Blackmill

Who we are

Elle Meredith

Elle is a full stack web developer with more than ten years experience writing Ruby and Rails. Before Blackmill, she was a Development Director in the New York City office of thoughtbot.

She believes in writing clean code, driven by automatic tests, with agile practices, an even work/life balance, and a respectful and inclusive team culture. She constantly works to improve her understanding of technologies, techniques, anti-patterns, and what is considered best practice. Her aim is to deliver clean, functional and user–friendly websites in an appropriate timeframe without wasting money or energy.

Elle has a passion for helping people learn to work better. At Rails Camps and similar events, she'll ask someone, anyone, "What are you working on? Will you show me?" Then they'll work together to improve it.

Elle appreciates the value of strong communities. In 2014, she organised Rails Girls events in Sydney, RubyConfAU 2014, and was a member of the Ruby Australia committee. In 2015, she co-organised Gotham Ruby Conference (GORUCO) in New York City, and started a monthly work jelly for women in tech. In 2016, she co-organised Rails Camp USA East Coast in the Catskills, NY with Lachlan, and once again co-organised GORUCO X.

When she is not immersed in the Ruby community, she is probably immersed in water, or lately, in bread flour.

Elle's personal site is http://aemeredith.com and you can also find her on Twitter at @aemeredith.

Lachlan Hardy

Lachlan went to Sydney’s first Ruby on Rails meet up in 2006 and has been an active member of the Australian Ruby community ever since. At various times, he has been an engineering manager, a Rubyist, an ecosystem strategist, a startup mentor, a full-time JavaScripter, an IPTV developer, a front-end developer, and a web standards professional. He is often some combination of all of those. He is also a habitual starter of community events, such as the long defunct industry demo night, Webjam; Australia's longest running startup meetup (probably), Silicon Beach Australia; and the only Sydney web industry social event held in a tequila bar, Friday at 4 (or most likely at 5).

Lachlan is ex-GitHub, ex-Neo, ex-Microsoft, ex-Ninefold, ex-Atlassian, and ex-News. He also founded and ran a coworking space called The Workbench in Sydney and helped organise the Sydney JS meetups. While living in New York City, he co-organised Rails Camp USA East Coast 2016 with Elle.

He loves the attention to detail, efficiency, and quality that only a care for your craft can produce. If he offers you a cocktail, or a meal, expect the best he has learned to make, with a healthy dose of experimentation to keep on learning.

Lachlan's personal site is http://lachstock.com.au and you can find his Twitter account at @lachlanhardy.

The story of a name

Choosing the right name for a company is always hard. And then people ask for the story. Here is ours:

In Sydney, at the western end of what is now known as the Anzac Bridge sits what looks like a huge abandoned factory 1. Due to the flat terrain of the waterfront and parklands, and the sweep of the bridge, its silhouette dominates the horizon as you approach the area. A literal black mill.

Lachlan has always been fascinated by it and began to dream about how he might be able to re-purpose the building and grounds as a modern technology and community space. When sharing these ideas with others, it became natural to refer to them as ‘blackmill.’

To Elle, there was a only one company name to embody our aspirations for how the practice of software engineering can iterate upon itself to improve productivity, efficiency, and enjoyment for all: Blackmill.

Footnotes:

  1. The building is actually the White Bay Power Station which ceased operation in 1983. The NSW government has also had ideas about a technology precinct on the site, but is having difficulties making progress .
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We welcome the opportunity to work with others who feel a connection to our philosophy.
If that’s you, please get in touch: gday@blackmill.co.