Software Engineer | Coach | Consultant

I'm Nikolas Martens. I build web applications, help people become better programmers, and deal with legacy systems.

I'm living in Berlin and am currently available for software consultancy, as a developer of web applications, for automated testing workshops and as personal software coach.

Software Engineer

I'm specialized in building lean prototype applications to test domain and market assumptions - nowadays called Minimal Viable Products. I can help you find out how good your idea is as quickly and cheaply as possible.


If you would like to become a professional software developer or if you already are but are looking for ways to improve you skills, then together we'll unlock your full potential in one-on-one coaching sessions, and make sure you can do your work with joy and pride.


I advice individuals and teams to become more productive and content with their work by applying a mix of proven and modern software engineering best practices. I'm specialized on automated testing and working with complex legacy systems.

Latest Articles

In my blog, I philosophize about software, testing and my approaches to mostly technical topics.

On Principles

In high school, I was oftentimes mocked for caring too much about principles. Saying things like "This is against my principles" or "I'm doing this out of principle" earns you quite bit of ridicule from fellow teenagers. And even today, I still get scoffed at when I'm one of the few cyclists in this city that stops at a red light. Out of principle. » read more

Flaccid Democracy

I must confess I was never much interested in politics, and therefore very grateful when I found the Wahl-o-mat which freed me from having to read the party platforms myself. I always viewed non-politic civic participation as the more effective, certainly more efficient way for changing society and have been pondering for years how the open market's incentives can be moved towards a more social and sustainable economy. Indeed I always thought of politics to be quite tedious, boring even. I now realized what a luxury that was. » read more

More than Machines

My opinion is probably more than a bit biased, but to me computers are incredible. Almost magical even. Like daemons from another sphere, all it takes is the right spell, and it will do your bidding (and like with these daemons, you have to be very careful which exact words you use). My favourite quote on that topic comes from The Mythical Man-Month: » read more

Open Source Projects

Stuff I'm working on.


The mssion of zells is to enable software literacy by making writing software easy and fun, and accessible to everyone.


The goal of groupcash is to make it easier, cheaper and safer for anybody to run their own complementary currency.


domin (domain model interface) is an administration interface for abstract Domain Models using the Command Object pattern.


dox publishes executable specification in a human-friendly and easily browsable way.


The Web Application Tool Kit - a collection of libraries that can help you building lean, scalable web applications quickly.


mockster is a full-fledged, zero-configuration mocking framework for PHP.

Contact Me

Proof you are human: when Mufasa died in Lion King, what did you do?