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.
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.
Since early 2022 I've been working at Octopus Energy as a Senior Data Visualisation Engineer.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I did! It's all about HTML5 Canvas and I wrote it in 2011.