Thorleif Thorleifsson

Meet Tony - Lead Frontend Developer

Welcome to Maritime Optima Tony! Tell us a bit about yourself, about your background. Your education?

I’m originally from a small town in Minnesota in the US; my education was a bit all over the place - I have a BA in Philosophy from Emory University, I studied Old Norse at Trinity Hall, Cambridge University, I was a guest lecturer in semiotics at the Free University of Berlin, and I studied Performance Studies at Tisch School of the Arts at NYU - not a single Computer Science program in there.

What are your interests?

Both my wife and I love sailing, we are both from big sailing families. We have a boat here in Oslo that we are slowly but surely fixing up. I play music, have played in a number of rock bands; I do a little acting on the side, and since moving to Norway I’ve taken up skiing.

What had you been doing before you joined Maritime Optima?

I got my start in tech when I was in graduate school and needed a day job. Pretty soon the guy who hired me became my business partner and we had a startup. I eventually made my way to doing web development for an outdoor gear and clothing company, and when I got bored of selling tan pants, I moved to Norway to do data visualization for Thomson Reuters. After they closed their Oslo office, I bounced around between a few different startups - including one that imploded quite spectacularly - until I ended up as a front-end developer at Klaveness Digital, another maritime software company.

There are so many digital maritime initiatives and start-ups around. What caught your interest in Maritime Optima?

My work at KD had moved farther and farther from actually dealing with ships out at sea, which is what truly interests me. 

What are your favorite programming languages?

I have always been a javascript enthusiast from way back; I love how malleable it is. React is a great framework and speeds up the development process dramatically. But I have a secret love for PERL. Don’t tell anyone.

What are your responsibilities in Maritime Optima?

I am both a frontend developer and the head of the frontend development team, so I have responsibility for the general management of our frontend development process, decisions on which technologies to use, overall code quality, and such, while also contributing as a developer myself.

What is your plan for succeeding as the Lead Frontend developer?

All of the best team leads I have worked with viewed their job as supporting team members in their work, eliminating obstacles, and getting whatever resources were necessary to help them get the job done. That’s the approach I intend to take and I hope it does the trick.

What do you look forward to working with?

Maps. I love maps.

What do you think might be the essential criteria for becoming a successful start-up?

Well, you have to have a clear notion of what problem you are going to solve and the market for that solution, plus real agility and a healthy dose of pragmatism. Just “digitizing” is not enough, you need to really talk to the users and think creatively about what kind of tools they need.

We aim to build a great team where everyone matters, thrives, develops their skills, and expands their knowledge because we believe such teams are inspired and committed and will find the best solutions for the customers, the company, the people working here, and the environment. How would you describe a great team? And what is important for you working in a company such as Maritime Optima?

A good team has trust. Trust in the capabilities and commitment of its members, trust in the direction of the company, trust in the product. It’s important to me to believe in the purpose of development - to make something useful, to give people something that helps them and brings them joy. Working in a team of smart dedicated people that share that vision - that’s the best.

Written by

Ragnar Gladsø Wibe
Chief Accounting Officer, HR & Office Manager
Learn more about
Ragnar Gladsø Wibe
By clicking “Accept”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Cookie Policy for more information.