We are very excited to introduce you to Christof Glaser, Senior Backend Developer at Wimdu, one of the world’s leading online marketplaces for private accommodation!
1.What is the best part about being a Senior Backend Developer?
For me at Wimdu, the best part is that I can define the scope of my work myself. For example, currently I do technical product management and guide architectural discussions for a large refactoring project, and I’m really excited about it. I like the intersection between the technical and the human side quite a lot.
2. What brought you to this area, what’s your background?
Until I joined Wimdu, I used to work as a freelancer, mostly for startups, but also for some large companies in Germany. I’ve worked mostly as a Ruby and Ruby-on-Rails developer for more than 11 years now. In recent projects, before joining Wimdu, I worked as team lead and partly as project manager. Communicating with stakeholders has always been a key part of my day to day job, and I’ve really enjoyed that.
3. What time does your day start, and what does your typical work day schedule look like?
I’m not really an early bird, I’m rarely in the office before 9:30. After checking emails and Slack notifications, we have our team’s daily standups shortly after 10. On a typical day, I do code review, discuss open questions or architecture ideas with developers or product managers, and write backlog tickets for the upcoming work, or improve existing tickets. As we are working with SCRUM, I also take part in the typical “ceremonies”—backlog grooming, sprint planning, retrospective.
4. What kind of projects are you currently working on?
We are currently working on greatly simplifying the integration of partners into our marketplace. We have had collaborated with partners for a number of years already, and now with a simplified architecture and much more maintainable code base, this collaboration just moves to another level.
5. What do you consider the greatest achievement in your work to date?
I’m not sure what is greater: aligning technical refactoring needs with business requirements, or having been part of hiring a truly great development team.
6. What is the one app you could not live without?
The Wimdu app 😉 Of course there are a lot of apps I use daily, but one that stands out in helping me think is WriteRoom. It was one of the first full-screen immersive text editors, which provide a Zen-like, distraction-free setting to get raw thoughts out of your head and into a more structured form.
7. What’s the best thing about working at your company?
Working on a produc that allows our guest can enjoy a happy vacation at wonderful charming places provided by our hosts and partners. Who wants to squeeze in a huge, crowded holiday resort these days? On a more introspective note: I really appreciate the way we continually tweak and improve our working processes, and the amazing collaboration accross all teams at Wimdu.
8. Where is the after work hangout?
During summer, we have Mauerpark near by, and we end up in the beergarden there every now and then, or in a Crafts Beer pub nearby.
9. Who is your professional role model?
Our current CTO, Michael Krenz, who does such a great job of shielding the IT team from a not-yet-agile management, so that we can be agile and get stuff done regularly. That helps on a day-to-day basis, and goes largely unnoticed. On grander scale, there are many inspiring people to me: Steve Jobs, Richard P. Gabriel, Guy Steele, Alan Kay, Christopher Alexander…
10. What makes Berlin a good city for technology, startups and diversity?
The startup scene that is already established is of course the biggest attractor for even more startups. Also, Berlin is such a unique place to be. There is room for more diversity, especially people of colour seem to be quite underrepresented here.
11. Which tech trends are you most excited about?
Artificial Intelligence both scares me and makes me excited, and quantum computing even more so.
12. What are the top 3 qualities you look for in an employer?
That’s a good question for a person who enjoyed being a freelancer! First, agreat level of freedom and trust; a sense of having influence of what to work on next; and last but certainly not least: opportunities for personal growth and learning. For me, being able to work part time is really important – I am convinced I’m much more productive.
13. And finally, what is the one piece of advice you would give to a tech professional or a young developer starting out?
Believe in yourself. Never stop learning, stay curious for new things, and also deepen what you think you know already.