Software Developers Journey Podcast

#241 Danny Preussler a GDE who likes having impact


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Danny Preussler 0:00
I think no one said this to me. But if he had opened yourself, it's like, it's okay to say no. This last developer say, Okay, I have to make this right. It's this deadline by Monday and have to shoot this by Monday. And it's okay to say no, this is impossible. You will, you won't make it anyway. And actually, management often appreciate it because you're the expert. And I had like one management who said, if it wasn't me, it was a colleague actually saying no to him, and then he went to our Energy Manager CTO said, no one ever said no to me. I like this guy.

Tim Bourguignon 0:31
Hello, and welcome to developer's journey podcast, bringing you the making of stories of successful software developers to help you on your upcoming journey. I'm your host team building your own this episode 241. I received Danny Poe's law. Then he leaves and works in Berlin. He's a mobile developer at heart and a strong believer in the value of lifelong learning. Dreams in clean coal. Ouch. And because speak about unit testing all night, I thankfully we are recording during today's although we could speak about unit testing. Where was he? Was he even before Android came along? He programmed for mobile phones and every device that could run some kind of job. And in fact, his first computer was not no, no. Let's not go there. Let's hear it from him in a minute. Danny, welcome to the afternoon.

Danny Preussler 1:23
Thank you. Thanks. Thanks for having me.

Tim Bourguignon 1:26
Always my pleasure. But before we come to your story, I want to thank the terrific listeners who support the show every month, you are keeping the dev journey lights up. If you would like to join this fine crew, and help me spend more time on finding phenomenal guests, then editing audio tracks, please go to our website, Dev journey dot info, and click on the Support me on Patreon button. Even the smallest contributions are giant steps toward a sustainable dev journey. journey. Thank you. And now back to today's guest. So Danny, as you know, the show exists to help listeners understand what your story looked like and imagine how to shape their own future. So as is usual on the show, let's go back to your beginnings. Where would you place the start of your directory?

Danny Preussler 2:16
I mean, as you just mentioned, my first computer, I wouldn't have put it there. But let's start there. So Polly's computer, no one knows. Unless they're coming from the east of Europe, there was a company called throne, which was an East German company doing computers and things like this. I think it was a KC 87 first computer head. And this was basically when the wall fell. So we're talking about 1989. My dad bought on this computer because it broke. They got like real computers now. And yeah, they get rid of all the stolen ones. And this was the first time I actually saw a computer. I remember just pushing, putting, like, English commands on it, no idea what to do. And just to see what happened. So like, literally, this was probably my first time I type something in a computer. Let's take like, it's

Tim Bourguignon 2:59
okay, but it's not your dev beginning. It's your first interaction. So when would you place the start of that developer? Life

Danny Preussler 3:07
interesting, much, much later. So like, all eight after this was like doing computer games, like probably like every other teenager. In math, we sometimes had some some Pascal lessons. This was interesting, but I never would have thought that this would be my job at some point like this. I think this this idea never crossed my mind. So it was then the last two years of high school. And by then I don't know, it was like a Star Trek sci fi nerd. So of course, we had an extraordinary class that we were in. And then like, it was so halfway through the first year, they said, you know, there's like four people in this class. This doesn't make any sense. We will shut down this, find something else to get your points. If you're like, oh, wait, we need those points. Wait, what should we do? And then I remember those Pascal classes and math as I was occasionally this, let's move computer science. So one year before end of high school, I booked a computer science class. It seems I was pretty good at it. Because at some point the teacher stopped like looking at my computer and just to help others. Someone has worked out and then I thought maybe this is something you're good with, should I actually study this, I didn't, I didn't want even to study. But then there was a German way of studying as part of the Academy, which is basically you apply the company then they send you to university and actually getting paid and I thought this was cool and getting money I can conceive this as was my thing. And yeah, and we're left it ever since and probably one of the best decisions of my life to leave this astronomy course.

Tim Bourguignon 4:37
That is cool. That is cool. Can you describe this bill for me a little bit more? I don't think this is very typical German. So maybe the listeners who are not German are wondering how that works out.

