Tim Lucas

Tim Lucas

Designer, Developer in Melbourne, He/him


I’m a designer, developer, creative leader, and entrepreneur who has been building internet things for over 25 years. I love collaborating with great people and bringing new ideas to life — whether it be companies, identities, sites, apps, co-working spaces, conferences, collabs, or side projects ✨

Work Experience

2014 — 2022

In 2014 I co-founded Buildkite, a software testing and deployment platform, and scaled it to US$15M ARR and 75 employees. I created and fostered the brand (incl. 3 brand refreshes); designed, built and operated the core product; led company operations; raised three rounds of funding; led marketing; designed and wrote documentation; built teams and departments; created and ran a CI/CD community conference; and managed the open-source community. Buildkite is now a vital part of the software development process at companies such as Airbnb, Shopify, Pinterest, Canva, Pagerduty and Intercom.

2012 — 2014
Melbourne, Australia

A full stack developer and UI designer, I designed, developed and launched Pin's Javascript API, embeddable pay button product, a number of new dashboard products and features, and the Xero integration.

2011 — 2012
Senior Software Engineer at Amen
Berlin, Germany

Led the web application UI and front-end engineering for Amen's web interface — a location-based social networking application built on top of Foursquare which helped people find and argue about the best and worst of <insert thing> in <insert place>.

2007 — 2011
Sydney, Australia

Formed and helped lead the design and prototyping agency, creating web application prototypes for a number of key clients including News Corp, Pearson, and Web Directions. Led a launched a number of new social networking tools for the Web Directions Conference, including single event applications that integrated with Flickr, Foursquare, SMS, and eventually Twitter.

1998 — 2007
Freelance Designer & Developer at Self
Sydney, Australia

Side Projects

Learn Brush Lettering

With my partner Carla Hackett, a professional brush letterer, we built and designed a Rails-based online learning platform for brush lettering. The design process included paper prototyping with Carla and her 70-year-old mentor, allowing for a fun, low-fi and inclusive design process. After some light prototyping in Figma I built out the application using Rails and Basscss, designing many of the interactions directly in browser. The application integrated Wistia videos, online payments, game-inspired progress rewards, and community learning tools.


2014 — 2015
Co-organizer and Designer at CSSConf Australia
Melbourne, Australia

Co-organiser of the first CSSConf in Australia. I led the design and branding, including creating a visual identity system, physical event design, and working with illustrators and creatives on digital and physical projects.

2014 — 2014
HTML & CSS for Beginners Workshops at General Assembly
Melbourne, Australia
2014 — 2014
Programming Fundamentals Workshops at General Assembly
Melbourne, Australia
2007 — 2011

Helped foster the creation of Rails Camps, a series of Ruby on Rails weekend community camps that are now run around the world. After helping run the first few, I led the brand identity and tee design for many years. I also led design work for the US West spinoff, including some brand and swag design.

2008 — 2010
Co-organizer at Webjam
Sydney, Australia

8 presenters giving tech demos, 3 minutes, you vote for the winner via SMS with a live visualisation of scoring. I helped organise the event, and led the backend for an interactive SMS voting visualisation with Cameron Adams.

Open-source at Buildkite at Developer Circles
Melbourne, Australia

A talk about Buildkite’s open-source journey and philosophies: how we encourage open-by-default, the challenges and opportunities of working in the open; and lessons you can take back to your own workplace.

Let’s All Be Beginners Again at up.front
Berlin, Germany

It’s not often you’re afforded a view of your profession from the eyes of a beginner. After recently teaching an introduction to web design and programming course, I shared some of the surprises and challenges that my students faced during their first foray into web development.

CSS3 with Railscamp Tee v7 at up.front
Berlin, Germany

How I built the world’s most over-the-top t-shirt order form, featuring: HTML5 audio, animation, web fonts, and -webkit trickery.

Developing for iPhone at Web Directions
Sydney, Australia

The release of Apple’s iPhone brought new opportunities for websites and web apps on handheld devices, though not without its share of challenges and best practices. In this talk with Pete Ottery, we looked at the best mobile examples out in the wild and shared our experience creating iphone.news.com.au – one of Australia’s largest news sites, news.com.au, tailored to the iPhone.

Introduction to AJAX at Web Essentials
Sydney, Australia

AJAX was the term given to a new approach for updating parts of a web interface without a full page reload. And lots of innovation was happening in and around the Ruby on Rails community with these techniques. In this talk I shared these techniques with a wider web developer audience, giving an overview of what problems they're trying to solve, how they technically work, and what browser support is like.


2001 — 2005

Studied computer science with an interest in functional programming, Linux, UX, UI design, and Mac programming. After graduating I continued at UNSW as a paid researcher doing Mac desktop programming (Obj-C & AppKit) on a research team developing software for augmented audio experiences. While there I also helped run the human-computer interaction lab and provided input into the MacOS development curriculum.