Hi Andi, thanks for taking the time! After moving to Munich to study applied mathematics, he decided to stay here after finishing university. Before working at Checkmk he was developing dynamic light functions for BMW.
What made you decide to join Checkmk? How did you come to Checkmk?
That’s two very different questions.
Some years ago I received a message via Xing about a small company called “Mathias Kettner GmbH” and whether I could imagine working there. I was skeptical at first, since I had little to no experience with monitoring or even with Linux, but since I was already looking for a new job, I gave it a try.
The main point that made me join Mathias Kettner was the fact that I was very warmly welcomed during my interviews, and that I had the feeling that we are a good match on a human level. Also, I was curious to work in an area that was completely new to me.
Of course, Mathias Kettner GmbH is called Checkmk today 🙂
What are your tasks as a Developer and how does your typical work day look like?
As a member of one of our feature teams, I am responsible for the implementation of new features and the maintenance of some codebases in our software.
I'm also part of our trainings team, so I hold the training “Programming extensions for Checkmk” every now and then, together with one or two of my colleagues.
That’s also every time a nice opportunity to learn something about our customers and the way they use Checkmk in their daily work life.
My work day is mainly driven by tasks that are organized in tickets and sprints. Before and after main version releases, it’s more bug fixing. In between, it’s more new features and improvements to our code base. If there's something to discuss, I often reach out to my colleagues via chat or voice/video call, but I also collaborate with our users/customers directly via our support system.
How do you handle code reviews and technical feedback?
We do peer reviews for every change that we apply to our code base. This means that, depending on the area of a code change, I choose a colleague that has some knowledge there, and assign them to do a code review. Vice versa, it’s also part of my daily work to do some code reviews for my colleagues. This way, technical feedback essentially comes for free.
What tools/technologies do you work with in your team?
Various! Most important to mention here is that we are always happy to try out new technologies and tools. This always pays off, even if we decide to not adapt to it in the long term.
However, I think you want some answers, so here are some essential tools/technologies:
Programming languages: Python, C++, Rust - And many more, but these are the ones that I work with mainly. Tools: Git, Jira, Gerrit, Jenkins IDE/Code Editor: Up to your own choice. I use VSCode, but some colleagues like to work with other IDEs, or even Vim or Emacs.
What is most important to you in your work life?
I really like the fact that I'm able/allowed to actually work on our code for a significant part of my work time, rather than only planning to do so and spending my time in meetings.
However, the most important aspect for me is the work-life balance. As I work from home most of the time, and I'm able to see my family essentially all the time. Most of the time, I follow a rather fixed working schedule, but if there's some private appointment, I'm always able to shift my working time around it.
Do you remember a particularly interesting, exciting or beautiful experience you had at Checkmk? If so, can you tell us about it?
Once a year we’re “celebrating” our Checkmk conference in Munich, and I'm always looking forward to it. Some years ago, I had the opportunity to present one of our newest features that I was working on in a talk.
Later that year, I had a Zoom meeting with one of our customers, and after a while he asked if it was me who held that talk at the last conference. He participated via live stream and he told me that he enjoyed it.