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Short and simple HTTP redirects

This week happy circumstances made me the proud owner of the rather short domain X.GL. Not yet sure what to make out of it I started with what seemed obviously cool to me: Craft myself one of the shortest possible email addresses. From now on you can save yourself some typing when addressing a message to me. Just send your love letters to And then it struck me that a short domain asks to be used for URL shortening.

A tale about a Legacy Application, Infrastructure as Code automation, and ideas on reducing the MTTR

Seasoned systems engineers may remember the time when a cloud was something everyone ignored on a network diagram. It was a time when applications ran on electrified metal and we all knew where our machines lived. In a closet at the end of the corridor. We stopped ignoring the clouds when they brought us data centers on demand along with our bosses’ excitement for saving money.

Love Letter to the Cloud

I discovered an undocumented feature in my wifi-capable, portable document scanner: It can upload scanned documents, such as unsolicited love letters, via a webhook. Implementing the server side of the webhook was a nice afternoon project.

Smartphone Astrophotography

A few days ago my wife and I visited the Teide Observatory on the volcano island of Tenerife. We learned about the donkey’s belly cloud-blocking weather phenomenon that makes the Teide national park the perfect place for stargazing. Yesterday, after sunset, we jumped into our tiny rental car and drove into the Teide crater for some astrophotography.

Management and Leadership Interview Preparation (My Path to SRM)

I was a bit surprised by how thoroughly Google tested my management and leadership skills. Three out of the eight interviews were about management and leadership. That gave me a strong hint that these interviews are similarly important to Google as the technical interviews. I had to reflect about my past leadership experiences in the army, about management in non-profit organizations and my team leading in the realm of event management. I also had to think about how I approached education (which I am passionate about), coaching and mentoring. If I wanted to demonstrate those skills in an interview I knew, I’d better have my story straight and be aware of what I am and am not good at.