“Cloud is not just technology. It’s a revolution - for everything.”
A Cloud aficionado, Christian Tschenett - our Principal Consultant and Cloud Solutions Architect – is always in awe of technology’s power to transform ideas, entire enterprises - and now, save lives.
Under his expert guidance, Christian’s team has recently created the UK’s NHS Covid-19 app. Developed at breakneck speed, it’s used by 20 million mobile users a day. Not bad for professional Lego players…
Insight in brief
- Discover how Zühlke’s software engineers are at the cutting edge of Cloud.
- Hear from our Cloud guru about way more than just the ‘nerdy work’.
- Learn about our pioneering projects, like the UK’s COVID-19 app – that’s still saving lives.
“The Cloud is a huge equalizer. A small team in Africa could develop the next Facebook if they had the technology and software engineering talent. Historically you needed vast amounts of money for that; now you just need experienced, creative people. The resources are on the internet. All the information you need is there. If you have the motivation, you can achieve anything. And that’s hugely exciting.”
These are the words of Christian Tschenett - Zühlke’s Principal Consultant and Cloud Solutions Architect. Humble, erudite and infectiously passionate about all things Cloud, his first foray into software engineering was when the internet was beginning to change everyone’s lives; he knew then that he wanted to become a part of that transition to the digital age. Two decades later, Christian has been a driving force behind the creation of the UK’s NHS Covid-19 app, developed at meteoric speed.
“We were working for the public sector, but the sheer pace of innovation and development made it feel more like a big start-up,” says Christian. “It was extraordinarily motivating for my team and I to build something that saves lives. We are used to building enterprise solutions. But here we had to create a Cloud backend that deals with up to 20 million mobile users every day; that’s a vast number. We couldn’t have done that without Cloud infrastructure.”
From ‘playing Lego’ to transforming user experiences
Christian also thrives on smaller projects – where a tight-knit team of Zühlke experts (working in a flat hierarchy) bring big ideas and the best technologies together to deliver a clear vision for clients like mobile network operators.
While he describes the technical side of his day job as ‘still like playing Lego’, he’s still working towards big outcomes, like transforming end user experiences. And importantly, he’s never playing alone – the best results inevitably come from clients and engineers collaborating towards the vision and mission. For Christian, this cohesive culture within Zühlke is liberating:
“We are all self-motivated because we like what we do. This creates an open, trusting environment where managers don’t monitor the every move of our engineers. More traditional companies use a pyramid employee structure that breeds competition; you have to fight against your colleagues for promotions. In my mind, that makes it more about politics than ability.”
“At Zühlke, you choose how to evolve and your peers cheerlead you the whole way – we challenge, advise and coach each other. Here, an engineer feels empowered, just as a manager does. We don’t just do the nerdy work,” he adds.
The continuous classroom
Christian leads a Cloud Computing Topic Team that propels Zühlke’s software engineers to continuously learn and stay ahead of tech innovations. He’s also a lecturer at the Bern University of Applied Sciences and he sees the free exchange of ideas as central to mastering the Cloud.
“Learning today is far more accessible – no one is priced out from buying servers and hardware. Anyone can experiment with the same systems and architecture as giant enterprises with a few clicks and one or two dollars on a credit card. That means students can try new things out. Sometimes I learn more from them than they do from me! ” says Christian.
Never standing still
As well as experimenting in the now, Christian and his team of software engineers are always looking ahead. For him, the excitement lies in the exhilarating opportunities Cloud brings to Zühlke’s customers - and the professional services industry as a whole.
“The most exciting thing is that proven principles we used to apply to software - like continuous integration, continuous delivery, automatic testing, re-factoring, version control – also apply now to virtualized hardware and infrastructure. It means we can help the industry take a giant leap forward, applying software engineering principles to everything. It’s such a paradigm shift. Cloud is not just technology, it’s a revolution in the way we do things – everything,” Christian insists.
If you’ve been inspired by Christian’s zest for the Cloud - and want to join the revolution by becoming part of Zühlke’s never standing still software engineering team, we’d love to hear from you.