Benson Kalahar

About

I like to solve problems, make cool things, and write software. Preferably in that order.

Responses to Common Interview Questions

What is your greatest weakness?

This is a very difficult question to answer, but in the end I think my greatest weakness is for single-malt Scotch whisky.

What is your greatest strength?

At this point, after a great deal of bicycling, I think my quads are probably stronger than anything else.

What are you doing up there?

Checking for bugs.

What is the flight velocity of an unladen swallow?

African, or European?

Why are you so concerned about software security?

Most businesses are, at least in part, dependent on their data. As time passes, information security is going to be more and more important. Poorly written software is a huge window of opportunity for folks who would do nasty things with our data. As a software developer, I feel tremendous responsibility to keep information secure.

Most big companies have some sort of information security division. Many programmers think security is the responsibility of the security wonks, and ignore secure coding practices. I see the infosec department as a last resort safety net in case I mistakenly push vulnerable code to a live server. As a result, I want to work with the infosec department, rather than seeing them as yet another hurdle.

Projects

I really enjoy working on programming projects. Here is a non-exhaustive list of projects I have worked on in recent years.

Personal projects

Linen

I wrote Linen to scratch an itch. I really prefer textile to markdown, and I wanted to build a textile live preview into some webapps I was building. Using Ajax requests to render the textile markup server-side seemed like a terrible waste of resources, indicating a need for a textile compiler in the browser. Finding there were no robust javascript based textile compilers, I wrote linen. It is designed to be fast, efficient, and at least passably readable, lest someone need to modify it to suit their needs.

Portfolio App

This site was built as a rails application to facilitate editing. I especially targeted mobile content generation, as I find myself with a lot more time to write on my phone than on a computer. Eventually it will probably include blogging features, as well as portfolio functionality.