Announcements · June 15, 2022

Meet the Unsplash Team: Tim Carbone

10+ Questions with Tim Carbone from the Unsplash Data Team

Natalie Brennan Natalie Brennan

Who are you and what’s your role at Unsplash?

I’m Tim, I’m the one-man team in charge of data at Unsplash. That’s all the systems collecting and manipulating data so we can improve our understanding of the Unsplash ecosystem and provide stats and trends to our contributors and visitors.

When did you join the team?

Unsplash was born from another company called Crew. I joined Crew in February 2016 and I believe I started working on the Unsplash project later that year. That’s more than 6 years ago, time flies.

Where do you live?

I live in Montréal, Canada. I’m originally from Marseille, in the sunny south of France. I moved to Canada in 2019, after having a really pleasant experience of the city earlier in 2014. I mean, imagine trading the sun for the snow, that’s how much I like it.

Where do you work?

I’m working from home. We have an office in Montréal where I used to work from 2-3 days a week. Since the pandemic, things changed quite a bit (for example, I’m a father now) so I’m now always working from home.

What does a regular day at Unsplash look like for you?

It’s mostly coding, tweaking and improving the data architecture, fixing bugs and supporting the team in exploring the data to help their decision-making.

Who do you primarily work with on the team?

I spend most of the time working alone on data things. I exchanged with pretty much all the teams because everyone needs and loves a bit of data but the team I collaborate the most with is the API team (mainly Aaron, Bruno and Roberta with whom I exchanged the most over the years) to build new product features involving some data. We also have some common challenges in managing databases, requests volume etc ..

Why do you enjoy working on Unsplash?

I love our small team, we’ve come a long way in building Unsplash. I like the playful side of our product. Being alone working on the data side of things, I’m also lucky to get to tackle so many different challenges in my field. I’ve learned a ton and I’m still learning.

What is your favorite thing you worked on at Unsplash?

I usually love delivering data back to our contributors and visitors so I love any project aiming at doing that. This would include things like delivering user’s stats in the profile, delivering search trends or even using data to improve some features like the search autocomplete or the search suggestions in the search page.

What’s something you’re working on now at Unsplash?

Most of the things I’m working on right now are likely to be invisible on the platform. We’ve been growing quickly and I took some shortcuts to deliver new features quickly. It’s now time to step back and consolidate the work I’ve been doing. So maybe a bit more resiliency to be expected on stats but nothing super fancy, unfortunately. Sorry!

What tools do you use?

We use AWS (Amazon Web Serices) and GCP (Google Cloud Platform) a lot. I used to code in Javascript but I now usually code in Python using VS Code. A LOT of SQL too.

What do you like to listen to while you work?

I listen to a wide range of music. If I were to do a top 3, it would be: French/US hip-hop/rap, early 80’ pop/disco, rock at the frontier with metal (AC/DC type).
My favourite song ever is Ghost Love Score from Nightwish, a huge symphonic metal band.

Favorite working snack?

I don’t really snack when working from home. Mainly because I obliterate the chocolate biscuits the first day after doing groceries.

What do you do when you aren’t working on Unsplash?

Spending time with my kid in the evening, playing online video games at night! I also play club soccer and tennis a couple of times per week.

Describe yourself using 3 emojis

Where can people find you?

My Twitter is @timmycarbone

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