About me

Hello, I am Russell. I blog here. Sometimes about the lessons I’ve learned working as an early employee at SharpestMinds. Sometimes about productivity and habit building. But mostly about whatever I’m thinking about at the time.

I like to form my thoughts by writing, so this blog is mostly for me. Perhaps, if I write enough, I might write something valuable for others.

I grew up in Thunder Bay, Ontario and moved “south” to Kingston, Ontario to get a degree in Engineering Physics at Queen’s University. After that, I spent several years pursuing a PhD in physics at the University of Toronto. After a bout with depression and existential dread, I dropped out and taught myself to program. Through a lot of hard work and some luck, I joined SharpestMinds as a developer and eventually took the CTO role.


Covid-19 in Ontario dashboard

During the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, I had a hard time tracking the trends. So I put together a dashboard tracking cases and other stats for Ontario. Initially, I had to rely on a custom web scraper and some internet archives to get the dateset together. It got fairly popular reaching ~2k view/day. I still maintain it, though it’s mostly automated, paying for the severs with help from user donations.


Interview on the Towards Data Science podcast

A chat with Jeremie Harris about transitioning from a PhD in physics to writing software, how to use habits to succeed, and how to teach yourself data science.

Interview with data for good about my Covid-19 dashboard

A chat with some folks from Data for Good Toronto about why, and how I built a dashboard to track and visualize Ontario’s Covid-19 data.

If you get value from anything here, feel free to buy me a coffee, or, even better, just tweet at me. 🙂