Monica Lent

Monica Lent

Software engineer

Based in Berlin.


Hi. My name is Monica. I'm an American software engineer living in Germany. Before moving to Berlin, I worked in academia in domains such as natural language processing (NLP), eLearning, and cloud technologies. And long before that, I started making websites and learning HTML, PHP, and MySQL at the age of ten years old — you can imagine how baller my Neopets page was 😎 Since then I've specialized in frontend SPAs but generally love learning new programming languages and going outside my comfort zone.

These days I'm leading a distributed team of thirteen frontend engineers at SumUp, a German fintech company with major offices in Berlin, Sofia, and São Paulo.

My most recent passions and projects include design systems, chatops, U2F, and good documentation.

When I'm not coding, I enjoy reading or binging on Netflix sci-fi shows. When I find the time, I work on my travel and photography blog.


Upcoming talks

Independent deployment of the frontend with Docker and Kubernetes
We start with a use case: why would you even want to move to a microfrontends architecture? You’ll learn the motivation, core concepts and principles behind microservices, how they can help your frontend team work more efficiently, and the tradeoffs that are normally involved when you try to apply them to single-page applications. Luckily, Docker and Kubernetes can alleviate a lot of these issues, and we’ll walk through a minimal but concrete example of building a microfrontends architecture with these tools on your local machine. Finally, you’ll see how you could migrate gradually and what it takes to bring this architecture to production. No previous knowledge of Docker or Kubernetes is required.

This talk will be given at JS Kongress (Mar 2019).

Building resilient frontend architecture
Change is inevitable. So is legacy. And too often, we as developers (who love to solve problems by coding) fall into the trap of believing the only way to fix it is by rewriting everything again and again. But how can we design an application architecture that is more resilient to change in the first place? How can we defend against entropy in a system where people are pushing changes every day? In this talk we’ll define what architecture means for the frontend, dispel some commonly-held myths, and look at specific tools and techniques on a scale from micro to macro that you can use today to keep your app from turning into that infamous ball of mud.

This talk will be given at Agent Conf (Feb 2019), FrontCon (Apr 2019), and React Finland (Apr 2019).

Past talks

📺 Secrets to a successful design system @ React Day Berlin 2018 (Slides)
Inconsistent UI is the enemy of developers and designers alike. And while design systems are a modern and scalable way to solve this challenge, implementing one is not as straightforward as it might seem: from getting buy-in from management to picking your tech stack, rolling it out, and releasing changes to multiple apps — there are a lot of things that can go wrong. In this talk, you'll learn how to pitch a design system to your boss, rarely discussed technical caveats and challenges, and how to set your design system up for success from the start.

📺 The tech behind a design system that scales @ BrazilJS 2018 (Slides)
Design systems are a powerful way to scale a visual language across different products and technologies. This talk covers what a design system is and how a React-based tech stack can power a design system that scales as the number of developers, products, and parallel processes grows. You'll also learn about critical considerations and best practices you'll want to apply when introducing a design system at your company.

This talk was also given at React Open Source Berlin (Youtube) and React Vienna (Youtube).

Work experience

Most of my jobs have had a heavy frontend component, implementing single-page applications. I'm currently working a lot with Node, and in the past have also worked a lot with Python (Django/Tastypie/Fabric) and Neo4j/Postgres.

Title Employer When
Lead Frontend Engineer SumUp Mar 2016 – Present
Senior Web Frontend Engineer SumUp Dec 2014 – Mar 2016
Research Associate (NLP Chair) University of Leipzig Aug 2013 – Nov 2014
User Experience Developer iPlant Collaborative May 2012 – Jul 2013
Student Webmaster iPlant Collaborative Jan 2010 – May 2012

For more details, you can download my CV (2017).