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Fare-Wellcome Collection

I still remember the first time I visited Wellcome Collection – just over seven years ago. I was living and working in the Cambridge at the time, and I’d come into London for the day to hang out with a friend who lived near King’s Cross. We wandered up the Euston Road, popped into the British Library and the British Museum, and then… Wellcome Collection.

The Reading Room at Wellcome Collection. A large, brightly-lit room with shelves interspersed with museum objects and comfy chairs.
We were enchanted by the Reading Room, which is a pretty common experience.

I’d already been thinking about getting a new job, so when I saw an ad for software developers at Wellcome a week later, it felt like the universe was telling me something. I applied, I was hired, and I started at the beginning of 2017.

After nearly seven years, it’s time for something new. I’m going to be leaving Wellcome at the end of September, and joining the Flickr Foundation as their new Tech Lead.

This was a bittersweet decision. I’ve loved my time at Wellcome. I got to work with a fantastic group of people, who’ve helped me grow and learn and fix my mistakes. I’m a much better person now than I was in 2017, and much of that comes from the people I met at Wellcome. (Of whom there are far, far too many to name.)

I’ve been able to work on a number of cool projects while I’ve been at Wellcome, including:

As I’ve stepped into a more managerial role, one of the most gratifying things has been to watch people take something that I worked on, and find ways to make it better. The architecture of the catalogue pipeline has been streamlined and improved, making it more reliable and efficient. The trans inclusion policy has been rewritten with more detail and clarity. People are finding new ways to use the data in the storage service.

I’m leaving behind a remarkable team of smart, thoughtful, and capable people. I hope Wellcome knows just how lucky they are to have them.

At the start of October, I’ll be joining the Flickr Foundation as their Tech Lead. The mission – keeping Flickr’s pictures visible for 100 years – is a daunting one, but I’m excited about the challenge. I start in just under a fortnight, and I’m really looking forward to it.

This is a role I couldn’t have done back in 2017 – I had no experience designing large systems, or managing a team, or doing software in a group that wasn’t just software engineers. Those are all things I learnt while working at Wellcome.

I’m immensely grateful for my time at Wellcome Collection, for all the people I got to meet there, and for everything I learnt that’s enabling me take this next step.