Danny Preussler 4:47
So province German, both will be faced will be to our studio. So as a way of studying that is partially identical. Three months you spent at like a university would say In German, and then three months actually spent in the company that sent you there. So you're always changed between theory and practical. So it's not like it, I know, in the end, you have to do like an internship somewhere, you basically do an internship to the whole journey, like all the three to four years, depending on what you're doing for me for three years. So you do a lot of programming as the nesting does. They're like folks who go to university, and then they do computer science, and they haven't written a single line of code after like three or five years. This way they made sure actually, I don't know, they, they, they taught us everything from C, C++, Pascal, like eventually hit it to actually project and they send us around in the company and like different teams are supposed to be helpful, I think, to actually recording experience. Yeah,

Tim Bourguignon 5:42
I want to relate this last point, what I've seen so far with a B, also academies, really, you're sending the students in different departments through how they're all story, they're spending three months a year in three months there and four months there, and then always going back to learn something but but really dipping their toes in many, many, many different areas. And when they come out of this of this studies, they have seen a lot already, they have seen a lot of different things they already know kind of what they don't like, doesn't mean they know what like. But these are things some stuff that were painful. And they they have a different approach on things. That's this very interesting, interesting thing I come from, from a very traditional university background. But I have interacted with a lot here in Germany, whether whether tudents, or graduates from most academic curriculum, and that was very interesting to see how they approached it. So just wanted to, to highlight that. Okay, so. So this is where you really started to blossom and say, Okay, this is awesome. I want to do this and nothing else for the rest of my life.

Danny Preussler 6:36
Probably, I guess it didn't start to be the rest of my life. But it was like, Okay, this is something that we'll do the next year. So if so we're like, so I was happy to do this in a big company, because I can tell by them. So this is why they had like a lot of departments who put us around into Sydney, we were 12. And it was the only one who immediately afterwards said, Oh, I'm leaving and going somewhere else. Which was, I think, another interesting turning point. I see a lot of things here, but I don't like big companies. Let me try a small one.

Tim Bourguignon 7:06
Okay, so how do you make that small company then?

Danny Preussler 7:10
I just went online look for jobs as a C++ developer. And I mean, your junior out of university, it's not like you're going to tons of of contracts sent to you interviews, and like one was like a decent midsize company building doing a printer drivers and like really boring things. But I was like, interested in hardcore C++ stuff. So yeah, sure.

Tim Bourguignon 7:30
Okay, wait a second. You were interested in hardcore C++ stuff? That That seems like a divide with what you're doing right now?

Danny Preussler 7:39
Absolutely. Now, I don't know. Like, I don't know, no, two years later, or whatever, like, looking into bits and bytes. Like ordering them, and like looking into protocols really like Not like on a on a child's level. But like, really onto the network level. I enjoyed that back then they told us protocols works and fails. And like all of these,

Tim Bourguignon 8:00
well, good for you. I've dipped my toes also in C++ on 15 years ago, which is not the C++ for today. And yeah, I didn't, I guess I cannot really relate. But

Danny Preussler 8:12
interestingly, I don't know elected University. This is why I wanted the first job to be like this in this area. In university, they didn't like Java. But then at some point there was there was a Java claim for one of these C++ projects. And the student was basically never dared to do it. So I took over because it was like a chain. I like a Java Native bridge. So I took this project. And then I said, Man, this is so much better than C++. Why did they ever like C++? This is why I love give me more Java projects.

Tim Bourguignon 8:40
Okay, so that was a turning point. And there you embrace Java, and stay for Java for how long? I mean,

Danny Preussler 8:47
I guess since for like, more than 10 years, maybe like 15 years or so like maybe 12 or something until Kotlin came along and made it became like a thing. I hated nothing but Java. I mean, it wasn't the Java that we have nowadays, we're talking about like, the super early Java and because I was in sort of an embedded space, the Java eight was a Java micro edition for like, the old feature phones or like for embedded printers, like this was a different Java then you'd understood Paul was talking about the back end and never do it in all these years back in Java. So otherwise, you know to touch spring I think once in a project because developer was disappeared for two weeks. But it was two weeks I can say it wasn't Java who wasn't

Tim Bourguignon 9:27
it wasn't je or something else. Okay, so did I hear that correctly? You are still working on low level with with with drivers with printers with connected machines, etc. So this is you kept one foot really in this low level thing just changed the C++ to Java, but still.

Danny Preussler 9:48
It's a full wellness same domain like it was embedded printers basically, the big turning point came when one of the companies said any you're a Java guy you it is BlackBerry devices cannot you One Java, can you write like a like a, like a small application there that makes your BlackBerry print something because BlackBerry was a businessman and they like paper. So I thought if you look at you, and it was like this when he first like a year later showed us on a trade show and but in Orlando, like people purchase toilets like, Oh my God, tell me about it. Because I was short system people make your BlackBerry into something.

Tim Bourguignon 10:27
Okay, was that the first time where you dipped your toes into this phone? World?

Danny Preussler 10:33
There was some Java EE thing, but it wasn't really like serious, but I think it's the first thing that we actually did like, like somebody to say, is it actually a commercial application that runs on an iPhone? Okay, an SDK before we listen SDK development.

