My first contact with a personal computer was at the age of 12. It was my father's 286er with 4MB RAM. This is the moment when I got hooked and started to learn as much as I can about computers and especially programming.
No wonder I earned my first money with 14 helping people with computers. With 16 I helped local IT providers with more complex database migrations and wrote my first commercial software.
At the age of 19, I got my first real software developer position. It was an amazing opportunity where I learned so much about system operations, Bash/ZSH scripting on AIX mainframes, Oracle databases, etc. During this time I ported an invoice processing system from Cobol to Java and enabled the company to offer its service in other countries. There was so much I learned about software development.
During this time I did my first open-source contributions. I provided a patch for the Apache Maven project to fix an issue with HTTP proxies which got accepted and applied by the core team. I also contributed to an ORM library for Scala called Squeryl where I got the core committer status.
In 2011 I got excited about the Scala programming language and started at one of the first consulting firms that adopted Scala. I learned about working as a software consultant, conducting training, and public speaking (as JAX and WJAX speaker).
This is where I got my first contact with startups. They were looking for a Freelance Scala Developer to help them with early feature development and I started to work for them. They were just starting and had about three employees. After my gig, they asked me to join full-time which I first declined, but we found together again 1,5 years later and I joined as number 11 in 2014.
This was a crazy and exciting time. I was growing with the company. From Senior Developer, Technical Lead, Head of Engineering, and finally CTO in five years. I had 30 people and the responsibility for Product Management & Operations, Software Engineering, and Data Analytics.
With the birth of my fourth child, my wife and I decided to move closer to family. We moved with our kids from Munich to Porto in 2022.
With the move to Porto, I stepped back from the CTO position and decided to continue my journey as an independent software developer, Interim-CTO, and Solopreneur of micro SaaS businesses: