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.
What I Do
(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 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.
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. :-)
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:
- Developed the initial prototype & architecture for the homescreen and several other applications on the device (such as Contacts, Calendar).
- Successfully lead the effort to transition away from Qt 4 (and X11) to Qt 5 and Wayland, including maturization of both.
- Improved system integration with systemd, through e.g. sending logging content to journald.
- Improved application performance, responsiveness, and startup time.
- Developed tooling to aid in system analysis to aid performance investigations and problem diagnosis.
- Regularly work with the Qt Project to resolve issues we have (or send patches we have upstream).
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.
- Strongly interested in creating the best quality software with excellent teams of people.
- Highly talented at picking up new skills and technologies at rapid pace.
- Great familiarity of the wider open source community and related best practices.
You may be familiar with some of the work I've done, for instance, the contacts application on the Nokia N9, or Jolla's Sailfish OS.
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.
- Some community management; facilitating communication between management, staff, and players.
- Developing and instituting best practices for testing, coding and development, including a coding standard, best use of version control, etc.
- Planning technical development and rollout of new features.
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, and my github account.
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 patches 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
(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.
- Qt Certified Specialist
- Passed advanced widget UI certification
- Passed advanced C++ in Qt certification
- Qt Certified Developer
- Distinction in Software Development
- Distinction in Information Processing and Technology