Moving to London was one of the best decisions of my life. Period. It also brought one of my childhood dreams so close that it actually became reality. Read on...

If you only have a minute or so I recommend checking out the video summary below. Otherwise, keep reading...

My daughter was born in London, so yeah, the city is and will always be at the centre of my heart. I enjoyed the years over there on both a personal and also on a professional level.

I first joined a small company called that was later acquired by Defaqto.

Besides classic web content management (and blogging) we started working on the CEO's key idea of an online platform for financial advisers. We called it Defaqto Connect.

Defaqto - main site

In order to accomplish the plan we had to scale up the software development side of the business a bit. So we did. Also, we had to find a good platform - ideally an open framework of some sort - that we can build our service on top of. We found Drupal - something that offers more than just being a web content management system. We needed to manage multiple content types across multiple domains.

While working on the multiple Drupal instances (we had to separate the various segments of users into actual sub-domains) we realised that we need to change the way we work together from several aspects. We introduced:

  • sprints - these were the very early days of agile at that time
  • a central code repository - it's laughable now but was key at that time
  • continuous integration - yeah, with Hudson, that was rad! ;)
  • automated testing - first with Selenium, then headless

We were clearly on the right track. Especially, that the big 2008 financial crisis arrived - and being a financial services company we were unsure how the future unfolds. But thanks to our great leaders - and plenty of luck I assume - all turned out just fine.

I moved on from there to join a small company with huge ambitions:

As a child I always dreamt about being part of something big, something grandiose - who hasn't - like working in the space industry. Well, it sort of just happened...

As a Software Architect I was responsible for building and maintaining the company's OSS (Operating Support System). Since I cannot disclose any further information on this one, let's move swiftly on...

Everything is ready for the launch

On November 26, 2010 Avanti's first satellite HYLAS 1 was launched into orbit successfully.

HYLAS 2 followed a few years later:

Professionally I learned a lot during these years on:

  • scalability
  • automation
  • resiliency
  • networking
  • system integration
  • monitoring
  • traffic shaping

and in general on building and managing large scale systems.