Who I Am

I'm Robin Burchell (or w00t on various places on the internet). I'm an Australian turned Norwegian, living near Trondheim in the middle of Norway, where I've lived since 2011 since my wife-to-be dragged me to be closer to her family.

I love looking for new ways to make life simpler with technology and making software go faster. I love working with teams of great people. I enjoy writing code, but not to the point where I want to rewrite everything forever. I dream of a world of seamless technology so I never run out of amusing pictures of cats on the internet.

I'm self employed as a sole trader in Norway (enkeltmannsforetak) - org nr 997 379 144. I provide consultant software engineering and performance analysis, focusing around Qt platform/applications development on embedded/desktop/mobile.

If you'd like to contact me, the easiest way is through email: robin@viroteck.net, though there are some other ways to get hold of me too. I also have a linkedin profile.

What I Do

Burchell Software

(September 2011 - Present)

Passionate software engineering consultant and open source hacker, specialising on Qt (embedded, mobile, and desktop), performance analysis and optimisation.

You may be familiar with some of the work I've done, with Jolla or on the Nokia N9.

I have also been involved with the creation of lipstick, a framework facilitating the easy creation of mobile device homescreens. lipstick is used by Jolla in Sailfish OS.

I am also one of the software architects working on Nemo Mobile.

For other examples of my work, my youtube channel might be a good place to look.

What I Know

I have a very broad base of knowledge, and am quick to learn new things. Here's some things I'm really good at.

Platforms

  • Linux (since 2002) (& Android since 2011)
  • Sailfish (since 2012)
  • MeeGo (since 2009)
  • OS X (since 2011)

Technologies

I find it fun to try new things and experiment a lot, so there's a lot more in my head than on this list. There's also the occasional thing I may know about, but not want to admit. :-)

Employment

Chief Engineer, Jolla Ltd

(July 2012 - August 2014)

Consultant work, offering engineering and performance analysis expertise on Sailfish OS, specializing on the Qt framework (and code using it).

Also involved a small degree of people management (as much as there is in a quite flat organisation) and roadmap planning.

Points of note:

We managed to develop an operating system, Sailfish OS which we then used to ship a phone.

Consultant Software Engineer, Collabora Ltd, UK

(March 2010 - June 2012)

Software engineer with an emphasis on mobile, working on applications and platform development, specialising in Qt.

Required talents:

You may be familiar with some of the work I've done, for instance, the contacts application on the Nokia N9.

Lead developer, Omerta Game Ltd, UK

(January 2006 - March 2010)

Development on a large online website written in PHP with a MySQL database backend, in conjunction with a team of other developers consisting of both fulltime staff and volunteers.

Additional responsibilities:

Open source contributions

As many hackers do, I have written a lot of smaller pieces of software and contributed patches to many different projects over the years, for more information on some of them, please see my Ohloh profile, my github account, and my Gitorious profile.

I'll also mention some of my larger contributions below.

Independent contributor, Qt Project

(2010 - Present)

Qt is a development framework for applications and platform software, covering a multitude of platforms, both desktop (Windows, Mac and Linux) as well as mobile platforms, such as Android, Blackberry, iOS, Symbian, MeeGo and more

Qt gained my interest in 2008 as a good platform for fast, efficient development of high performance, high quality software.

I gained an early interest in submitting patches to Qt when it launched an open repository, as well as working on helping Qt become a more open project through such initiatives as creating my own community build/constant integration system, and helping to devise the governance model for the Qt Project to operate in a fully open manner.

My interests in Qt are wide and esoteric, from QtCore (data containers, I/O, the 'meat' of everything) to QtNetwork (performance of sockets), QtGui (performance of rendering) and generally anything I feel like eyeing over on a day to day basis.

For an overview of things I'm concentrating on in Qt at the moment, take a look at my dashboard in Gerrit, Qt's code review interface.

I was nominated in December 2011, and successfully accepted, as one of the first non-Nokia 'approvers' to the Qt Project (meaning I have the responsibility of reviewing and integrating contributions from the wider Qt community)

I also do many things in the wider Qt ecosystem that aren't directly involved in working on Qt itself. One example of this work in recent times was my porting the QML components used in the interface of the Nokia N9.

video of MeeGo QML components running on BlackBerry PlayBook

lipstick

(2011 - Present)

Lipstick is a Qt / QML solution for easily creating user experiences ('homescreens') for mobile devices. The aim is such that a vendor can take lipstick and easily create their own visual style for their devices, quickly, easily, and with minimal code.

a video of Jolla's Sailfish UI, the homescreen of which is powered by lipstick

a video of Nemo Mobile's lipstick powered UI

I have recently picked up the ideas in lipstick and been applying them to working with QML / QtWayland in order to create a compelling homescreen easily that actually functions as a real homescreen with a modern rendering stack. The work-in-progress results can be seen in the following videos.

My target goal for this project is to create something similar to the Maemo 5 interface used on the Nokia N900, but any other visual appearance would be easily possible.

Some example videos:

opening and closing wayland clients

early days of running in a VM, on top of Mer, using llvmpipe

widgets that rotate and resize smoothly

a UI that rotates and resizes smoothly

Independent contributor, Mer

(2009 - Present)

I was one of the early contributors to the Mer project, helping write & proof the initial announcement of the project.

I offer a lot of expertise to the Mer project primarily focusing around Qt, graphics, and QML. Most recently, I have also been helping in prototyping creation of products using Qt 5 / QtQuick 2.0 on top of an experimental lightweight busybox-based core.

My primary focus is to provide a highly optimised, best-of-breed environment to run software on top of, pre-tuned for as much hardware as possible so that vendors don't need to worry so much about it.

Lead developer, InspIRCd

(2003 - January 2010)

InspIRCd is an extensible, high performance (over 80,000 connections in a single threaded daemon), chat service, written in C++.

My involvement was with public relations management, coding, development, triaging bugs - whilst working with a team including many other developers and nontechnical people.

InspIRCd is the second most popular server software of its type in use today, deployed on hundreds of servers.

I left the project (in good hands) in 2010 in order to seek out new challenges. I still hang around and (rarely) throw patches around as required, as my work environments nowdays frequently revolve around IRC.

Awards

Information Technology