Hello! Tell us about who you are & what your role is at OpenCorporates.
I’m joining the expanding team of software engineers who are doing very data-intensive work, ingesting, cleaning, linking, and re-publishing corporate entity data to our users. I have lots of experience of very similar challenges at my previous job with transport data. Developing systems like this is the kind of challenge I love, but I’m extra excited by the way OpenCorporates data has a role to play in fighting corruption and tax dodging.
It’s also open data, which is a big passion for me. I’ve been involved in the OpenStreetMap project for many years, creating a free and open map of the world.
What drew you to OpenCorporates?
I came across OpenCorporates maybe about a decade ago, at conferences and events where our shared passion for on open data was very evident. With my previous job I ended up working in the same office, the Open Data Institute, so I feel I know OpenCorporates, and have seen it grow. It feels exciting, but also quite natural, to be joining the team!
Where did you grow up?
The small West Yorkshire town of Holmfirth, famous for “last of the summer wine”, also it could have been the birthplace of the movie industry, but the weather was too bad, so it went to Hollywood instead (true story)
What’s your favourite childhood snack?
Lilt “The totally tropical taste”
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be?
My wife’s family are in São Paulo, so that’s one possibility. I used to fantasize about living in a peaceful village in the French Alps, while visiting that part of the world on whitewater kayaking trips. But the truth is I would quickly get bored and head back to London!
What do you like doing in your spare time?
I used to do whitewater kayaking, snowboarding etc, but these days looking after my two year old son is extreme enough.
What’s your favourite book/movie/tv show and why?
Book: Maybe Century Rain by Alistair Reynolds. It was a memorable one from the many sci-fi books I’ve read. A noire detective story set in Paris… in a parallel universe.
Movie: I enjoyed last year’s movie “LIFE”, but there’s no beating the classic sci-fi horror… ALIEN
TV show: “The Apprentice”. I know it’s very silly, but a guilty pleasure. As it happens this show also includes lots of helicopter views of the OpenCorporates office!