About Me

a portrait of Ham Vocke Hey there! I'm Ham, a pretty regular dude enjoying life in rural Germany. I build software for a living and I currently work remotely for Stack Overflow.

I like to play Doppelkopf with my friends, enjoy nature with my wife and our dog Lenny, and rewatch episodes from the golden era of The Simpsons.

Ham looking into the camera, standing in front of a pub in London, rain pouring down in the background
2022-06-30, London


I've been building software professionally for more than 15 years (we better forget those years where I did that unprofessionally). I care deeply about creating environments where developers can be bold, experiment, learn, have fun, and ship with confidence. If you work with me, you'll hear me talk about Continuous Delivery, XP, fast feedback, and modular architecture a lot. I like using Test-Driven Development whenever I can, but I'm not pushy about it.

Building software continues to fascinate me. Getting my hands dirty and building something that helps people out there is still the most blissful part of my job. Beyond writing software, I'm pretty decent at leading technical teams, guiding the architecture of systems small and large, mentoring other developers, and connecting people.

I'm not the world's greatest programmer. I'm a generalist with some areas of deep expertise, and I like it that way. I consider myself a well-rounded software developer, tech lead, architect, mentor, strategist, communicator, and reasonably fun guy.

At the moment I'm a Principal Software Engineer at Stack Overflow, where I lead the company's efforts to modernize our legacy application, revamp our architecture, and enable teams to become more autonomous and ship with confidence. Before my time at Stack Overflow, I was a consultant at Thoughtworks where I helped teams adopt Continuous Delivery and Extreme Programming practices, modernize their software engineering approach, led technical teams, and built systems large and small.

Work history, in brief

If you want to work with me in any kind of form, you'll find my contact details at the bottom of this page.


I use this website as my own, personal, cozy corner of the web. It's a great way to stay in touch with me, as my presence on social media is rather sparse. I write infrequently, and not as much as I'd like. I mostly write about the things I know about the wide field of software development. Occasionally I write about life stuff, side projects, weird command-line tools, hobbies, books I've read, and anything else that I might want to write about. It's a random mix, and that's the beauty of having my personal website where I can do whatever I fancy.

If you want to follow what I'm publishing, consider following me on social media or subscribing to this website's RSS feed. You'll find plenty of links at the bottom of this page.

What I do for Fun

Since most of my work day revolves around computers, I try my best to stay away from them in my free time. You can usually find me doing some of the following things:

Free time funsies

  • 🌲 Roaming the woods with my dog and my wife
  • πŸ‹οΈβ€β™‚οΈ Lifting heavy stuff and putting it back down in my garage gym
  • ♣️ Playing Doppelkopf at the pub
  • 🎸 Listening to crappy punk rock
  • πŸ”₯ Having barbecue with friends
  • 🧰 restoring my 1956 NSU Quickly two-stroke moped
  • πŸ˜Άβ€πŸŒ«οΈ curing and cold-smoking home-made ham
  • 😴 taking a nap with my dog

Whenever I fail to do stay away from computers I'm probably working on silly side projects, learn new languages and frameworks, hyper-optimize weird command-line tools for questionable gains, or keep up with what other people are cooking out there.

Since everyone loves dogs, here's a picture of my best buddy and the number one source of chaos in my life, Lenny:

a portrait of Lenny, a chocolate labrador
2023-06-05, at Lenny's favorite swimming spot in the woods

Around the Web

If you want to stalk follow me elsewhere, here's a list of profiles I maintain around the web. Some are more active than others:

Reach out

If you want to say "hi", leave a comment, ask a question, or start a conversation, feel free to drop me a line via Email, or on one of the social media channels listed above.

I reply to everything that hits my inbox as long as it's genuine conversation and you're not trying to sell me shady stuff. Don't be shy!