Insider Story - Philipp Tölke
We, as tecRacer, thrive on our individual and unique employees. In our new series “Insider Stories” Philipp will tell you how he found his way to the company as well as how he experiences working for tecRacer.
Who am I and where do I come from?
Where I come from is easy; here is a map of all the places where I have ever lived and worked:
(Base map and data from OpenStreetMap and OpenStreetMap Foundation)
To answer the more metaphorical reading of the question: I studied computer science and was hired directly from my masters thesis into a start-up building measurement and analysis tools for (mainly) wind turbines. There I learned how to apply myself to IT and OT, to networking and fieldbuses, to C and to python. I now like to call myself “full-stack IoT developer”. I learned how to lead a team and how to stand in a wind turbine and get greasy. I especially learned how to balance stability and being pragmatic and how having a documented process1 can help with both.
Who I am is the harder question, as I guess it would be for everyone – how should one try to describe a complete human being in just a few sentences? Even harder, how is it possible to do that from the inside?4
I like to think about and work with interlocking state machines.3,5
This is what lead me to study computer science: Computers are the ultimate state machine and I wanted to know how they work. Now that I know that6, I enjoy thinking about how to order all their complexity to enable our customers to get the results they need.
How did I get to tecRacer?
I have the not uncommon experience of being bombarded by messages from recruiters over each channel that they can reach me. In almost all cases the job they are offering is not at all aligned with my wishes or even with the experience I claim to have. But in 2020 I had the luck to become more and more dissatisfied with my tasks and a recruiter offered a place at a small-ish cloud consultancy. I met with them and we hit off immediately.
My experience with tecRacer
My good experience with tecRacer began before I even started working here. I was invited to the yearly in-house conference (which was held on-line, 2020 being what it was) and thus could meet my colleagues in an open setting.
Even though I started working here during a pandemic, the process was very easy. I was sent my computer and phone (and T-Shirts!) and could begin productive work on my first day. I actually was invited to a project with a customer immediately and took over that project a few weeks later.
We are totally free in our choice of tools (both hard- and software) and in what technologies to learn. We are asked to get relevant certifications as those are a billboard for our company’s knowledge and experience. There is a slack channel where everyone is invited to share their experience and ask for help and it’s absolutely amazing how fast most questions are answered. We are all working with our customers on widely different tasks and topics but I feel a great sense of belonging due to that tightly-knit helping-each-other-mentality.
I like how every new project is a fresh start: You have to learn a new customer, new tools, a new design paradigm. I enjoyed that I was trusted to represent the company immediately. I am amazed how the main concern of the leadership is not to give us work, but to ensure that we do not work too much (which is important for a beginning consultant: There are sooooo many interesting problems out there!). I feel welcome and appreciated at tecRacer. So will you.
If you are interested in learning more about us, we are always hiring: www.tecracer.de/jobs/
Code should at least have a
READMEon how to use it, of course! ↩︎
For further reading, take a look at I am a Strange Loop. ↩︎
What do I mean with this?
While typing these lines into my editor, a program is watching for changes in the source files. If I save my work it will generate HTML and notify my browser that the page changed; the browser then reloads. When I am finished I will use git to push my work to AWS where codebuild will pick it up, run the site generator again, deploy the result to S3 and notify cloudfront about changes. This collection of small, easily understood systems is composed to a (almost) fully automated multi-user authoring solution.3 And I have not at all talked about the systems underlying the easy statement “I use git to push my work”!
It is easy to build these kinds of systems using computers, but I am just as fascinated by mechanical or completely abstract state machines. ↩︎
At least to the level of detail that I desire right now… ↩︎