Chiel Kunkels

full-stack developer

Hello!

I'm Chiel—a 35-year-old guy from the Netherlands. I love building digital products which I currently do for Lemonade in Amsterdam. I enjoy many aspects of building products, from concept, to infrastructure, to implementing a pixel-perfect design on the frontend.

Outside of work, I still really enjoy coding and it's where I do most of my learning these days—I usually have a side-project I chip away at. Other than that I enjoy gaming, watching movies/series with my girlfriend, cooking & baking and playing with our cats.

Values & Skills

Although the positions I have held have mostly been frontend-related, I consider myself a full-stack developer with a keen interest in infra stuff. Over the past few years I've experimented quite a lot with things like Kubernetes and Terraform to augment my knowledge of writing application code.

My typical "stack" is generally TypeScript (JavaScript if needed) + React for frontend, GraphQL (REST APIs are fine too) for data transfer, Go for most backends or things like bots (Node.js as a runner-up), Postgres for databases (Mongo for non-relational, but this is quite often misused to not have to give thought to database schemas).

That said, the above are my general preferences and can vary pretty wildly depending on the project or the team. I've worked with plenty of other technologies and tools.

When it came to rebuilding this website I wanted to showcase what I am capable of by automating as much as possible. What I ended up with is a Terraform stack which only needs two access tokens as inputs—one for DigitalOcean and one for GitHub—which is complemented by Kubernetes manifests deployed through GitHub Actions.

I intend to do a write-up soon about everything I did in order to get the website up and running, but for the curious, the majority of the code can be seen on GitHub.

That said, it is a pretty simple website without a backend so it is definitely 100% over-engineered, but I've mainly done so for demonstration purposes. Plus it's fun.

History

Over the past ~17 years I've held a variety of roles at companies of different sizes in a number of different sectors. I got my start at a small agency as a backend developer while I was still in school and now I'm working primarily as a front-end engineer with some ops/backend stuff mixed in at a large enterprise corporation.

Below is a timeline of my career, with the big circles representing companies that have had a significant impact on my growth and career, and the smaller ones less so.

Lemonade

(Dec 2021present, 8 months)

Lemonade is a company that does insurance for the 21st century. Insurance might not sound very hip or cool, but take one look at the website and you can immediately tell this is not your average insurance comapny.

A lot of effort is invested into making the experience as seamless and easy as possible for users, from signing up for a policy to filing a claim. A significant percentage of claims is actually handled without any human intervention at all!

I've only just started on my, hopefully lengthy, journey at Lemonade but I can already tell it's going to be great. Stay tuned.