Get to know Conlin

About me

Hello there! I'm Conlin (but some internet folks call me Wuz). I am a senior software engineer (with management experience). I'm fascinated by the intersection of art, community and technology.

I have about 1000 hobbies and I'm always excited to learn new things. This README is my personal "documenation", a way for you to get to know what I care about and where my focus is on any given day.

Personal Principles

  • Be a prism, not a mirror. Seek to digest and break apart information, not just pass it on to someone else.
  • Optimize for consensus. Reject: kings, presidents, and voting. Believe in: rough consensus and exploratory tests.
  • Mistakes are how we learn. Failure is an opportunity to learn something new.
  • We all want to build a beautiful inn. Focus on mastery, cooperation, and better work over stats-fiddling and game-playing.
If you do things because you want someone else to pat you on the head, you won’t get as good at it as someone who does it for internal satisfaction. We want the best-possible building. If we set up a system that makes people compete for acknowledgment, we invite game-playing and stats-fiddling, even unhealthy stuff like working stupid hours to beat everyone. A crew full of unhappy people doing substandard work. If you build systems that make people focus on mastery, cooperation, and better work, we’ll have a beautiful inn full of happy people working together well.

Let's do this one more time

Alright, let's do this one more time. My name is Conlin Durbin and for the past 11-ish years I've been writing and thinking about code. I started programming in high school, building Wordpress websites and creating custom plugins in PHP.

I went to college, studied Computer Science, hated it. I switched majors to Economics and did software development on the side and fell in love with the range of subjects that let me study.

I started a company in college, turned it into a consultancy and eventually ended it when my business partner graduated. I helped grow and build a coworking space in an old church and met some awesome people.

After college, I started working at a software company called Mimir in West Lafayette, building an application for compiling, running, and grading programming homework for college computer science classes. I jumped to Lessonly after that, worked on a ton of different products initiatives there - all focused around helping people learn and grow in their jobs. I left that job and spent a little over a year at HackerRank, which was... a good learning opportunity. After a bunch of experiences that pushed me towards looking for a new job, I left and started at a startup called Agora in July 2021! Agora was acquired by Payscale in 2022 and they unfortunately cut our product and team in 2023. After a couple months of job hunting, I am excited to be starting as a Senior Frontend Engineer at Whatnot!

I live in Indianapolis, Indiana with my partner Annadele and our three dogs and cats. It's a pretty hectic household at times, but we love it. I love cooking and I love playing tabletop RPG's like Dungeons and Dragons. I even play weekly in a live-stream called Sunset over Vengalia.

Life by the accidents

You learn about life by the accidents you have, over and over againKurt Vonnegut

Now that we're caught up, I'll explain a bit about myself today! Most of my life has been spent jumping from interest to interest, finding the things I like. Life by the accidents, if you will. I love learning new things and I have a ton of hobbies that include but are not limited to (in no particular order):

  • Films and TV
  • Reading (both fiction and non-fiction)
  • Making fermented foods
  • Coffee
  • Video Games
  • Cooking
  • Listening to and playing music
  • Talking about any of the above things for hours
Technology is the active human interface with the material world.Ursula Le Guin

I spend a lot of my free time thinking and writing about technology and hacking on side projects. Most of my side projects these days are focused on Dungeons and Dragons. Hopefully, this gives you a bit of an idea of who I am! Come chat with me, message me about grabbing a coffee, or just flag me down on Slack! I am always interested in chatting and getting to know more about people. The next section includes some information about my typical week and how I like to work. If you work closely with me, it might give you some more insight into what my job looks like and how I approach it. Feel free to skip it if you don't need to know that information!


  • dmpad — A note taking application for dungeon masters.
  • HasBeenWizards — Side project, creating tabletop roleplaying games
  • cantrip.nvim — Neovim + dark magic

Work History

  • Whatnot — Senior Frontend Engineer
  • Payscale — Tech Lead Manager
  • Agora — Senior Software Engineer
  • HackerRank — Senior Software Engineer
  • Lessonly — Software Engineer
  • Mimir — Founding Engineer