About me

6 minute read Published: 1970-01-01

Thanking me or donating

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What I do

I'm currently living in Karlsruhe, spending my time on working on decentralized FOSS communication for the German healthcare sector at famedly.com. I spend my free time either on software development, mostly related to matrix, administrating servers or going to a nearby hackerspace, Entropia e.V.. The software I write is FOSS, mostly written in Rust, and you can find the source code of the stuff I write on my git server, with some left overs still hanging around on GitHub or on GitLab.

What I've been up to in the past

I grew up in the same town I live in now, Karlsruhe, but have been moving a bit over the years.

When I was 11, I moved to Paris for a year. The school library there had a terrible PC magazine, but that (and the laptop I won there in a contest) was the thing that got me initially interested in computers. Our neighbour there started teaching me a bit of Python, which I continued to play around with after coming back to Karlsruhe after the year was over.

Gaming distracted me from that whole programming business again until I was roughly 15, at which time I started to write some Python again, and then I did Java for classes. During my two final years at school, I additionally visited some university courses for computer science as part of an aid program for students interested in computer science in my home town, which involved more Java. I got quite good at Java, but at some point I realized that there's more interesting languages out there. For a very brief period, I wandered around the lands of other JVM languages, like Groovy and later Kotlin. Then for a somewhat less brief period, I did some golang, before I arrived at the language I've fallen more and more in love with since then: Rust <3

Another thing besides programming I got into while still at school, was self hosting. First a Raspberry Pi, then a proper server. I started with a small website, mails, git hosting. The usual. Then, the thing that probably influenced my life the most since then: Instant messaging. I started out with XMPP, installing Converstations onto my friends and family members phones, enabled OMEMO encryption, and... constantly ran into issues. It's probably because my deployment wasn't perfect and OMEMO was still early days, but the experience marked me enough to somewhat dislike XMPP to this day. I found a suitable replacement though, matrix, which I've learned to love over the years since then. Ironically, the first time I saw matrix was in the OMEMO issue tracker, where the matrix project lead, Matthew, talked about their implementation of the double ratchet algorithm. So, spun up a server, tried out Vector Riot, and.. was disappointed. It felt all a bit rough around the edges, polished, but somehow wrong. I got used to it, got over the weird feeling, and have to say, all the things I didn't really like back then have either changed, or are things I started to appreciate since then.

After school, I worked on Android dev at the company belonging to the father of a good friends, writing a small app, to bridge the time until university and to earn some money. Around the same time I also got my drivers license and stuff like that sorted out, to get ready to start this new chapter of life.

After the summer, I started studying computer science at the KIT, repeating the Java course I had already done during school just to get a better grade (worked out fine, got a perfect score), and then quickly realised that all this theory is fine and dandy, but not quite fulfilling. So then, in my second semester, I started working at Siemens on the side, after an acquiantance working there met me randomly on the tram. After nine months there, NV, the company behind matrix, got some more funding and said "hey, we're hiring". So, I got in touch, they flew me to London. I had my interview at the matrix office with Matthew, Neil and Erik. I used the afternoon before my flight to explore the (then snowy) city a bit. On the way back to the airport, I got a text message that my flight was cancelled, so I went back to the office, and then later grabbed a pint with the a part of the team, receiving the news that they want me right before heading to the pub. For living and working in London for half a year, I obviously had to pause university for a bit, so I took a semester off. I moved to London, and worked on matrix there, mostly on operations, even though I technically wanted a development job. That was still okay for me, considering that I'd still actively work on an IMO meaningful open source project now, instead of some project demo in a small department at Siemens. During my time there, my English improved quite a lot, my accent got a bit british too. I got to know the team, found out that Ultimate Frisbee is a great sport and cider is a great drink after Frisbee, and in general had a great time.

Coming back, I was looking for work on the side again, took the first offer I got. It was a small game company, or so they told me. The project I was actually assigned to then wasn't very much related to gaming, it was a blockchain backed payment system for paying for services and content around porn and sex work. While I don't have a problem with porn or sex work, the buzzword bell in my pocket rang pretty loudly on that blockchain bit. After a few months and some incidents, I was considering looking for a new job, when just in time, I was contacted by someone looking to hire me. It was Famedly, the company I've been working for for over a year now, still quite happy, doing matrix stuff again, doing FOSS stuff at work again, this time not only ops, but split between ops and development.