Tim Bourguignon 10:48
Okay. And when when did the Android enter the picture

Danny Preussler 10:51
took some time so so at some point, so I stayed at this company for quite a while because I don't know the company was swiftly changing. And I some point, I was like a team lead because I can manage some point anyway, it appeared the rise and we said, Okay, we're doing our company does like software for like, Windows, Windows Mobile, was it called Windows Phones was Windows Mobile. It was Symbian, Nokia, and Sony were using BlackBerry obviously was the most successful and everybody appears who said, let's look at this Android thing. What can we actually hired someone fresh from university, hey, you're on this new thing called Android. This is your task. Now, look into this. We didn't really believe that we That's why I said they gave it to the most junior is very interestingly, he wants like an Android agency nowadays, and always Swiss Army. So

Tim Bourguignon 11:32
setup. Exactly.

Danny Preussler 11:35
So this was the only time again, I did some envoy development, because we had some shared ports, we had to touch it every once in a while. But for me my envelope God started when I saw BlackBerry going down, okay, they're not gonna make it. And then I quit my job and became an actually, so went back from from management to being an Android developer. This was like, a big change in path and probably one of the most impactful ones it will say,

Tim Bourguignon 12:02
tell us about that. When you were in management, did you still have one or one on how foot in the in development? Or did you live it for a while and really had to come back?

Danny Preussler 12:12
I did. I mean, it always depends how many people I had to manage because sometimes teammate and to bake, and we split it. And then he had some more time to code, but it was like mostly like, they didn't like very good. And actually, even when like they went down, I applied as a like some mobile team lead because that was what I was doing for years. So obviously I was playing with it. And this was an eBay and then I remember get like some really good interviews. And then the CTO from eBay. kleinanzeigen, the company that part of eBay sent me a message hate or he called me, I think, and anyway, we've gotten a bad news for you. But let's let's meet for for 14 and then met we had like forgot that. He said yes. So the bad news is we gave the job to someone else. The good news is I really would like to have you as our first Android developer made me think like, Should I do this lecture from management to development, and I did, it was one great decision and changed my life. And it's actually it changed it ever since a couple of times, whenever it comes to managing will completely make development when you're too detached. For example, from the technology, jump back to nice become an AC. So Oh, that's interesting for my career.

Tim Bourguignon 13:17
You know, the engineering manager or the manager, industrial contributor, pendulum. I think it's a charity majors with coined, it's really describing this, this as a as a best practice, not something that you do. Because reasons really has been best practice going to management, toward management and learning a lot of things about the system about how the system integrates inside a bigger system. And and then going back to a word individual contribution and bringing with you this, this new knowledge and seeing the world differently. And then at some point, going back again to management and focusing on something else, maybe more people and then bringing this back to where to develop good contribution. And really going back and forth like this, and always learning a bit more from the user standpoint. I find that interesting. Yeah, absolutely. Do you. In hindsight, do you understand this decision of not having you as a as a lead developer, but having you as a developer?

Danny Preussler 14:59
And Never thought about it if it like, if I would have been better for this position, but I don't know he saw definitely potential for me in developer, although you saw it I don't ever developer that I came from a Blackberry who did little bit of Android. But he was a Java guy. And remember, like, we talked a lot of Java things. They were like, right out of the book from the Java certification things, and then you realize, oh, yeah, oh, yeah. You know, this. This was, No, it was a fun interview. That's why I said, I would like to work with this guy.

Tim Bourguignon 15:27
I've had a couple of times, where for hours into the interview, realize you've been talking about anything but the job and gelling and talking talking tech and tech and tech. And somebody say, Well, okay, shall we talk about the job? No, no, it was good. But that's actually what I, when I search in the people I hire nowadays, I search for mastery in one way, whichever the way. I mean, if we're doing TypeScript right now, if you were to come and show me that you really could master Java, I would have no problem in saying, Okay, let's advance with us or with interview. Because you showed me you can go deep, and you can understand the whole stack and really in the entrails of it, and really be knowledgeable on this. So you can probably replicate this in TypeScript.

Danny Preussler 16:10
And I would add to this, I always look for enthusiasm for what you're doing, like, the technology or the area, but show me that this is not like a nine to five job for you. And you have seen 1000 things, and I will just like the next one. But even if you have no experience, if you're really burning for it, I'm probably the one that they will hire.

Tim Bourguignon 16:28
Absolutely, absolutely. And another thing guys search for is actually deaf journeys. In the hire, I always formulate my questions like this, really starting with tell me your journey. Tell me how you came to being here. And really seeing how people connect the dots. In hindsight, are they reflecting on their story can can just see the patterns and the forks and where they went? And why. And this always also brings a lot of knowledge about how they, how they reflect on things. And so when you have enthusiasm when you have reflection, reflection, and you have mastery somewhere, actually, you don't need more than this. Human is you it has to be great teamwork. Otherwise. Okay, so, so you stayed at eBay for for how long?

