Dr Nic


Contact Details

Email/Jabber: drnicwilliams [at] gmail
Company: starkandwayne.com
Twitter: @drnic
Skype: nicwilliams

He writes blog posts for developers; creates tools, libraries and text editor extensions for developers; and speaks to developers at conferences.

He’s the CEO of Stark & Wayne, a consultancy for people who love Cloud Foundry and Jenkins.

He has contributed to over 300 open source projects. He is known for creating or curating projects such as Bosh, App Scrolls, Rails Installer, Composite Primary Keys, Choc Top, App Scrolls, Rails TextMate bundle, New Gem, Tab Tab, GitHub Badges, Install Theme for Rails, and Dr Nic’s Magic Models.

He’s Australian and now living in the Bay Area.

And he’s funny; if you can understand his accent.


Need a photo of Dr Nic because you’re running a conference, writing an article or trying to create a “REWARD: DEAD OR ALIVE” poster?

Please use the following photo, taken by Jeff Casimir at RailsConf 2011, in either rectangle or square/thumbnail form.

FAQ: The second one is the square.


Previously he ran the premier Rails consultancy Mocra, employing some of the top Rails talent in Australia, with clients around the world. He’s written, maintained and contributed to over a 100 open source projects.

Dr Nic Williams loves to write software. For a few years, he was in denial. He tried other things. But even whilst doing those things, he ended up writing software to make them easier.

For a few years he wrote C#.NET applications but faced with the burden of buying new Visual Studio 2005 licenses began looking for a newer, more powerful language and framework.

Fortunately, in mid-2005, Ruby on Rails and Ajax were being bandied around as a powerful pair. It took 6 months before Nic realised that it was Ruby that was the power behind Rails and he has been in love with Ruby ever since.

Open Source

He flew from Amsterdam to Chicago for the inaugural Railsconf where he met “the community.” After arriving home, he started creating open source projects instead of hording his code ideas. In the first few months he started helping with the Ajax Scaffold project, created the Composite Primary Keys, Dr Nic’s Magic Models, and the New Gem Generator.

When he was a Windows user, he ported all the TextMate snippets across to RadRails to start a flourish of snippet/template activity for the RadRails IDE. People feel in love with RadRails again, and avoided buying Macs. Now, as a Mac user, he maintains or created over two dozen TextMate bundles. This is probably too many.


Dr Nic has been presenting at International Conferences since 2007, including RubyConf, RailsConf Europe, QCON, JAOO, RubyEnRails, Rails Underground, Rails Summit Latin America, MagmaRails, RubyConf Europe, RubyFools, RubyNation, WindyCityRails, GoRuCo, OSDC, and RailsCamp. He attempts to be funny.

Becoming ‘the Doctor’

Dr Nic got his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Queensland in 2001, and found the best use for it so far was being called Dr Nic.

Dr Nic is Australian, married and father to a son and a daughter. He lives in Palo Alto, California. He catches the train to work because it’s nice having someone else drive.

UPDATE: He has another son. This one was born in America in 2011. He was nationalised Australian, issued an Australian passport, and flew “home” to Australia to visit relatives. En route to Australia, youngest son’s mother asked Dr Nic, “how do we get him back into America; he doesn’t have a visa?” It turns out he needs an American passport to travel into and out of America. At age 6 months, he had broken his first federal law of the United States of America.