An aspiring polymath shapeshifting amidst Art, Design, and Engineering. Once described as "poet philosopher" within a "feral tribe of wandering alchemists after the apocolypse". Devotee to the humanities. In an alternate universe, xor: Coureur de Bois, Architect, Athlete, Lego Master Builder.
Hi, my name is Jason Kuhrt. I am a design-minded self-taught functionally-oriented software engineer with over seven years experience shipping web-related softare into production. I earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts majoring in design at Concordia University where systems, theory, and society were foundational. Since then I have also become a passionate builder of software yet have not only maintained but furthered my capabilities in ideation, interdisciplinary collaboration, design thinking, research, and synthesis.
I am currently based in Montreal working at SSENSE where I lead an amazing team and am principal architect on a few systems namely Experiment, Edge, and Email. I am not currently taking contracts but none the less do not hesitate to get in touch be it a particular opportunity or just an open-ended nerd session over drinks. No recruiters please.
The following is a rough sketch of some of my granular experiences. For a brief and formal overview refer to my resume.
Edge Architecture, Fastly CDN / Varnish
- Custom VCL (not relying on Fastly UI)
- Terraform based deploys on a weekly frequency
- Complex redirects and routing logic inlcuding use of lookup tables, geo, complex regex on request paths
- Advanced understanding of Varnish state machine behaviour between different sub-routines
- Maximize cache coverage, validate use-cases, document, teach other teams, diagram
- Test suite built in TypeScript/Jest; 100+ different checks run on every pull-request
- Built A/B testing system on server-side-rendered single-page-application sitting behind a caching CDN
- Integrated Express, Vue, Fastly, Google Optimize
- Comprehensive understanding of Varnish to implement at the CDN level variant assignment, fully optimized cache coverage, traffic inclusion control, mutual-exclusion between tests, etc.
- Evaluated vendors Google Optimize and Optimizely
- Seamless vue integration for accessing experiment data at component level isomorphically over client or server side
Realtime cloudBit Platform
- docker-deployed services onto AWS EC2 with auto-scaling groups
- TLS service connected to by cloudBit IoT hardware product
- Simple JSON-like protocol over TLS
- HTTP and WebSocket API sevices secured by OAuth 2
- Redis for pub-sub communication and small set of application data
- realtime cloudBit-to-cloudBit subscription system
- React/fluxxor (before redux) web app
- Logs into ELK stack
Dev of DevOps
- Early adoptor of kubernetes, docker, terraform
- Developer-level understanding of kubernetes and community; how to leverage it, aware of important tools and players in the community
- Experience with k8s resources: Deployment, Ingress, Service, Pod, ReplicationController, Secrets
- Worked with ELK stack to handle logs. Effective with Kibana.
- Perspective on effective Git practices and supporting tools (hub, release, etc.)
- Experience with and understanding of concepts in continuous integration (Travis, Circle) and continuous deployment (Go CD, interest in Drone)
- Strong theoretical undertanding of GraphQL and various prototypes under my belt; understand the type system, query language, use-cases, community
- Exposure to Nodejs HTTP-based microservices on kubernetes at SSENSE (30+ services); request tracing, New Relic, Data Dog; have witnessed the problems of scaling without the fundamentals in place
- personally interested in event-sourcing architectures, GraphQL, gRPC, kafka;
Leadership & Culture
- Lead teams from 2-8
- Open-soure adovcate
- Harmony, openness, intellectual rigor, why why why
- treat peers not by title but merit of input on discussion-by-discussion basis (junior on this topic, senior there, intermediate ..., etc.)
- Informal lead-by-inspiration style with high expectations on effort and rigor from all and significant autonomy given routinely
- Believe in giving room to experiment, fail, learn and come up with novel solutions
- Interested in fostering positive divergences that allow converging upon the best ideas and outcomes and generally keeping a low bar to new trying new ideas; better hiring, tech, happiness, innovation, motivation, business
- Generally move-fast approach favouring eventual-perfection over short-term perfection; constant iteration with real committment to refactoring; win real world feedback more often and faster for both for business and engineering
- Engineers need to feel connected to their field and have space to contribute back
- Software engineering takes many forms in my opinion; the kind I'm experienced with is as creative act, dynamic problem solving, inspiration, practical cleverness, raw experience, principaled investigation, taste, intellectual honesty, and more to form what is arguably a craft before applied science; math and science are dear to my heart and I love functional programming which is more principaled than mainstream software approaches but there is an art to the practice as well that I respect
More About Me
I am a generalist in the pursuit of elegant systems primarily among the fields of engineering, design, and art. I am driven by a passion to substitute the ogre of chaos for qualities of simplicity and humanity, consistency and honesty, transparency and accountability. To this end, I prioritize opportunities encompassing systemic problem solving.
I built the realtime distributed cloud system at littleBits that powers the cloudBit. The cloudBit was an "Internet of Things" (IoT) product realized as a prized module in the littleBits library. It bridged communication between a user's circuit and the internet. The internet became a physical building block. For a medium otherwise invisible to the senses this bore a potent feeling that we could revolutionize people's relation to connectivity!
To realize this platform I built a number of backend services including a TLS Server, an HTTPS API, a Web Socket API. Tools used included Redis and RethinkDB for data/messaging, Elastic Search for log analysis, AWS/GCP for infrastructure, docker/kubernetes for deployment, OAuth 2. I also built the control app in React where users setup, managed, and interacted with their cloudBit. Furthermore I helped grow the team, researched advanced platform features, made internal CLI tools, weighed in on product decisions, contributed leadership, and more.