Danny Preussler 17:11
It wasn't that long, maybe one and a half years or something. But to be honest, I only left because if you ever been to Berlin, and then there's building, then there's the alternate building. There's Potsdam, and eBay was like in between there. So in Berlin books, there was nothing there. That's some good things because I started to go running because that's the only thing you can do when you're running in the forest. But at some point, they got like, offered the same shop basically, in the city center have a coupon? I said, yeah. So save, like three hours per day.

Tim Bourguignon 17:41
Okay, you know, posters. COVID. Era that firstly? Yeah, that's really this was not yet this giant thing that we know. And nowadays, oh, no,

Danny Preussler 17:52
it was Yeah. Okay. So there were. So this thing of the German coupon office was to Groupon, visiting reviewers. And then you have my budget for the sunbathers. They always copied all the startup ideas, and then the foreign city deals and made it basically successful everywhere else in the real world. And then Groupon bought them. And this is like, crazy times were over when I when I joined. But we did some some interesting things. Okay, so let's just

Tim Bourguignon 18:19
and there, you were a lead engineer or an engineer.

Danny Preussler 18:25
So they hired me as like the lead Android engineer, but it was the only one. But the idea was to hire more like anybody, like you can give a fancy title, but you will be the only one. And if things go well, we will hire more. Okay. Yeah. So it was so we were a team, it was basically not the consumer facing app, it was the merchant side of things. So the ones that you go in the shop that they you know, they scan your QR code, these kind of things, which will actually MDN like one reason I left because I really enjoyed the consumer facing part, and doing this b2b thing. If you like mobile apps, you know, no one cares with how they look like if it's a business app, and it was really missing this. Also have something that millions of customer use or not like a few 1000s.

Tim Bourguignon 19:08
Yeah, that brings a kicker

Danny Preussler 19:13
something that's one reason why a lot of mobile development is except for the community part. And Android is still something you can show your mom, your mom can download this app and see what you're doing. This is different or inactive, back and forth. They would never understand what you're doing all the info coupon they couldn't understand. Yeah, it doesn't have to have a QR code scanner does like what I'm doing all day. But now, afterwards, consumer facing ones well, yeah.

Tim Bourguignon 19:39
So your mom has a heavy eBay user.

Danny Preussler 19:41
I guess. This is an Android user. So I'm not sure if it's my fault. As always face this has been more creepy tablets and phones so I can always test the way it is with Samsung. But let me try my mother's phone. Because all developers have like pixels and all these type of devices with

Tim Bourguignon 20:00
When you have a non reproducible bug on an old device, you go there, okay? I got somewhere some around me here in my cupboard, some old devices that sometimes pulled out to say, well, maybe we can try reproducing on this and see what was interesting. Okay, so where did you go from there after Groupon, I

Danny Preussler 20:20
went to a company called Viacom, which German audience don't really know. For example, if you ever see like Star Trek or something, it's this big pillow on logo, that there's a small thing on the leaf saying Viacom company. So it's a company that owns MTV, Paramount, and comedy, Central, Nickelodeon, all these TV networks. And when I receive, like, the income, never heard of they want to go there. This sounds like a network company. And until I realized what they were doing, and it was, then I agreed, because I wasn't interested in leaving my job. But I agreed, let's go for coffee with like, he wasn't CTO, but it was leading this team in building like a VP of engineering. And I was similar to what you said earlier, we had a conversation, I think after 20 minutes, it was clear that we both want me to take this job, and I will be interested. And then we had to finish this whole interviewing of HR, he would sit in a background completely parallel, because he just needs a checkmark. And obviously, both of us, this is the web for both sides.

Tim Bourguignon 21:15
So did you manage to go back to b2c at that point? So customer facing apps?

Danny Preussler 21:19
Exactly. So this was a video streaming apps. And I'm still in working sometimes now. I'm still in music streaming. So this was a turning point, we realized, oh, streaming and mobile, that's like, even better than just mobile.

Tim Bourguignon 21:31
Oh, okay. Why that?

Danny Preussler 21:33
I don't know. It's like an interest has been maybe it's just like goes back to you know, my earlier journeys, like when you try to understand who is he is working on things like this, even if it's just on a broader level, but yeah, back to like efficient network communication, these kind of things. So maybe in the bank, or like a player is the job instead of more than just let me put a button next to the field.

Tim Bourguignon 21:56
So what I'm hearing is, is you're not just doing some puzzling, like, like you would with with with standard components, and just putting things stuff together and get a work. But this wouldn't work for the bleeding edge of streaming for really the animals streaming 4k on the small device over Wi Fi bandwidth. And so you really have to start tweaking the insights, the network layer and start doing stuff on on the lower level. And that's where it connects the dots for you.

