chielkunkels

Chiel Kunkels’ resumé

I’m a 28-year-old guy from Holland. I enjoy making digital stuff, which I currently do for Lifely in Amsterdam. Since I have a bad case of wanderlust I’ve previously lived in places such as Stockholm, London and Saudi-Arabia.

Most people would classify me as a frontend developer, but I’m actually quite all-round. Leveraging knowledge of both the light and dark side enables me to come up with quality software architecture and write great code.

I work well in teams and enjoy the perks of having held jobs at companies of various sizes. In recent years I’ve also gained experience in leading small teams.

You can find some of my personal code on my GitHub profile. Aside from coding I enjoy making and listening to music, going to concerts, watching movies & series and travelling the globe. I also enjoy going out for a run or the odd skateboarding adventure every now and again.

Values & Skills

As an all-round developer my current technologies of choice are HTML, CSS, JavaScript and MongoDB. Aside from those arguably common technologies I’m also keen on things that enable integration of technology into our daily lives.

Nowadays build tooling is almost just as important as writing great code, enabling us to greatly improve our efficiency. I like to use gulp.js or Grunt to tie everything together.

When it comes to JavaScript I like to write my code in CommonJS format, using Browserify to bundle it all for browser consumption. This also enables me to make use of the many excellent packages found on npm.

For CSS I try to embrace the SMACSS methodology along with either SCSS or PostCSS for preprocessing purposes. Lately I’ve been drawn to the latter due to the modular fashion in which features are implemented.

My colleagues have dubbed me “the gitfather” due to my extensive knowledge of Git, its workflows, my obsession with a clean history and willingness to educate others on these topics.

Beyond writing code I enjoy thinking about software architecture and the implications that may arise from decoupling and modularising a codebase.

I firmly believe that in order to build a great product, a great user experience should guide most—if not all—technical decisions. Otherwise the duration of the project will be spent battling with user experience versus technology.

Work experience

April 2015—now, Amsterdam

Lifely

Lifely is a small group of people who are ridiculously passionate about making products that simply work. They fully invest themselves into each project and focus on delivering something that stays true to the concept.

I joined Lifely as a frontend developer, contributing to the development of their latest project, Part-up, a startup that enables people to create short-term, project-based teams.

All development for Part-up is being done in Meteor, a fairly young JavaScript framework which takes care of both front– and backend, as well as build tooling.

July 2014—April 2015, Amsterdam

Strangelove

Strangelove is an Amsterdam-based creative agency for the “always on” world. By using their knowledge of how businesses work they aim to provide solutions that are relevant, human-friendly, memorable and above all, simple.

I was a digital developer at Strangelove. My first order of business was giving the company website a much-needed makeover. I worked together closely with the motion graphics designer and experimented a lot with scrolling animations.

After that, my work shifted towards coming up with a CMS that would allow for a lot of customisation, while still allowing the developers to work on a core that is shared by most websites, eliminating duplicated efforts for each new project.

Over time, our clientele grew more corporate and work was reduced to creating fairly standard websites. I wasn’t really being challenged so I started to stagnate.

October 2013—April 2014, Amsterdam

TravelBird

TravelBird is a travel organisation that aims to solve the paradox of choice when it comes to picking a vacation destination. They work with partners situated throughout Europe to provide daily deals at excellent prices.

At TravelBird I helped innovate the way we worked by splitting the front– and backend, communicating through an API. This enabled my fellow frontend engineers and I to work on a decoupled codebase in areas we had expertise.

Ultimately, the project I was working on got cancelled because it was not panning out as management had hoped. This resulted in ten engineers, myself included, getting laid off.

November 2012—April 2013, London

Beamly

Previously Zeebox. Beamly creates a second-screen application for your phone or tablet that displays contextual information, twitter feeds and just about anything else based on what’s happening on your TV screen.

At Beamly I worked in the Mission Control team, responsible for maintaining a tool which allowed editors to enhance programmes with various widgets and twitter feeds to make the TV-watching experience more engaging.

I ended up leaving Beamly for personal reasons which I won’t disclose here. I wanted to move back to the Netherlands so I looked for a job in the Amsterdam area.

July 2012—August 2012, London

QMetric

QMetric is an insurance company that leverages technology in order to combat the often negative image insurance companies have. They prioritise their customers’ needs and aim to provide the best service possible.

At QMetric I worked on the Policy Expert website. Most of my time was spent on optimising the various forms that enabled users to manage all aspects of purchasing and managing their insurance, no matter what browser they used.

I also helped think about decoupling the various components of the system into micro services. This would make it easier to develop, test and deploy smaller parts of the application rather than working with one monolithic codebase.

It is during this time I started working on the first incarnation of informal—a JavaScript library that helps build forms based on a JSON schema. The schema could be shared with the backend to take care of validation.

While working here it occurred to me that working in the financial sector required a different kind of mindset than I possessed. My creativity wasn’t really being challenged so I decided to move on.

November 2010—June 2012, Stockholm

Spotify

Spotify is a music streaming service that enables its users to listen to all the world’s music at the press of a button. It also offers various ways to discover new music through features such as Radio and Discover Weekly.

To say I learnt a lot at Spotify would be an understatement—working here was a critical step in my career as a programmer. Before Spotify, the command line and all its wonders were a scary place, shrouded in mystery.

I was also introduced to Git. Despite making many mistakes along the way, the patience of my many awesome colleagues helped me overcome the arguably steep learning curve of this crucial piece of technology.

I worked on a variety of projects—initially the regular (spotify.com) website followed by a more frontend-heavy role helping to implement the Spotify Apps API into the native client.

This allowed me to experiment with CSS3 and HTML5 features for months while fleshing out an API layer around the raw calls exposed by the client code, offering third-party developers an awesome app-development experience.

Lastly, I worked on the platform team creating the developer.spotify.com website and attending various events locally and abroad. I also did the occasional public speaking, evangelising the Spotify Apps API.

I left Spotify because I felt it was time for a change of scenery—the long, dark Swedish winters got to me. London always had a bit of a magnetic grasp on me since I lived in the UK as a child so that’s where I decided to move.

March 2006—May 2010, Amsterdam Area

Odd jobs

Mediamatic—At Mediamatic I worked on setting up new websites in their Anymeta community management system. Most of the work was quite simple and a little repetitive for my taste, with little opportunity to make a difference.

Lucius Websystems—At Lucius I worked as a Drupal developer. I created HTML and CSS templates and prepped these to be attached to a Drupal backend. Occasionally I created small interactive components in JavaScript as well.

Grrr—At Grrr, I worked as a front-end developer, creating HTML/CSS templates that would later be enriched by JavaScript. Work was mainly done for various museums and the well-known (in the Netherlands) museum night.

Submarine—At Submarine I worked as an all-round web developer, mainly creating accessible and valid HTML/CSS.

Synetic—At Synetic I worked on websites which were based on their CMS, Procreate. Most of my time was spent in PHP and MySQL, doing lots of under-the-hood work on thee CMS to improve performance and functionality.