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Featured on Sep 30, 2011

Mike Herring

"Research is what I am doing when I don't know what I am doing. - Wernher Von Braun"


Mike is the Lead Engineer and manages the technical arm of STELLAService. He has worked his entire career (over 15 years!) in software engineering and systems architecture and specifically in Web Development. Mike has led teams in designing, building and scaling systems for everything from the smallest Web sites to some of the largest companies in the world including Sony, Samsung, Novartis, and Coldwell Banker. Prior to joining STELLAService, Mike spent five years as a Lead Engineer on mufti-disciplinary teams working on global initiatives at Mercedes-Benz USA. A passionate believer in open standards, common-sense best practices, and usability-focused development, Mike loves what he does and enjoys teaching and mentoring junior developers. Originally from the New York area, Mike currently lives in New Jersey with his wife and two kids.

  • Title: Lead Engineer, STELLAService
  • Location: Flatiron District
  • Contact: @herringmike

In your nearly 20 years of programming, what is your most memorable bug?

Wow, can't believe I've been doing this so long, feeling way old answering this question! I like to tell young programming whippersnappers that I've forgotten more about javascript programming for the browser than most will ever know : )

There have been a few colossal ones over the years, there was this endless period of time spent debugging perhaps 10,000 lines of SQL code (the data layer of a huge piece of enterprise "software") that culminated in me finding a place where there was a null comparison using the equals sign.

Or the time when the team I was working on circa 1999 spent a week trying to correct a bug in javascript code (the old-school kind with branches for each browser) which was caused by a 1 vs. lower case l issue. (they looked EXACTLY the same in the original Homesite editor)

Excluding spending quality time with your wife and children, what’s your favorite thing to do when you’re away from the computer?

Away from the computer? I'm not familiar with that term.

Seriously though, when I get some time that doesn't involve the fam I like to just do things that I can't do normally because of work and life like reading actual book or trying a new food/restaurant. I'm a big fan of going places I've never been and seeing new things like state parks, mountains, waterfalls, things in nature, but that usually involves the wife and kids. Witnessing your children discover something awesome for the first time and get exited about it is an amazing thing.

How does working at a startup company like StellaService compare to working at a large corporation Mercedes-Benz?

The two are diametrically opposed. It's like being in a different (and so much better) world for me. Large companies are so slow moving it seems like nothing ever gets accomplished and nobody cares. It's very hard to get excited about the work you're doing in that environment.

Working in a startup is the exact opposite of that. I came here because I wanted to work with a group of people who are passionate about what they do. I also wanted to join a team at the very start of the company, but it had to be based on an idea that I believed in and shared with the founders. I wanted to use what I know to make an impact and have a part in building something great. I found all of these things in STELLAService, and it's been amazing, as well as lot of hard work and I wouldn't have it any other way.

What’s your favorite color?

These days it's orange. It changes though, which is surprising to me for some reason. It used to be burgandy and then before that is was purple. I'm sure readers are riveted. When I was a kid it was green.

Java Developer, Python Developer