Dear reader (sounds like Dear Santa 🙂 ) meet Finn Fitzsimons who is part of our community and is from these positive people that you will love from a first sight.

I’m from Cape Town, South Africa and have been living here in Sofia for several years now. I have many interests and never enough time. My studies included branding strategy and a bit of psychology but then I taught myself how to code because I wanted to make cool stuff.

He’s working currently for a Dutch non-profit called Akvo as a front-end engineer but he has experience as a full-stack developer building web and mobile apps. Finn is particularly specialized in the field of data visualization and has contributed several libraries to the open-source community, has written a book on the subject and has travelled to speak at events about his work too.

faked-it-til-I-made-it™

I started freelancing in 2010 – but at that time I had almost no experience or education in the industry and faked-it-til-I-made-it™ for a few years. Now if I were to look back at some of my creations I think I might cry! 😂 I only started to get good when my data vis work was noticed by a Bulgarian company that gave me a job and I was able to learn from the other senior developers on the team.

he is a spy

My Bulgarian is quite terrible but yes I can speak. I can understand a lot more though so it’s almost a perfect situation to be a spy. Not sure the South African CIA has much interest in Bulgaria though.

hobby is important

When I’m not hanging out with my kids – I go cycling with a group called Cyclique. I like to go riding with them out in the countryside on the weekends or even on my own in the early mornings. It’s always interesting to watch local villagers’ reactions to guys in spandex. Winter rides are really good too if you’re dressed properly and there’s no ice on the road!
I used to sail a lot in South Africa but now I just do a bit of windsurfing in the summer.
And in my day to day life I enjoy building small pointless apps that don’t have much purpose or meaning to anyone – like this one or this one.

proud of 2 kickass kids – Pirin and Vivi

I mentioned that I wrote a book about data visualization. It is an attempt to catalog all the possible charts in the world and by using scientific research to rank them by effectiveness. While writing the book I discovered and invented around 450 types of visualizations. You can read more about the project hereI’m also very proud of my 2 kickass kids – Pirin and Vivi.

He lives in Sofia for almost 8 years. He sold his prototype web app to a company and this brought him here. His previous location was Vienna.
He liked the social aspect of coworking spaces and this is what brought him to betahaus. “Betahaus in particular has a nice atmosphere and is relaxed and I already knew some people here when I started. I feel good at Betahaus – good coffee, friendly faces, some dogs sometimes, comfortable chairs for taking naps, people getting things done. What more could you ask for?” said Finn.

stickers are attractive

In Betahaus I guess my favourite space would have to be the front door because you can stand there and read all the stickers for hours. Second favourite would be the men’s urinal on the left because there are also lots of interesting stickers. lol

what a coworking without collaboration…

Yes there are a few guys working in the same space as me here and we help each other out from time to time. Sometimes you just hit a wall and need a fresh perspective on the task at hand. It’s nicer talking to real people than rubber ducks.


Leave a comment