About Me

Dr. Greg Wilson is a programmer, author, and educator based in Toronto. He co-founded and and was the first Executive Director of Software Carpentry, which has taught basic software skills to tens of thousands of researchers worldwide, and has authored or edited over a dozen books, including Beautiful Code, The Architecture of Open Source Applications, Teaching Tech Together, and most recently Software Design by Example. Greg is a member of the Python Software Foundation and a recipient of ACM SIGSOFT’s Influential Educator of the Year award, and currently works as a software engineering manager at Deep Genomics.

I was born in 1963 and grew up on Vancouver Island, where two inches of rain is considered a light shower. I completed a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Engineering at Queen’s University in 1984, then worked in Ottawa before moving to Edinburgh to do a Master’s degree in Artificial Intelligence. I spent the next six years working at the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre while doing a Ph.D. in Computer Science (which I completed in 1992) and writing popular science articles for The Independent and New Scientist.

Over the next few years I wrote and edited my first few books while doing post-doctoral work at several universities and working at IBM, a data visualization startup, and Los Alamos National Laboratory. I became involved in open source development, particularly Python, and started playing the saxophone and Ultimate frisbee (though not simultaneously). From 2000 to 2004 I was a contributing editor with Doctor Dobb’s Journal and part of a computer security startup that was eventually acquired by Hewlett-Packard. I also published my first children’s book and met the woman I’m married to, and in 2007 we became the happy parents of a wonderful troublemaker.

I was a professor in Computer Science at the University of Toronto from 2007 to 2010, during which time I helped create a Master’s degree in Applied Computing, was named ComputerWorld Canada’s “IT Educator of the Year”, and wrote some more books (one of which, Beautiful Code, won a Jolt Award).

I left academia in 2010 and spent the next seven years building Software Carpentry into a worldwide volunteer organization that teaches basic computing skills to thousands of researchers every year. Somewhere in there I found time to edit a book on evidence-based software engineering and the first two volumes of The Architecture of Open Source Applications. After a brief stint with Rangle.io in 2017 I joined DataCamp, who I’m proud to say fired me in 2018.

More recently I spent two and a half years developing an instructor training and certification program for RStudio (now Posit) and was briefly Head of Education for Metabase before becoming a software engineering manager at Deep Genomics. In my free time I helped build TidyBlocks and Glosario and wrote or co-wrote Teaching Tech Together, JavaScript for Data Science, Research Software Engineering with Python, and Software Design by Example. if you’d like to chat, please drop me a line.