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I’m an independent IT consultant and entrepreneur in the Internet and software business. I’m interested in design, enterprise applications, web apps and SaaS products. I design and develop business solutions and applications. I help companies in terms of software quality and knowledge transfer, e.g. with Angular and Spring Boot.

Emergency Remote – A Guide to “Winning” Remote Work

These days, there's certainly no shortage of remote work guides, how-tos and tools - and rightfully so: Remote work has made sense since before 2020 and in the future it'll be the new default for many industries. Emergency Remote is another more recent take on how to quickly implement a productive remote work environment that focuses on actionable measures with immediate benefits and using the changes required as an opportunity for improving your company's overall processes and work environment: Emergency Remote is for ... Read more

Fetching Incoming Invoices in an Automated Fashion With Puppeteer

Like I said in 2016, accounting is still a manual and tedious process. However, since then I've made quite some headway, especially with regard to automatically fetching and storing incoming invoices. By now, all of those thankfully arrive via email, which allows me to have Zapier automatically fetch them and store attached invoice PDFs in the appropriate folders in Google Drive. One particular, lasting pet peeve of mine in that respect, however, so far has been German railway company Deutsche Bahn AG and ... Read more

The Mother of All Leaky Abstractions: The 500-mile Email

In last week's musings I complained about leaky abstraction on two counts, which reminded me of what in my opinion must be the mother of all leaky abstractions: The notorious 500-mile email. Impedance mismatches and TCP connections seeping through the cracks of the latest reactive programming frameworks certainly at times are difficult to deal with but the actual underlying transmission protocol of the relativistic universe shining through when trying to send an email? It can't get any better than that ... Read more

Musings of a Greybeard on the State of Software Engineering

Two days ago software engineer and fellow blogger Tom Hombergs asked on Twitter if software development had grown harder over recent years, to which I replied: "Incoherent ramblings of a greybeard (without a beard, which is weird; these words rhyme, which is even weirder ...), who has seen at least 3 fat-client-thin-client cycles (the standard time unit in software architecture): As usual it depends. Just a few examples:" For the purpose of this blog post I just deemed it more sophisticated to call ... Read more

Remote Team Collaboration: Remote Desktop Solutions

The tools I wrote about in previous posts on remote team collaboration serve specific tasks or help with particular parts of workflows. They all run on existing hardware and infrastructure, though. If, however, you want to get rid of a dependency on specific hardware entirely, remote desktop solutions are a viable approach. Remote desktop products allow you to run a virtual desktop and workspace on a remote server. Of course you still need a local machine to connect to that workspace but ... Read more

Remote Team Collaboration: tmate – Instant terminal sharing

While there are quite a few options for collaborating visually in a remote work setting and remote desktop solutions are ten a penny there are surprisingly few options for instant live collaboration in text-based environments, i.e. terminals or command-line interfaces. One such option for instant terminal sharing is tmate. tmate for instance allows you to have remote pair programming sessions via the terminal or work collaboratively on a command-line interface. It achieves this by returning a connection string such as ssh [email protected] This ... Read more

Repost from 16 June 2020: COVID-19 Tracing App for Germany

Repost from 16 June 2020: German COVID-19 tracing app available now. Read more

Remote Team Collaboration: Whiteboards With Google Jamboard

Two weeks ago I wrote about working collaboratively on digital whiteboards with Miro. Since 2017 Google has been selling competitively priced digital whiteboard hardware under its Jamboard brand. Alongside that hardware product, however, with Google Jamboard there's a companion software product of the same name as part of Google's G Suite collection of cloud computing, productivity and collaboration tools. Although Jamboard, the software, isn't widely promoted as an independent software product it works perfectly fine as a browser app without the Jamboard hardware. While not ... Read more

German COVID-19 Tracing App Available Now

Earlier today, the highly anticipated COVID-19 tracing app for Germany, called Corona-Warn-App, has been released. The iOS version is available on the App Store. The Android version can be downloaded at Google Play. The Corona-Warn-App is based on the DP3T (Decentralized Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing) architecture and the joint specification by Apple and Google for privacy-preserving exposure notification, which implements this architecture as an API for official public health providers to draw upon. The app is developed and published as open source under the Apache ... Read more

Remote Team Collaboration: Appointment Scheduling With Calendly

Calendly is an online appointment scheduling tool that allows you, your team, or your entire organisation to flexibly schedule meetings. As a user you can define available time slots and allow others to schedule meetings according to these time slots. Calendly taps into your usual online calendar tool (e.g. Google Calendar, Office 365 / Outlook, or iCloud). Instead of the usual back and forth though that commonly happens when trying to agree on an exact time and date for an appointment Calendly ... Read more
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