Tim McCormack

Photo of Tim photographing a bird

Welcome! I'm Tim McCormack, a software developer, father, hacker, and nature enthusiast living in Somerville, Massachusetts, USA.

I enjoy reading up on and exploring software design and development, biology, math, philosophy, psychology, computer science, information security, and interaction design. Besides the academic fields, I also enjoy climbing, hacking, hiking, biking, photography, and breaking things open to see what makes them tick.

I currently work for an online education company as a software developer writing Python on an architecture-focused team, although in previous positions I was mostly working in JVM languages (Clojure, Java, Kotlin, Groovy) or in browser-side development (HTML, CSS, Javascript). I also moonlight in infosec, especially web and application security. I have various side projects such as a photo gallery written in Clojure and Python, and a social media project still in "dark mode".


Pages of possible interest:

  • Blog, infrequently updated (but that's what feeds are for)
  • Contact information
  • PGP key for secure communications

About this site

The domain name Brain on Fire is a reference to those rare moments of enlightenment and insight when I feel that I have unlocked some mystery of the world or broken through to a new level of understanding. It doesn't have to be an original idea; perhaps I've just come across a new way of communicating something.

...this doesn't happen often, but some of these moments turned into blog posts, and I wanted to share them. (Most of the blog posts don't live up to that standard, of course.)

I actually originally had three blogs at the current domain: The main blog, one for my day-to-day life, and one for computer tips. At some point I tired of administering three separate WordPress blogs and merged them into the main one.

Please bear in mind that I started this blog in 2005 when I was 21 years old, so some of the older posts might be pretty cringeworthy! Caveat lector to the archive-binger.


I'm just incrementally adding stuff from my feed reader to here; it's not particularly well-organized yet.

Personal blogs (tech)

Predictably, most of the blogs I follow are tech-related.


  • /dev/lawyer: Kyle E. Mitchell on law, technology, and the space between feed
  • Copyleft Currents: Heather Meeker on open source software licensing feed

Personal (other)

Some also have tech stuff, but it's not the main reason I follow them.

Companies (tech blogs)