About Max Woolf

Max Woolf is a Data Scientist at BuzzFeed at the San Francisco office. He is also a former Apple Software QA Engineer who has created and maintained many popular GitHub repositories, including the Big List of Naughty Strings and the Copy Syntax Highlight for OS X tool.

In his spare time, Max uses Python to gather data from public APIs and ggplot2 to make pretty charts from that data. Max also comments on technology blogs such as TechCrunch and link aggregators like Reddit and Hacker News rather frequently.

Minimaxir, this blog, is a blog about data, startups, technology, and blogging itself.


Max has had a fondness for both the internet and technology since 10-years old, despite 56k internet speed and COPPA limiting access to pretty much every website at the time. Throughout his teenage years, Max was a fan of online gaming, with services such as Xbox Live and MMOs such as World of Warcraft (but he made sure schoolwork came first!).

As a part of the Computing and Information Technology track at CMU, Max learned how to code in Java. With that knowledge, he learned how to use WordPress, and its underlying PHP language in order to add custom functionality/workaround core framework bugs. With that knowledge, in 2010, Max launched minimaxir.com, since the domain maxwoolf.com was already taken.

At first, posts on Minimaxir were about Max’s opinions on startups and technology. But after moving to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2012 and learning how to write code in R and Python that doesn’t completely suck, Max added a more technical focus to the blog, with detailed code samples and reproducible methodologies. By 2015, Max became well-respected in the field of data visualization.

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