Danny Preussler 22:28
I would say no, most of you use standard components. Okay. But you might, something doesn't I don't know, why does this need this video doesn't play Oh, we hit this a couple of when the company afterwards we did live streaming and, okay, let's open the network and then try to understand what's happening, right. And although a standard component is doing this, but doesn't give you an output, you have to look at actually what's coming from the network. But you have to get some understanding. And this is this is important actually, to be able to enjoy this debugging these kind of problems.

Tim Bourguignon 22:58
Obviously, it's not weird, I understand it. This is funky to really understand what's happening. I have some nightmares of still opening all them. What was the toy used on Windows to open the memory management of windows and see the word evades me like like analogy and kernel crashes and really going into this, I hated it every second of it. But I felt so lost and powerful at the same time. There was so fun. Really a love hate relationship with this lower level, but I understand the, the the interest in in being there.

Danny Preussler 23:34
Yeah, just like last week, it is an internal chatter was something our Gradle builds at some point, after using a couple of times became super slow. We basically have to kill some Java process. And then we said it's probably a memory leak in the plugins because we have in the past. And then we said, you know, we have this weekly memory leak parents mobbing sessions. That's next week, do it. And one developer actually start looking into it. Just monitor look what I found. And then they said what he said, Stop, stop, stop. Don't take away the fun from everyone else. Now as executives, because we again,

Tim Bourguignon 24:10
yeah, that's, that's cool. You get a kick from where you get your kicks. Did you leave this company at some point? Are you still there?

Danny Preussler 24:19
No, I left. It was still so like most of these companies. I was like between one and a half, two interviews. Then, you know, it was a weird time at Viacom. So we had a really, really great first part we were the, what they call the international team, which for US companies, everything means everything outside of the US. So there wasn't people Yes. And for the National. And now we shipped like a lot of apps like for example with each one and where TV and things like this. We introduced cotton before it was a thing in Google and like it was a interesting flight management here to date as to river fog and then they said you know, we have a US team and the national team doesn't make sense to them sometimes figures out okay, let's merge those. With teams. So afterwards, we doubled the amount of developers three or four times the amount of product managers and Scrum Masters and everything else. And basically nothing has shipped anymore. I've seen those kind of projects. Yes. And we're just it's meeting all day. And so at some point, I was like, frustrated. And then my manager said to me, like, you're the one that heard me the VP, you know, let's have a coffee. I thought he wanted to cheer me up, which actually says, any, if I go somewhere else, would you join me? So he basically, it took me and me talking about others and basically joined the startup, it was just studying, they needed a complete stack team.

Tim Bourguignon 25:38
Okay. Jumping ships with a whole team, the good team, okay, which started with that,

Danny Preussler 25:44
let's call them had an interesting idea. So in Germany, and Germany is a football country, right? Or soccer for the Americans. And the problem is that in TV, you see, like the first three leagues, which are professional ones, but the majority of games it's actually underneath in 4678. No one shows them because they're like, maybe 20 people in the audience. And the idea of the company is, okay, let's show them by automating it. So we put a camera in the stadium, this camera will turn automatically before the game, it will like this was the vision, it takes a while to know that there's a goal, a goal to short you, because no one can watch the stream turn off automatically afterwards. It sounds simple. But yeah, this was he was in Asia, there must be an AI basically moving the moving the camera like moving the image should following the direction. So like, I really liked the idea of like building like, as you have your father, your kid is playing in the seventh week, and you can actually watch this on your mobile phone. So

Tim Bourguignon 26:36
that's quite dear. I love this. What became of it?

Danny Preussler 26:41
I think they're still around we will I at least I left because we had some sort of these learnings. And sometimes tech is not enough. So the tech wasn't all in but the company itself doing all the sports collections. Were all like coming from a sports background, but no idea what technologies alone. And there was a bit of a lot of tension there. And in the end, it didn't work out for me like decisions about making cologne as I said, you know, if you make this decision over my head that this is the position you have before going somewhere else.

Tim Bourguignon 27:07
Okay, okay. Yeah. That's something I see quite often these this fight or infighting between between business and tech, instead of leveraging each other to get better. And that never produce good results when it's done this way. Let's think

Danny Preussler 27:23
whatever you do, like Unit Trust, if it's a form your boss of a management and if this is not there, you have a problem. Again, you cannot deliver.

Tim Bourguignon 27:31
And not just trust from your boss trust from from the other side of the organization as well really like to be in each other's shoes almost work with each other every day. Otherwise, you start having a divide having walls in between, and it's the beginning of the end.

