Hi, my name is Eric Dykstra, and I use a holistic systems thinking approach to solving problems. Early in my career, I was introduced to the power of programming, and its ability to revolutionize problem-solving immediately captivated me. This discovery inspired a career shift towards software development.

In the following years, I've assumed various roles, including those of software engineer, engineering manager, recruitment lead, technical product advisor, and lead engineer. I've been able to shift between these various responsibilities by using an analytical approach and systems thinking. This approach allows me to effectively evaluate and tackle each unique challenge that I encounter.

Work Projects

Here is a sample of some of the more recent projects that I had a key role in.

Creating an Innovation Team

I was given the opportunity to lead a new team for a challenging project, and given free reign to conduct the project as I pleased. I worked together with the team to discover what process would work best for us and our goals, and we established a way of working that eschewed many of the rituals and processes held sacrosanct by many developers and managers. Using this technique, were able to produce brand new valuable software in just a couple of weeks that served an area of the company that was left neglected for years, and continued to iterate to give them exactly what they needed for week after week, and became the model of productivity in our organization.

Our way of working was able to maximize the creativity of the developers on the team, and we came up with new innovations for our company on both a technical and product level. Some of the innovations brought forth in that project were noticed by, and copied by other teams in our organization. Even though they had ample access to the data, knowledge, and techniques before, our approach fostered the innovation necessary for these improvements to become reality.

Spearheading Engineering Recruitment and Onboarding

I took an undocumented, underbaked process of recruitment and rebuilt it from the ground up, taking into account the unique opportunities and challenges our company required. We were limited in the kinds of offers we could give candidates by our company structure, so the challenge was to attract candidates who would otherwise not accept that kind of contract. I created a comprehensive hiring plan that established processes, goals, strategies, and heurisitcs for identifying and hiring candidates who met our specific needs. I assembled a team to conduct the interviews, and together we iterated and improved the process. Some of these improvements included reducing bad candidates at the top of the funnel, slimming down the process to improve efficiency, and identifying the best candidates early on so they could be pursued more efficiently.

I'm most proud of identifying, attracting, and hiring three of our top performers, whose unique backgrounds didn't fit the typical mould of what most companies look for. I was able to verify this later by talking to them, and finding out that we were the only company to give them an offer.

Internal Tool Creation and Improvement

Working for a media company, our customer-facing product didn't always have new features to develop, but we had an extensive set of tools for our employees and contractors. With limited engineering resources, I lead an initiative to create and improve internal tools. I personally handled the entire cycle of shadowing my co-workers, interviewing them, making workflow improvement suggestions, designing and implementing these ideas, and gathering feedback. Through this process I was able to radically reduce workloads through automation, improve coordination by introducing collaboration tools, and improve visibility by creating dashboards.


I use a variety of tools and technologies in both my work and personal projects. Ordered in roughly a mix of how much I like them and how proficient I am at them.

Computer Languages

Elixir, Prolog, Ruby, Go, Python, SQL,
HTML, CSS, JavaScript


Phoenix, Gin, Echo, Ruby on Rails, Tailwind


Git, Github, MacOS, Linux (Debian/Ubuntu)


I have a lot of interests and hobbies, and I'd love to talk with you about any of them!

Professional Interests

To continually add to my professional toolkit, I read a mix of books related to my profession, as well as keep up on what the most engaged in my field are interested in by reading articles that catch my attention on various computer programming news aggregators. A couple of my favorite books in this category include An Elegant Puzzle by Will Larson and Peopleware by Tom DeMarco and Tim Lister.

Books and Audiobooks

I read a variety of fiction and non-fiction. Some of the fiction books I've read recently include binging on a bunch of Keigo Higashino mysteries, and continuing the military sci-fi Galaxy's Edge series from Jason Anspach and Nick Cole. Besides the kinds of directly work-related non-fiction mentioned above, I like to read history, philosophy, and biographies.

Sports and Athletics

I like to stay active through sport. I started practicing Judo as an adult after moving to Japan and am a black belt. I played baseball and soccer throughout childhood and played in adult leagues. I picked up skateboarding in 2020 as a way to get exercise in while gyms were closed.

Japanese Comedy

This is my most passive hobby, I think, but I love to watch Japanese comedy. Particularly Manzai, as well as any of the national competitions (M-1, King of Conte, R-1, The Second, etc). My favorite comedy groups include 中川家, NON STYLE, 怪奇!YesどんぐりRPG, 東京03, インディアンス, 和牛.


I also enjoy leathercraft (mostly wallets), playing guitar, going to live music shows, and playing/watching RTS games like Starcraft.