Hi, I'm Walter McGinnis. I'm a somewhat quirky american currently living in Wellington, New Zealand.
My professional philosophy is "be the person you would want to work with." I value strong communication skills, quality effort that has a pragmatic approach over rote dogma, a sense of humor and fun, as well as respect for others. I always try to bring these qualities to whatever I work on.
I have another philosophy that is more personal. "Honor necessity." I take this to mean that we have a short time on this earth and we should make what we do matter. Always strive to do good work and make it count.
I've been working on software as a developer and technical advisor, mostly web, for well over a decade and a half at this point. I started my first website in 1997 after returning from working in Antarctica (I deployed via New Zealand). I wanted to share my photos. That snowballed into my first software job with ArsDigita based on the open source toolkit called the ArsDigita Community System (still exists as OpenACS). I've been an open source contributor ever since. You can check out my OSS work at https://github.com/walter.
I decided to return to New Zealand to live in 2005. I quickly went on to be initial developer of Kete, an open source Ruby on Rails web app, whose fundamental purpose was to enable anyone to collaborate on content on the web. A sort of better wiki. Although Kete didn't take over the world, it did have a solid following with libraries here in NZ. The National Library, through its Digital NZ group, is writing it into its latest set of APIs. I was also the Technical Lead, responsible for setting the direction of development in collaboration with its community of users and developers. A big part of my job was hiring a great team to work on the project.
In the last several years I've worked with startups in Vermont, Barcelona (well kinda London, Florence, Mexico City, too), New York, Australia, and New Zealand. I'm particularly attuned to building and optimizing teams that work remotely.
Get in touch via the chat on the right if you have any questions!