Jim Webber

Jim Webber

Chief Scientist



Dr. Jim Webber is Neo4j’s Chief Scientist and Visiting Professor at Newcastle University. At Neo4j, Jim leads the Systems Research Group, working on a variety of database systems research topics including query languages and runtimes, scale, and fault-tolerance. He also co-authored several books on graph technology including Graph Databases - 1st and 2nd Editions (O’Reilly), Graph Databases for Dummies (Wiley), and Building Knowledge Graphs (O’Reilly).

Prior to Neo4j, Jim worked on fault-tolerant distributed systems. First at Newcastle University startup Arjuna and then for a variety of clients for global consulting firm ThoughtWorks. Along the way Jim co-authored the distrubuted systems books REST in Practice (O’Reilly) and Developing Enterprise Web Services - An Architect’s Guide (Prentice-Hall).

Jim’s blog is located at https://jimwebber.org and he tweets sometimes at @jimwebber.


  • Graph Theory
  • Databases
  • Distributed Systems
  • Fault Tolerance


  • Visting Professor of Practice, 2018-present

    Newcastle University

  • Ph.D. in Parallel Computing, 2000

    Newcastle University

  • B.Sc. (1st, Hons.) Computing Science, 1996

    Newcastle University

Recent & Upcoming Talks


Professional Experience


Chief Scientist


Oct 2010 – Present London

I discovered Neo4j and graph databases quite by accident while working at ThoughtWorks, but the way they work seemed so natural to me that I became involved initially as an open source contributor. As Neo4j gained ground commercially, I moved over to the company full time as Chief Scientist and executive manager. Initially I lead the engineering team delivering the early versions of the database product, then worked for a long time building fault tolerance into clustering for the Neo4j database, and latterly I have split my time between working with academia on the next generation of transaction support for graphs, taking care of Neo4j’s customers and community, and penning books and talks to help grow Neo4j’s market.

Responsibilities included:

  • Research manager
  • Executive manager
  • Research and development for fault-tolerant database clusters

Director of Professional Services


Jan 2005 – Oct 2010 Sydney, London

I joined ThoughtWorks in Sydney as part of a small group of early employees. My initial responsibilities were to help drive sales of consultancy in finance, media, and telecoms and to deliver consulting and software delivert services to those clients. While at ThoughtWorks, I created a community of practice around SOA and developed a lightweight, iterative method of building service-oriented systems known as “Guerilla SOA.” After a move to London, I was promoted to Director of Professional services, and continued to provide strategic technology advisory (internally and externally), sales and marketing support, as well as building interesting software systems for clients.

Responsibilities included:

  • Leading technlogy delivery
  • Strategic technology advisory
  • Office of the CTO

Senior Research Associate

Newcastle University

Jan 2004 – Dec 2004 hosted by University of Sydney

I took a role as a Senior RA at the Newcastle University (UK), working at Sydney University (Aus). My role involved the development of example systems of Web Services that demonstrated the utility of the WS-* protocols for Grid computing, rather than needing to develop a new, competing suite of protocols for that domain.

While at the University of Sydney, I also lectured a Masters degree course in Parallel Computing.

Responsibilities included:

  • Research on emerging Web services standards and Grid computing
  • WS-GAF protocol design and empirical validation
  • Co-author of SSDL
  • Outreach to Australian academia

Senior Developer


Oct 2000 – Oct 2003 Newcastle upon Tyne

I joined Bluestone software’s Arjuna lab from my Ph.D. initially to work on transactional workflow middleware. As Web Services rose to prominence, I started a new team around transaction support for systems of Web Services. I lead the development of this middleware through being acquired by HP, and later spun out as Arjuna again. Ultimately the Arjuna IP was sold to JBoss.

Responsibilities included:

  • Design and implementation of Web Services transaction protocols and platform-specific bindings (Java, .NET)
  • Web Services transaction protocols standardisation
  • Industry and partner outreach

Socal Media


I have a Twitter account which is mixture of chatter with friends and colleagues, some computing science things, and a dash of left politics.

Following the example of Jonthan Dowland my Twitter feed has a sliding window of 90 days worth of tweets. I like Twitter (somewhat) for conversations, but as a system of record much less so.

Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat etc.

I’m not on any other social media sites, I prefer email. If you meet a Jim Webber on any other platforms, it’s not me.