A bit about Matt

My name is Matt McKellar-Spence, and I like to create things with computers.

I currently reside in Tasmania and make my living with remote work.

What brought me here?

I started coding at 5 (according to my Dad) and never really stopped. My early years were spent making games in BASIC on a TRS-80, often with cheats so I could beat my younger brother at them.

A few years at UTas got me a Bachelor of Computing. It was during these years that I became more interested in web development. The human-computer interaction class inspired me to always be concerned with accessibility.

My first job required me learning Python to create 3D visualisations of floor plans. It introduced me to Blender, which I have maintained an interest in. I also did some web development, but this was during the time of Adobe Flex, Flash, and jQuery.

My next job was for the Data Centre of the Australian Antarctic Division. I learned ColdFusion and helped start their Agile practices. This also started my path of PostgreSQL database administration, along with Django and Flask for web development. I never made it to Antarctica, but I did get some time on the ship.

And now?

I chose to leave the Antarctic Division to focus on start-ups and contract work.

AusNFC aims to help protect the premium food and drink industries with product authentication. This gave me an amazing introduction to the world-class, award-winning honey and whisky businesses of Tasmania.

I still use Django, but have spent the last few years within the Node.js ecosystem. This includes starting my journey into the wonderful world of functional programming with Ramda.

More recently, I started using Go to develop microservices with Docker on Kubernetes. This is a vast improvement from my early days of managing monolithic physical and virtual machines. I find something quite satisfying with coding all the deployments and services then using a single command to create entire systems.

Most of my current database work is PostgreSQL, with some CouchDB, PouchDB, and Redis where appropriate. Depending on the platform, I also use GCP Datastore and AWS DynamoDB.

Most of my smaller projects are done with Firebase or simply hosted on GitHub.

Outside computing

In my spare time I enjoy playing games and learning anything from mathematics and physics to psychology and philosophy.

I am a big fan of The Matrix and The Fifth Element, so please excuse my habit of quoting them (and various 90s kid shows).

One of the greatest things my older brother did for me was introducing me to kickboxing, with Sensei Ana Xepapas. Later I started Shotokan Karate, with the late Shihan Steve Xepapas. I will be forever grateful for everything they taught me.


You can find more information in my Stack Overflow CV and my contributions on GitHub.

While I do a bit of client-side work with Mercury, Polymer, and React, I am more comfortable server-side. I prefer writing code as a member of a team, but I have done some leadership before.

I currently manage projects on both Google Cloud Platform (my preference) and AWS.