The letter A styled as Alchemists logo. lchemists

Brooke Kuhlmann

Avatar of Brooke wrapped in a grey scarf and wearing a black jacket with a red zipper against a slightly blurred background of fall colors of mainly orange leaves.

Pronouns

He/Him

Title

Founder/Architect

Motto

Quality over quantity.

Education

Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems

Social

Mastodon

Bio

I've been a software engineer for 27 years where I started out in technical support for the VisualAge Smalltalk Integrated Development Environment (IDE). This role eventually transitioned into becoming a release engineer where I collaborated on architecting a build system (Java, Ant) for the Eclipse IDE. Those were formative years in terms of being mentored and learning to become an engineer and architect responsible for complex systems.

After spending several years working in the Java stack, I fell in love with Ruby. My world took an amazing turn for the better as I became quickly enamored by the language, community, and open sourcing of many projects. I ended up working in various startups and launching my company: Alchemists. Due to the nature of the work I was doing during these years, I ended up touching many aspects of the software stack and becoming a full stack engineer. This included gaining deep knowledge of Git, especially the Git Rebase Workflow, for which I speak about often. On the infrastructure and remote server side of the fence, I ended up taking a strange liking to Bash shell scripting which is as obtuse as Git in many respects. These days I use a combination of Git, Bash and Terraform code to deploy applications.

As my skills grew and I traversed more of the stack, I ended up doing more front end work which lead me to Elm and htmx. This changed my world again as Elm is my second favorite language to work in. The influence of Elm and how it has made me a better Ruby engineer in terms of being able to gracefully meld Object Oriented and Functional programming principals can't be understated. As for htmx, being able to use Hypermedia REST means you can throw out the entire quagmire of complexity that the JavaScript stack has become and solely use HTML the way the web was designed to be used!

As for leadership, I've been a mentor, team lead, and even half-CTO at one point in my career. If you've spent any amount of time on this site you'll have read -- and hopefully benefited from -- my writings on Leadership. A primary focus is on being kind, fostering a strong Drive, adhering to Extreme Ownership, practicing Inbox Zero, keeping constant tabs on your personal Performance Reviews, Interviewing others, and more. Lastly, empowering others through asynchronous communication when using Group Chat and zero Meetings is always top of mind for team performance.

Currently, when not I'm consulting (and sometimes when I am), I spend all of my time thinking, writing, talking, teaching, and working on open source solutions which solve hard problems by breaking them down into small and reusable components for which more sophisticated and composable architectures can be built and maintained with minimum effort. If you need this kind of firepower as well, please reach out! Happy to collaborate and solve hard problems together.