This month, we’re spotlighting Kevin Meilander, one of our Senior Software Engineers! Read on to learn more about what drew him to join our team, his coffee obsession, and what keeps him motivated.  

Describe your experience before joining the Emergent Software team 

I have been working in software engineering for over fifteen years, working on a wide range of different systems and technologies. I started building websites my junior year of college by building microsites for the library’s digital collections and have loved web development ever since. After I graduated, I started a job with an e-commerce website where I picked up valuable Microsoft .NET skills.    

After a few years, I went to work for a digital agency that provided solutions for a wide variety of technical problems. I enjoy learning about new technologies and discovering how systems can work together, so that position was a natural fit for me.   

What drew you to join Emergent Software?  

I was intrigued by the types of projects Emergent Software takes on and how they function as a company. I met some of the team at the Minneapolis Umbraco meetup (which Emergent Software hosts) and after I learned about the company culture and their processes, I knew that it would be somewhere I would enjoy working.   

Websites are perpetually evolving – a project never truly ends and can always improve – and Emergent Software tackles this evolution with innovative solutions.   

How do you fill your time outside of work?  

There are quite a few things that keep me busy outside of work! 

  • I really enjoy coffee. I lived in Seattle for several years and developed a serious habit. Ever since, I’ve been trying to be my own barista at home and have gone to slightly insane lengths to do so.  
  • I love music and digging through record crates in search of hidden vinyl gems.  
  • I’ve always enjoyed movies. I took a few film classes in college and try to keep up with current releases as well as the classics.  
  • I have been renovating my home for the last few years and, unsurprisingly, this has required a larger time commitment than I had initially thought. I really enjoy working outside on my home’s garden and landscaping.    

What is your favorite movie? 

My favorite movie is “Mad Max: Fury Road.” I am a big fan of action movies, and this movie is non-stop action from start to finish. I remember seeing it in the theater, not really knowing what to expect and was just blown away. If you had asked me previously if I thought a movie with essentially no plot that took place in a post-apocalyptic desert would take my breath away, I would have said “no,” but that’s the magic of movies! 

Where in the world would you most like to visit that you have never been? 

When I travel, I usually just want to eat great food and drink coffee, so right now, Italy is top of my list.  Who wouldn’t want to just eat pasta and drink espresso for a week or two?  Another place that is high on my list is Denmark. Not only do I really enjoy Scandanavian design, but I would love to attend Codegarden, Umbraco’s annual conference.   

What was your first job? 

My first job was in college at the dormitory cafeteria. I was the fastest sandwich maker on the team and I still use that speed and precision every day at lunch.   

What is your biggest motivator? 

I like things to be clean and efficient. Whether it is a software solution or packing the trunk of a car to maximum capacity, I'm always looking for order and design that makes sense.   

Software Engineering is essentially a puzzle. Of course, you have to put all the pieces into their correct place for functionality, but you also have to think about how a solution might need to grow. Websites need to be dynamic. I’m driven to find concise, elegant solutions that meet current needs but also provide a roadmap for future improvements.   

Thanks for sharing your story and for the knowledge and enthusiasm you bring to our team, Kevin! Stay tuned for future spotlights of the great people who make up Emergent Software!