Danny Preussler 27:47
Okay, one example that came to mind comes to mind is at some point, someone from the Cologne team came over and just see how we work in an area, we hit our typical daily stand up. So stand up. And I know it was fun. It was a sports startup. So we had like little football that we throw each other and only the one with the ball can talk. Like, it was fun, it was helping the teacher focus. And then what he took out of it, he came back and said to management, you know what they're doing extended circle going, like the body's ability to completely miss like a point. Just as this just shows, like the underlying problem that they had no idea what we're doing. And it was just what does take so long, I did an app once like

Tim Bourguignon 28:28
decode the behavior, right? I mean, that's cargo codes. From from from Feinstein who would say in German, just start throwing the ball and software software would come out of it. Okay, so at some point you left wasn't working, the company might still be around, I looked at it afterwards, I'm interested in, but you you left for for a better place. And that's where you are right now, as an

Danny Preussler 28:51
analyst for sunflower just interesting. has been a little beta for like a long time, because it's a company that follows the normal and like you knew earlier, this Android when they start going to his Android community events, which is, as I said, one of the reason I'm still there, and Android, they were like, they were the big companies were like the old year he was when Java came up, they talked about this, they use this. So you always look up to somebody you know that they have a really tough interview to get in. And when for example, I wanted to leave eBay at some point as you play it and didn't even make the recording challenge. They rejected man because it was the time when you had to spend like full week just for this whole challenge. Wow. It was tough to get in. So when I was looking for a new job at some point, I stumbled upon Sundar again and apply as someone that I knew Hey, can you recommend video and they were interested in but then they got like the first offer already from another company and I told him so it doesn't make sense to have an offer. I have like one week to respond. We have a new interview and a lot of engineering manager I think she was already hooked she said Danny I'm sending you a coding challenge right now we already scheduled interview for the next two days. Interview like I was like morning going to one company after I'm going to send out because we have to split it because one day of interviewing back then I then told them okay, this was cool. But it didn't answer in two days. I remember sitting at home the Friday was nothing 12 o'clock. Nothing Wonderful. Okay, let me go home with a two o'clock. Family of incoming. Wow. It was amazing because I came up this interview and the headline interviews, like when I want to leave the startup. And some are like some notes, there was some were thought, it's this is my new team, I don't really want to go and be with them. And then I came up with something new. And I thought, Oh, my God made me any offer and love every single person I talk. I will accept. An offer came in so a few years ago, and

Tim Bourguignon 30:41
then your gut feeling at the beginning was right. That's how was it on being on the other side of interviews afterwards? I'm sure you you were a part of the hiring process at some point. And seeing this hiring process from the from the other vantage standpoint.

Danny Preussler 30:57
I do this a lot in other companies, because I was like always like to delete Android developer even when I was alone. And okay, at some point, you have to hire a second one. So I knew this from both sides. I think it helps when you notice on the other side, sometimes it was interesting, how different To be honest, when you look at like the interviews he did, how different they are. And in some doing like with algorithm things still appeal, you know, same thing in Germany, but be on the other side. I don't know like the things that we talked about it I was looking for. I was looking all the time, like your enthusiasm, and this is what I'm trying to show also like when I'm playing like interested and show them okay, I'm burning for this topic is more than just a job for me. And I think similar because they're looking for the same thing. I want to show the same same things.

Tim Bourguignon 31:44
Okay. Okay. You mentioned the word community in passing. only be the communities and Berlina are very, very huge. And I have a dual question for you. And when when did you start dipping your toes more into communities. And when the audit the GD E can come into play.

Danny Preussler 32:01
I think for this, we have to go a bit back. Remember when I was doing Blackberry. Our company did like remember the Sprint 11 company that did like a partner events once a year. And it was still it was the mobile team lead by then I think they called the development manager or something as a pedal. And there was one of his partner events with like, I don't know, 150 people in the audience and the CEOs, they really need someone to demonstrate the things on the phone. Have a seat. So it was the first time I was basically on stage. And I have to say I liked it. I was super nervous. But I liked it. And then I got like for the next part, even I could be on stage and actually show things I've been developing on. And at some point, like when we did the first developer conference like not part of their their annual enterprise summit, but actually Developer Conference in San Francisco, I applied for talk. They took me in. So I flew to San Cisco get my very first tech talk. And then I realized, okay, I really enjoyed this. I want to do more of this. And then I started to have a Blackberry community in Berlin, I think we were five. Because it wasn't nice. But yeah, we would meet like the classical like a sandwich thing in Germany, like in a bar, and just talk a bit about like, development, because like me a colleague, I think someone from weather coming to us from an agency. It was the first time I did my community, as it just asked. And then when I spoke to Andrew, I realize wait, there isn't actually community and there's like a release event a shot. There's an inverse Stammtisch I think as well, but they were already being able to build it and go to see base event is still there until two days ago space. And I was blown away or like these people and what they're doing. So yeah, then they started to giving talks at this meetup and writing blog posts. And I think then the CDE likes Google Developer expert thing was just a natural progression at some point someone said, was one of his annual conferences, hey, why not the GD, if you want, I can recommend you because that's how it works. Someone recommended for a program. And then Kotlin came up and I was one of the first dipping my toes to Portland. So maybe potentially, there you go. It was a very natural thing, and then not much change afterwards, it just became a bit more visibility, right. And Google helps you have travel, which means I can visit like smaller communities. Because, you know, I don't enjoy these super large events where only the Googlers and other people are speaking and I do this because I love it. I don't I don't I don't want to get paid for it or something. So I remember the best events I had were small events where there was one in Novi Sad in Serbia, where they said afterwards oh man, just to talk for the two different level than we normally here with these meetups, or there was an event in Kenya that flew into and they were so happy that someone actually from like the restaurant world came and it was all students in the audience basically ready to find the first job and then we last minute change the schedule. Let's have a talk about what you need for the first interview with the vessel thinkful And this is where like this community is still doing these kind of things.

