« Back to Team Profiles

Ben Munat

Software Engineer since Nov. 2007

Ben helps keep Kongregate purring with fixes and features in all aspects of the application, digging into Ruby, HTML, Javascript, CSS, and Action Script wherever he is needed. His extensive work on the game page redesign taught him that Javascript is actually a pretty sweet language. His most recent big chunk of work was on the redesign to the Kongregate messaging system.

Ben's computer life had a big detour in the middle of it to get his creative ya-yas out. After writing his first code on a TRS-80 in the late seventies, he started his Computer Science degree at Hampshire College in 1984. But life intervened and led him into playing in various rock bands in Portland in the late eighties and early nineties, then managing bands, engineering studio recordings as well as live performances, booking one of the country's most celebrated alternative rock nightclubs for six years, working as music editor for a alternative newspaper for six years, etc.

After straying from the music biz into the soul-draining world of banquet work, Ben decided it was time to pick up where he left off in the eighties. He entered Evergreen State College in spring of 2003 and wrapped up his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree by the following spring, receiving his diploma just shy of twenty years after starting it.

Barely a month after graduation, he lucked into a temp job with the Beluga Software Developers Cooperative in Olympia, WA. Despite the stern warnings that they would never make him a member/co-owner due to his limited experience, less than a year later, Ben was celebrating his membership. He learned a lot about Java, system administration, and web application architecture while at Beluga. His most prized experience while at Beluga was writing a Fish Hatchery Management system still in use at WA Dept of Fish and Wildlife Hatcheries.

Life soon intervened again however, in the form of a job offer with ChipIn, a web start-up in sunny Honolulu, HI. While at ChipIn, Ben made the jump from Java to Ruby on Rails... and has never looked back. Ben played a big role in the design of ChipIn's enterprise donation tracking system and learned a lot about Rails and JQuery along the way.

All too soon, with ChipIn heading in a different direction and his beloved Portland clamoring for his return, Ben left ChipIn and totally lucked into a job with the sweetest, coolest company in the world: Kongregate. Ben has settled into Portland and Kongregate for the long-haul, very much hoping for the gold watch in another twenty years or so. Since starting at Kongregate, Ben has learned a lot about Ruby and Rails, Javascript and how to write code hit by millions of users

He still loves music, from ambient to breakcore and everywhere in between. He plays in the Portland indie rock band Down Gown. He also likes cooking and reading a good book and lives in east Portland. Ben is active in the Portland Ruby Brigade and the Portland Javascript Admirers. He has a linked_in profile and chronically under-updated personal web page. His resume is also available online. His Kongregate username is yukster.