What Coffee and Software have in Common

Kyle Burkholder

I have had a rollercoaster relationship with coffee. As a kid I hated it. In highschool I started getting into sweetened coffee at StarBucks because I liked the taste. Then college hit and I was downing carafes of the cheapest drip I could make. Flash forward a few more years and coffee had become more of a zen experience for me, instead of just a means of getting caffeine into my bloodstream. I would take the time to grind my fresh coffee beans and carefully load up a pre-warmed french press in an attempt to preserve the coffee integrity. Now I find myself creating cups of coffee via a strange plastic plunger known as an aeropress. Through all of this I’ve discovered that coffee taste can vary depending on what you want to highlight in your cup. While some people just want caffeine or a sugary treat, others are looking to discover the spectrum of flavor profiles coffee beans can have.

Tastes vary from person to person and as a software developer I have become hyper aware that tastes or needs can vary from client to client. Something seemingly simple such as route selection for a bus can have wildly different implementations. Some clients want a driver to select the route they’re on, while others want the system to just know based on schedule parameters. Both have the same end result, but both have wildly different implementations. As a developer and coffee enthusiast I love being able to change the way I brew my coffee and it’s great to be able to dive into technical problems from many different angles in order to craft our feature set exactly to our client’s taste.

A lot goes into getting a cup of coffee from a coffee bean all the way to a great brew inside of your cup. Where and how the bean is grown, how it is dried, and how long and intense the roast is, all play hugely into how the coffee will taste. There are so many points where a cup of coffee can have its flavor altered for better or for worse. Coffee is complicated, and so is the transit industry. We are solving complex transit industry problems at DoubleMap that vary by region, vehicle type and client. Anyone who has worked in software will tell you that there are many places where developing a new feature can go wrong as well. As a result, we have assembled a diverse team that is dedicated to specific parts of the transit puzzle. From new hardware solutions to new algorithms, working at DoubleMap is an exciting ride. I’m glad I get to wake up every day, make a cup of coffee and head to DoubleMap.