Meet Uptrends: Power programmer Mels Lenstra

In this edition of Meet Uptrends, we would like to introduce you to Mels Lenstra. Mels is a hardworking member of our Development Team. When we say hardworking, the man just doesn’t quit. Keep reading; you will quickly see what we mean.

A developer who cares about you

Mels has been with Uptrends since 2012. He refers to himself as “just a general developer,” but we aren’t going to let him get off quite that easy. In his time at Uptrends, there is very little of the Uptrends and Uptrends Infra products he hasn’t touched, but primarily his focus is on the user interface and the transactions involved to bring you all of that rich monitoring data.

I love building stuff [software] that makes the experience easier for people both internally and customer facing. Building great stuff actually helps our employees do their work better, as well as, of course, for customer facing functionality I want to keep Uptrends easy to use and intuitive.

Mels loves building what he calls, “clear user interfaces.” If you have read any of the testimonials in our Customer Café (Check out Virgin Australia’s use case!), you will see that Mels’ and the Development Team’s efforts have paid off. He thinks about his user every step of the way. Also, because he also provides second-tier support, he knows the Uptrends customer, and he responds quickly with fixes and changes to make their lives easier. Developers of Mels’ caliber don’t come along every day, a look into Mels’ past and personal life might give us a clue into what shaped him into a world-class developer.

A real virtuoso

Some believe greatness is born, while others believe it’s made. When it comes to Mels, it appears that he was born to write great code. As a child growing up in Delft, Netherlands, Mels picked up his father’s old 80286 DOS PC and wrote his first lines of QuickBasic at the age of seven—seven! With that early start in coding, Mels breezed through the later generations of Visual Basic, and later C#, C++, and Java—completely self-taught. Mels abandoned his plans to go to college for electronics design and engineering when a software company hired him directly after completing high school.

Mels didn’t give up his love of electronics completely for software development. He still finds time to design and build synthesizers for his friend’s small business. His designs for modular synthesizers allow musicians to mix and match components to develop their own unique sound. The modules require Mels’ skill in coding combined with his skill in electronics to build the firmware and hardware.

It’s really nice to see people in videos online creating their music with our synthesizer modules, and some of them are pretty big artists.

Mels, due to confidentiality agreements, can’t release actual artists’ names, so, because the Internet loves cats, instead, here is a picture of Mels’ giant cat, Moos.

melshugecat

His cat while standing on its hind legs stretches out to be 1.06 meters (roughly 3.5 feet). Moos leads us to another side of Mels beyond the code and circuitry.

Not just another stereotype

It is easy to think of the pasty-skinned, antisocial, software developer stereotype when you hear about Mels’ early life in code, but you would be completely wrong. Mels is energetic and runs half marathons when he has time. He rides a Honda CB650F motorcycle, and he has a girlfriend (I told you, no stereotype here).

Mels and his girlfriend own their home not far from where he grew up in Delft. Besides the usual duties that come with a home and a giant cat (Can you imagine the litter box? On second thought, don’t!), Mels and his girlfriend love to watch American television and play Worms on their PlayStation (OK, there is a little bit of that stereotype here).

Mels leads a busy, yet well-rounded life. He brings enthusiasm and energy to our Netherlands office where he is busy working to make intuitive solutions that help you make sure your business is always up and running smoothly. Keep an eye out for the Development Teams’ new up-and-coming release. All we can say now is that it is going to be huge, and you know Mels has been hard at work on it. Stay tuned!

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