Work inspiration with
Lucas Dohmen

I’m a software consultant at innoQ from Cologne in Germany. I’m programming in Ruby and JavaScript (and maybe Clojure in the future ;)) and helping with technology decisions about different NoSQL solutions (and their adoption if we see a fit for them). Outside of work I’m doing a lot of open source and community work (the hacker and nerd calendar, helping to organise the eurucamp conference and organising and teaching at our local CoderDojo) and record the podcast Nerdkunde (which is in German).

How did you get started in consulting? What is a turning point in your professional career? 

At the beginning of this year I started searching for a new job. Before that I was working for different product companies (ranging from web applications to an open source database) and I started looking into companies both doing consulting as well as working on their own products. I decided for innoQ, because of the company culture and wide range of different projects. I have not regretted my decision :)

What is your ideal work environment?  

My ideal work environment is everywhere where I can use my MacBook Pro, Roost Laptop Stand, V60 Mini clicky-keyboard and my mouse and drink a good cup of coffee. I really like to work on a height adjustable desk so I can work both standing up and sitting in a chair, but that’s not always possible.

Lucas Dohmen's work environment

What software and hardware do you use for your work? 

I’m using a MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2015) with the setup described above. I’m mainly working with commandline applications, so most of my time I spend in iTerm 2 with Vim, tmux and zsh. I got frustrated with the way Unix tools run on a Mac, so I’m using all these CLI applications inside of a Vagrant VM running Ubuntu. On my Mac there’s only Vagrant and Ansible (which I use to provision my work environment) installed as development tools. Outside the commandline I’m relying heavily on OmniFocus, Fantastical, 1Password, Keynote, Alfred, Reeder, Tweetbot and Pixelmator, which is the reason I’m using a Mac. Most of them have a counterpart on iOS which I use on my iPhone.

Where does your inspiration come from? 

I think most of my inspiration comes from the restrictions and challenges of the projects I’m working on, discussions with other people and talks at conferences and user groups.

Who are the people you admire most and why? 

I admire people who help our programming community through organising initiatives like RailsGirls or ClojureBridge, by giving talks about the topic and doing other activities that either raise awareness or improve the situation directly. We have significant problems in our communities (like the lack of diversity) which we need to address. I think working on that is even more important than providing a solid open source toolset.