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Andreas Gies

Andreas Gies
Software Engineer #

Studies #

Born in 1968 and was fascinated with IT from an early age. I was lucky to get a place at the University of the German Forces in Munich to study computer science from 1987-1990. Throughout my studies I came in contact with ML, an earlier functional programming language. Even though I really liked the language and the concepts I came to realize that in the IT workplace of the 90’s functional programming didn’t exist.

Air force #

Leaving university I was happy to spend the rest of my air force time as a software developer and project lead for several projects where I learned to love and hate mainframe technologies and got in touch with middleware components such as MQ Series and DB/2 on the mainframe. The languages of those days were PL/I, COBOL and (beware!) assembler.

In 1995 I could withdraw from the mainframe world and came to lead one of the first J2EE projects in the airforce aiming to realize a paperless office. Technologies of these days were LOTUS notes with its scripting engine, still PL/I for the backend processes, C/C++ on the Windows environments and in the last year a glimpse of Java on the horizon.

Consulting #

Out of the air force in 1998 I have spent 12 years with various companies as a consultant / architect / developer mainly on large projects specializing on the middleware components such as CORBA, JMS and J2EE - CORBA still in PL/I on the mainframe and C++ on smaller hardware, but more and more trending towards Java. Over time I had to pick up various languages for adhoc tools - Python, Ruby, Groovy, various shell flavours - just to name a few.

Around 2005 my interest shifted to the structured / model driven deployment of large projects and supporting the development life cycle from a QA perspective. Within my company I was a strong advocat of open sourcing the components we did as professional services, but only with little success. Until 2010 I spent more time on the tooling rather than actual development, writing code generators, test generators, deployment automation tools, migration tools, verification tools - all in Java.

Self employed #

2010 I left employment and founded the Way of Quality, a company mainly interested in Software Quality Assuarance, Development Processes, Deployment Automation and the like. I work with companies helping them to introduce and/or optimize their development and deployment processes with a special focus on making the transition from development to production as painless as possible.

Around 2012 this new langauge Scala caught my interest - a hybrid language with functional elements running on top of the JVM ? I admit I was hooked and started to use more and more Scala wherever I could. 2013 I migrated the test framework for my own EAI framework Blended to Scala and Docker, allowing me to spin up a network of interconnected docker instances to run my integration tests.

Until 2016 all of Blended was on Scala and by 2018 everything moved from Apache Karaf and Camel to Blended Scala components on top of Akka / Akka Streams and Akka Http.

Until today Blended has een 3 major releases and is primarily used to create applications that need to run on heterogenous environments across entire geographical regions. At the moment I am working on automating the deployment of Blended based applications via Ansible and on enhancing the test framework to adopt to Kubernetes, so that we can overcome certain technical limits we have seen integration testing with Docker.

Private #

In my free time I am currently spending time to prototype Blended 4 on top of ZIO, one of the emerging frameworks for functional programming. I am very active on github as atooni and contribute where my time and knowledge allows me to do so.

I have a wonderful family allowing me to vanish behind my laptop for periods of time. Our children are grown up allowing my wife and myself to live in southern Spain and share our family home with 11 dogs : Pinocchio, Pequeno, Pequena, Peppino, Chewbacca, Vishnu, Nicah, Baghira, Molly, Bambi and Savannah.