Hi 👋,
I'm Robin Hawkes

This is the place to discover everything you need to know about me, no matter if we're already acquainted or it's the first time we've met.

The long and short of it

What's my career history?

I wasn't always working on data visualisation. In fact, I was nearly a graphic designer! Here's are some of the hats I've worn over the years, starting with the most recent.

Entering the renewable energy industry

Since early 2022 I've been working at Octopus Energy as a Senior Data Visualisation Engineer.

Spatial visualisation consultancy

I helped businesses get the most out of spatial data and visualisation in a Web browser, with a specialism in early-stage prototypes and 3D / WebGL.

Here are a few of the things I've helped with:

Senior Principal Engineer

Prior to my current consultancy I was a Senior Principal Engineer at Wood Mackenzie, an energy research company.

During my time there I was specifically focused on spatial data visualisation, wrangling huge amounts of data so that it could be efficiently displayed in real-time within a browser.

I was also responsible for wearing multiple hats, working independently on functional prototypes for new visualisations and potential products for the global business.

Senior Engineer

I've worked in numerous roles at a Senior Engineer level, specialising in — you guessed it — spatial visualisation within a browser. These roles usually involved being solely responsible for or working within a small team on the development of spatial Web apps.

Founding my own startup

I spent a few years working on my own spatial visualisation startup ViziCities, a consultancy and open-source WebGL framework for spatial visualisation in a browser.

This was the spark that set me down the path of spatial visualisation that I'm still following to this day.

Exploring developer relations

After I left university I joined the global Developer Relations team at Mozilla. Why developer relations? Because it was a dream job for me — I got to be on the leading edge of Web technology and paid to learn and teach others.

During my time at Mozilla I got to travel the world, speaking at countless events about future technology coming to Web browsers. More often than not I spoke about the technologies surrounding Web-based gaming and graphics.

I spent a little while longer doing developer relations at Pusher (a real-time messaging startup) before moving away from developer relations to focus on what I really wanted to do — spatial visualisation.

Web design was my way in

Before university I held various roles focussed on general Web and application development. I also did a lot of Web design back when websites were much simpler to produce, and the only JavaScript you needed to worry about was too much jQuery.

I'm old enough to remember building websites in Geocities and Microsoft Frontpage. In fact, I created my first website when I was 12 and it was about cheats for Digimon virtual pets. Those were simpler times.

An industrial designer in another life

Not many people know that my original passion was graphic design and I even went to university — for a year — to study industrial design (the design of objects and consumer products).

Fortunately I came to my senses and realised that I should pursue what was then just a hobby, computer programming. I still apply my interest and experience with graphic design to this day.

Where can you find me online?

Is it Rob or Robin?

Robin is preferred, though I used to go by Rob for a long time so my old friends occasionally still refer to me that way. It doesn't help that my Twitter account is @robhawkes so I can see why people still assume I go by Rob.

TL;DR; Robin

Did I really write a book?

I did! It's all about HTML5 Canvas and I wrote it in 2011.