my blog. for you.

Let’s talk digital.

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.

Automating Processes: Meeting Notes

One of the key benefits of business software, or as a matter of fact, any software, is automation of tedious, repetitive tasks. One of the three great virtues of a programmer according to Perl creator Larry Wall is laziness as defined in: "The quality that makes you go to great effort to reduce overall energy expenditure. It makes you write labor-saving programs that other people will find useful and document what you wrote so you don't have to answer so many ... Read more

Working Across Timezones in Remote Work Settings and Distributed Environments

When working in a distributed environment or remote work environment, as is increasingly - and quite fortunately - becoming the default for knowledge workers, and the software industry in particular, chances are, rather sooner than later you'll be collaborating across timezones. I'm currently collaborating with people from EDT, GMT, CEST, MYT, JST, and AEST timezones, for instance. Asynchronous communication is crucial in a remote work setting already when no time differences are involved. It becomes absolutely vital when people from different timezones depend ... Read more

(Deutsch) Lösung für die COVID-19 Pandemie: Schnelltests als Zugangsberechtigung

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.Contrary to my usual writing habits the remainder of this post will be in German. The reason for this is that although the subject most certainly is of interest to everyone the specifics of the solution outlined in the following mostly apply to the current COVID-19 situation in Germany and my personal experience with that situation. The article therefore is mostly relevant to a German audience. If you're interested in discussing the potential for ... Read more

My Remote Work Setup

I've been a proponent of remote work, new ways of work and different approaches to work culture and the opportunities and options those provide for a long time. While 2019 arguably was the year when remote work finally caught on for more than just a select few, 2020 most definitely was the year when remote work really took off - for obvious reasons. I'd like to quickly share some of the tools and components from my current setup, in terms of both specific ... Read more

2020 in Live Gigs

I'm an avid music fan and concert-goer. As mentioned in last week's post I'd like to write a bit about live music events in 2020. For obvious reasons, 2020 has both been a very different and a very difficult year for live events and those that make a living from them: Artists and performers, speakers, conferences, festival, venues, sound engineers, sound and lighting technicians, caterers, stage hands. These were the only bands I was able to see during on-location live music shows ... Read more

2020 in Review

May you live in interesting times. - claimed to be a translation of a traditional Chinese curse - Usually I refrain from writing one of those end-of-the-year reviews because they often amount to little more than self-involved navel-gazing (been there, done that ...). However, 2020 was a truly interesting, extraordinary and in many ways remarkable year. So, here goes, navel-gazing and all ... In December 2019 (or thereabouts) what we today know as COVID-19 or the Coronavirus pandemic started to spread causing a global crisis ... 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

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

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

Remote Team Collaboration: Whiteboards With Miro

Miro is a collaborative whiteboard software that's ideal for exploring ideas and concepts in a distributed work setting. Much like a physical whiteboard it lends itself to ideation, brainstorming, design and planning sessions, i.e. work where the structure and nature of the outcome isn't necessarily known beforehand but rather freeform and loosely structured and the process by which these results are generated isn't particularly rigid. Miro provides the user with elements and tools such as sticky notes, freeform drawing, mind maps, grids, and ... Read more
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