Don Brinker

Development Lead


I've been developing software since the late 80s (early 90s if you don't count college jobs). I've primarily worked with the Java stack in recent years, though a lot of the usual suspects (Ruby, Python, Groovy, etc) have found their way into my toolbox over time. My main interest is building things, whether that's APIs, web applications, development teams, or rockstar developers. (Hey, they have to come from somewhere...)


In the professional world, I really enjoy building teams to solve complex problems. If it involves mentoring or otherwise raising the levels of the developers involved, so much the better!

Recently, I've also been getting into a lot of the Continuous Integration and DevOps technologies that make it easier to build software (Docker, AWS, etc.). And also, there's all the various open source technologies and toolkits in the Java ecosystem (too many to track!)


Carnegie Mellon University - Mathematics/Computer Science

What was your first Job?

My first paying job was bagging groceries at a local supermarket. My first job in the field was doing technical support for an agency within the DOD. After that, I've been all over the industry, as developer, lead, trainer, cat herder, you name it.

What do you like about 540?

To my mind, the best thing about 540 is the way they empower us to succeed (through tools, coworkers, and support) while still allowing us to make the important decisions.

What do you do in your spare time?

I try to stay active in my spare time, doing such things as hiking, sailing, and inclined ice skating skiing.

3 Fun Facts

  1. I used to play the trumpet for fun (and even profit, a few times)! No more, but my musical tastes still tend to be a bit... eclectic as a result.
  2. I've been referred to as "jovial" in reviews before. I think that's a good thing.
  3. I've fallen off a chairlift before. Let's just say I know how Homer Simpson feels.