👋 Hello internet, I’m Thor!
I’m a 20-something he/him dude living in Helsinki. Here’s a little more about me.
First things first. About my name: yes. It directly refers to the almighty god. Indirectly, it is an apt wordplay from my dad on one of his favorite comic book series: Thorgal (Thor Galle, Thorgal, get it?). I hold no grudge, it’s a great series.
Thorgal is also a Belgian series, which brings me to the start of my story: I lived most of my 20-something years in Leuven, Belgium. I grew up there happily, went to a fun Freinet primary school (no homework!), a proper Catholic high school (homework!), and finally, a world-renowned university for my bachelors’ in Computer Science.
All that in the same cozy medieval university town. Thus, when graduating from my bachelor’s in 2018, I felt the urge to expand my horizons.
In the summer of 2019 I interned at Columbia Road in Helsinki, a digital sales consultancy. I liked the job and stayed on, taking the job with me to Stockholm, where they had just opened a new office. I lived and worked in Stockholm for two years (more about that work here).
In the summer of 2021, I moved back to Helsinki for reasons of ❤️. This coincided with me becoming the Product Lead of reallyreadit, inc., the company behind Readup - a role I held for half a year, until funding ran out. Readup was a labor of love, which is why the platform still exists today, maintained by its community (including me). Afterwards, I worked for half a year as a freelance developer and designer via my own firm BitHarmony.
In the autumn of 2022, I became the Chief Technologist of Slowby, the Belgian social enterprise behind Welcome To My Garden. While still living in Helsinki and working remotely most of the time, this has brought me back closer to Belgium. In these fast-paced times, it’s incredibly rewarding to help thousands of slow travellers and hosts connect with each other, and to build tools to help them plan their journeys.
I like to read regularly, which I often do online on Readup.
I find languages fascinating. I’m currently fluent in Dutch (native) and English. I’m also able to hold a decent conversation in Swedish and French, though I’m not getting much practice as of late. I enjoy hacking on language-learning technology, so I was lucky to be able to do my master’s thesis on this topic, at Språkkraft.
In general, I like scratching my own technological itches, and doing fun stuff with my personal data (see my projects). I also think we could collectively do much more interesting things with our personal data. In 2020 I gave a talk about getting your personal data from big tech & doing something with it. This ties in with an interest in productivity apps and knowledge management tools. My personal Notion has become massive since I started it in 2019. I’m looking for ways to publish some notes here in long-lasting, self-owned Markdown.
I enjoy being active, but as someone who also enjoys sitting in front of a computer; there’s always the goal of being more active.
🧗🏼♂️ In my teens, wall climbing and bouldering represented a considerable part of my week. Since higher education, I’ve had on & off relationship with the sport. The practice never turned super serious; so I’m stuck at a ~6c grade. Bouldering can be an very fun problem solving, away from the computer.
🏃🏼♂️ I’m running regularly for all the good reasons. No races yet, though my first half marathon seems to be approaching. Also, I’m in no hurry here.
🚴♀️ A very Belgian thing to do: road cycling. I miss the days where I’d zoom through the fields of Flanders. I’ve also done my fair share of tour cycling, the most intrepid one being a one-month, 2500km trip that took me from Leuven to Helsinki in 2018. A different beast entirely, but a glorious one. Here’s a collection of Instagram posts from then.
There, now I shouldn’t be a total stranger anymore! Feel free to poke around further on this site, or get in touch. You can find me in the comments on Readup, or intermittently on Twitter and LinkedIn. You can reach me at thorgalle <at> gmail.com.
You can also find me on:
The internet got kinda out of hand, didn't it?