If you are interested to find out more about me, how I work and things I can do for you, just expand the paragraphs below.
Hi, I'm Marcel and I am a Software Developer!
If I had to point to the one thing I love about programming, it would be learning new stuff constantly and creating something out of nothing.
I studied Business Informatics for a short while, but quickly realized that I wanted to actually program things instead of reading about it. So I opted for a job training at a company that built (and still builds) software for accounting, payroll etc.
In the last of this 3-year training I saw DHH's now infamous "How to create a blog engine in 15 minutes with Ruby on Rails" video and this just blew my mind! (Like it did for so many other people at the time.)
Back then, I was programming in Java and was going through XML configuration hell. I think I was actually writing more XML than Java code!
Rails' concepts instantly clicked with me and I started learning it. The fact that Ruby as a language was created for the sole purpose of developer happiness did, of course, help me even more to convert instantly.
I knew right then, that I won't ever go back to the old world and started looking for a job in a startup as a Rails developer. And sure enough people were already looking! After finishing my training, I started working as a full time employee at a small online healthcare startup called "imedo" in Stuttgart, Germany.
After 3 months the company decided to move to Berlin with me in tow. Alright! I loved it. The people in this company became my second family. I still love them for giving this young kid a chance. Thank you guys!
I worked there for 3 1/2 years, learned a ton and met a lot of new people. But I wanted to see what other people were doing and so decided to go the freelance route, which gave me the opportunity to work with many awesome companies over the last few years. I love that every project is different but somehow patterns do emerge when you see a lot of projects from front lines.
The only thing I don't like doing is server administration. So if you are using heroku or docker, that's awesome!
Here are some customers that I've helped
I've worked with a lot of small startups and some bigger companies so far. I can't list all of them here, but here is a small selection:
Skills, tools and other stuff that I am familiar with
What I've used before doesn't really matter.
I can of course list all the tools, gems, libraries, languages, frameworks etc. here that I have used before. But the main thing when developing software is, that you know how to solve problems and quickly learn to use any tool or library.
So it doesn't really matter if I have used rspec, devise, nokogiri or any other tool before. Every software project is different.
But you need a list of my skills to check against your own list. I get it. ;) So here is my list of things I've worked with before:
- Ruby on Rails
- Design to HTML/CSS
- UI Design
- OnSite SEO
- MVP / Prototype Development
- HTML5 Game Development
- Fast Iteration
- Lightweight & Agile Processes
- Apple Macbook Pro
- Canon EOS 500D
There are even more buzzwords on my linkedin page!
I am progressive and opinionated
Years of working on software projects in a professional manner form an opinionated approach to things, so let's cut the bullshit and get down to business.
Trust in your people! Give them the freedom they need to unleash their potential. Then get out of their way! You hired those experts for a reason, right?
Kill all waste! The great thing about the lean movement is that the concept of waste creeps into management and everybody is trying to run projects as lean as humanly possible.
Be progressive. Keep iterating. Keep pushing the boundaries of what you think was possible. Stay laser focused on your mission (aka your why)
Use the latest and greatest, but avoid the shiny object syndrome. There is a place for pragmatism, but I rarely found it to be within software development.
Technology enables me to work from anywhere
Today, computer based work can be done from anywhere in the world. Using cloud solutions like github, google docs, trello, skype and many others, there is no need to force people to commute to an office for hours every day.
Of course this new way of working requires companies and their management to trust in their employees / freelancers / vendors to do the right thing. In the end it's not hours that count, but actual work done. Did you know that in a regular 8 hour workday an office worker only uses 4-6 hours productively? The rest is organizational overhead, needed breaks and watercooler chat.
Chatty colleagues, endless meetings and peer pressure situations are only some of the reasons why office workers don't have enough flow time. Flow is the trance-like state of mind in which you get super focused and the most productive. Everyone wants to be in flow while at work, because flow makes you happy and feel accomplished. Companies have to make flow possible for their workforce.
So why commute hours to work every day, if you can work from the comfort of your home, any cafe with wifi or a coworking space? Fewer hours in a productive setting can produce the same, if not better results.
It becomes less and less important where you actually do your work as long as you get it done. So why have the happiest workforce working for you?
The other great benefit of having a remote workforce, is that you can hire the best and brightest people from anywhere in the world! If you use freelancers you even circumvent the usual legal hurdles of employing a foreign citizen. They are just another foreign company that sends you an invoice. Very easy indeed!
If you are a manager reading this and thinking: 'hmm, but! you need facetime!' I say yes, of course, it's installed on your phone and on my Macbook! We can do facetime any time! We can also use Skype! It's amazing! :P
You should not contact me if
You have no funding or can't pay me with money
I know it's a tough one. Your idea might be really great, but I am not the one to share your risk, I am sorry.
There are many possibilities to find a technical cofounder through meetups and other avenues. People who are just starting out, may be looking for projects to fill up their portfolio.
Don't give up! I believe in you!
You want to hire me as a full time employee
How rude! I can't believe how many recruiters are wasting my time and their own with this proposal. Learn how to read my linkedin and xing profiles people! I clearly stated everywhere that I am not interested in full time employment.
You are looking for a code monkey
I am not cheap, so let's make the best use of our time together. Also check out my speciality section below, so you get the most bang for your buck!
You want me to work in your office
I understand the need for communication, thus I have Skype on my Macbook and I also have a phone. Each client will get access to me and we can even have facetime.
For kickoffs and brainstorming sessions it can be more productive to be in one place, but even those meetings can be held virtually.
You are using some heavyweight process other than some basic Scrum or Kanban
Let's face it, we all have one goal: Getting shit done! Processes are in the way. So are office politics and men in the middle.
Too much process will bog down the speed at which working software can be delivered, which is the end goal.
Good things about agile methodologies are:
Product Owners that know their domain and the purpose of the project. It is a very important role and in every team should have it!
You want me to put numbers or estimates on tasks
Breaking down stories and tasks is important. Talking about stories and tasks is even more important, to make sure there is not stone left unturned and everybody involved knows exactly what there is to to and how to get it done.
But, putting an imaginary number on it won't help you get it done any faster.
On the contrary I've seen it time and time again: Important story was put back in the backlog because it was too big and the developer team needed more velocity to show off to their product owner.
So you pick low hanging fruits to fill up the rest of the sprint. This is not how it's supposed to work, though. I you do agile, scrum, kanban - the order of the backlog is the value added to the customer, not imaginary sprints, velocity or developer pride.
You are in the way of me talking directly to the product owner of the software I am supposed to be building
Every communication layer between the developer and the person who he is building the software for is one too many!
Details get lost, politics kick in etc.
Keep it simple.
The best way to work on software projects is 2 people, on the same page, quickly talking / chatting / skyping about the details on hand.
You want me to administer your servers
I have done this many times before and I'd rather have you hire an expert for that.
There are people who are really good at this kind of stuff and you can hire them!
I am also not a fan of the "Devops" idea. If I wanted to administer servers, I would have become a server administrator, not a software developer, ya know?
Here is how you can get in touch with me.
Ok, let's talk about your project and your needs. You can contact me via any of these channels.
The PDF icon is a link to my english CV. You can download it in any format you like. Even Word, I won't judge you … ;)
I don't have something for you right now, but I'd like to stay in touch
Of course! Just contact me in the ways I mentioned before or even better, subscribe to my newsletter and you'll be the first to know when I will be available!