source Society and has made contributions to more than 150 open source packages. Other work has included experience in using data to help government agencies and businesses find out how much impact their public profile is having.

Tim has two young children, is about to give birth to a non-fiction book and, if time allowed, he’d be training for his next ultramarathon.

Read more on Tim’s website, his ORCID profile or find him on social media via ‘timClicks'.