Tim Bourguignon 34:53
No, I hear you. I hear you have had a lot of guests from Nigeria and the community there seems to be absolutely fun. antastic a lot of meetups, a lot of emulation, a lot of students working together. That must be something to see that. So I kind of said, how do you find the topics you want to explore? And the topics you want to talk about?

Danny Preussler 35:16
The nearly all of those come from for my daily work. This is also why sometimes I have like, I'm not having any weakness. And you know, some people did two talks, and I appreciate the state. Oh, there's something new for Google. Let me figure this out. And I'm explaining to you. I mean, firstly, I like 100 people jumping onto this will keep myself out, let them figure it out. I think I only did it once. But there was also because I wanted to understand how the thing works, and then actually talk about this. And most the time, it's the same, I have something that either I thought is worth sharing, like something I've worked on. And very often, it's actually I had a problem that I wanted to understand why is this a problem, even if I had fixed and then all of this comes in a blog post, and then you realize, oh, we can make this bigger. Let's make media pop out of this. And then maybe like a conference talks, a lot of this, I think is like the natural progression.

Tim Bourguignon 36:05
I know that this was exactly what I was fresh renting on Twitter. And then you realize, oh, well, I'm speaking always about the same thing or renting always about the same thing. Maybe there's something here, and then write a blog post, and then it becomes a meetup talk. And then it becomes a conference talk. And then it becomes a magazine. And the magazine article was always the last for me, because it really needs a structure. And I publish mostly in German magazines. And so since it's not my first language, it was always a bit hard to write in German. But no, there was a progression always. And actually, that's that's also the thing I realized when I started developing less and less, that I had trouble finding topics. And it was really hard to not be influenced by what you do every day, to continue having topics technical topics. And so it drifted toward management, leadership, mentorship topics, and that dried up a little bit. It's kind of always the same. It's more evergreen, but it's kind of always the same. So you're going to want to assume,

Danny Preussler 37:04
yeah, just want to say like so the last. So first topic edited, taken a well was like recently, I was just working on where it was like this year, so Nike, the Android watch. And the beginning. It was really a developer and then the TiVo and then I became the Team Lead here at SoundCloud and working with, so it was out. So it was observing as more from the outside. And this was a project that actually was successful. And also other indie company notice it and now things went well, there's some things went well, and they're in your career, but also sound or they also saw the projects that didn't go well. And then for example, wait, let me recap what what what was the things that went well on this project? And then they could talk about it, which less technical than the usual ones, because I was observing it more as like, a glutton.

Tim Bourguignon 37:44
Are you still doing this pendulum going toward management and then back to IC and management? And I think

Danny Preussler 37:50
so let's see. I mean, it just became you go like the platform lead and enjoy it. But I told them, I don't want to become managers. So actually, they gave me an engineering manager on the side. So they don't have to do one on ones because I really hate one on one mentoring but like this management things I don't like So for now, I think I have a setup that might work for Well, I'm pretty sure at some point I'll jump back into fully I see but now I'm depending on goes like up to the management direction again.

Tim Bourguignon 38:15
Okay, although what I'm hearing is it you're more on a on a staff level or senior staff level. So it's not so technical leadership as you would expect it at this level anyway. I mean, there must be some some some snipers at that level that are still really doing just deck but it's less and less.

Danny Preussler 38:36
This is exactly like there was a spoke to stuff engineer that actually with like a while ago, that describes different kinds, and definitely, exactly they will have right now. So maybe it's not even depend on why they are but it's more that I enjoy putting things on a broader level. And also like being what I miss when I'm in a sea and Asana took some time to figure this to find those spots is having impact. I like to have him and as an just as developer, it's harder than it took some time. I don't know he was my 20% time to ship the features that I think were missing or fix things so and by impact at some point. But as a this stuff, engineer tech, lead principle, whatever it will be like, you can have impact on border leather, they really enjoy the skills. You just

Tim Bourguignon 39:17
have to be content that you are not the one having impact. But the organization is having impacts through you. And you need to be to be to be at peace with us and it's not always easy. So SoundCloud is happily ever after for you. You see yourself there for the next years and stay there.

Danny Preussler 39:38
I mean, I wouldn't say that next 10 years, they wouldn't have believed that I'm doing mobile like 10 years ago when I started although they're still doing mobile for my videos when I started to make this whole project. So for now I'm gonna be so stay for Well,

Tim Bourguignon 39:51
we'll see knocking on wood has ever been in advice that was forming in your career it will really helped you something that's that You keep repeating to more junior developers when you mentor them.

Danny Preussler 40:03
I think I'm probably a few but one I would say the CTO of eBay gave it to me. I was like really stressed out like, still the application didn't go well, like what we're trying to achieve with SEO. So like a lot of like, juniors, they they stress themselves and like burnout is real in our industry, right? And the simple question that you asked me is, in a year from now on, will anyone care if you make this we'll make this release? But Monday? If the answer's no, come on, take another week, or whatever it takes, right? And this is like, yeah, it's absolutely true. Because often we put ourselves into the pressure, it comes from ourselves. And he's artificial deadlines. You said something other said you are you yourself, have me I have to make up and next lease. But ya know, you know that anyone care? It was it was one week later, three weeks later? Probably most, most probably answer's no.

Tim Bourguignon 40:49
on the facade, and the leadership is probably saying, absolutely. We care if it's Monday or Tuesday. Totally. But really, that must have been liberating to hear it from your CTO. Exactly. Yeah. That's interesting. Maybe you should try saying this.

Danny Preussler 41:05
Because the similar to the second advice I normally give, like, I think no one said this to me. But if you open yourself, it's like, it's okay to say no, this last developer say, Okay, I have to make this right. It's this deadline by Monday and have to shoot this by Monday. And it's okay to say no, this is impossible, if you will, you won't make it anyway. And actually, management often appreciate it because you're the expert. And I had like one management who said, if it wasn't me, it was a colleague actually saying no to him. And then he went to our Energy Manager CTO said, no one ever said no to me, I like this guy.

Tim Bourguignon 41:44
I can't remember who said this. I wonder if it's if it's in the book never split the difference, a book about negotiation? Saying that basically, no is the start of the negotiation. It's the start of the discussion. Before No, there is no discussion. If somebody says, Hey, do you do you do this? And this is a yes. There is no discussion. Absolutely. You just said yes. If you start saying no, that doesn't mean it will stay. You know what it means to say now we can discuss Yes. And that is very, very important to know. Absolutely. Thank you for highlighting this. We're already at the end of a time because I think we could speak for for an hour or more where at least but guess we have to respectful that then it's been it's been fantastic. Thank you for taking us on this on this adventure of your life. Oh, it's cool.

Danny Preussler 42:24
Thanks for having me. It was a lot of fun. And I agree. We could talk further for like two hours.

Tim Bourguignon 42:28
We didn't even touch on the interesting. So where would be the best place to find you online and started discussion with you.

Danny Preussler 42:34
For me. It's still Twitter. So I'm very active on Twitter. So find me do this was a medium article. So medium page.

Tim Bourguignon 42:43
And either links to the oldest initial notes, anything timely that you want to plug in any conference calls are coming up in in spring or SOFIA stuff like this? Nothing

Danny Preussler 42:51
is being scheduled for I'm looking for some so actually, this was the other way if you have something interesting as the Event Center.

Tim Bourguignon 42:59
There you go, especially small communities lost somewhere. That's where it any wants to throw. Awesome. Danny, it's been a blast. Thank you very much for joining. Thank you very much for opening and just thank you. Thank you. And it's been another episode of Danfoss journey and with each other next week. Bye. Thanks a lot for tuning in. I hope you have enjoyed this week's episode. If you like the show, please share rate and review. It helps more listeners discover stories. You can find the links to all the platforms to show appears on on our website, Dev journey dot info slash subscribe. Creating the show every week takes a lot of time, energy, and of course money. Will you please help me continue bringing out those inspiring stories every week by pledging a small monthly donation, you'll find our patreon link at Dev journey dot info slash donate. And finally, don't hesitate to reach out and tell me how this week story is shaping your future. You can find me on Twitter at @timothep ti m o t h e p porker email info at Dev journey dot info