alphalist.CTO Podcast

#23 - Olivier Bonnet // CTO BlaBlaCar


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This time I had Olivier Bonnet, the CTO of BlaBlaCar in the podcast.
BlaBlaCar is the carpooling company: They own the market.
They are active in 22 Countries, have 100M+ Users and acquired 12 other carpooling companies.
Olivier, the CTO, joined me to talk about:

* How his time at ο£Ώ Apple taught him to think long term
* 100 million users, 12 acquisitions: The strategy behind BlaCar
* The complexity of route planning 🌐
* How writing πŸ–ŠοΈ helps people at Bla to structure their thoughts: They are writing press releases for new features, Amazon style.
* You build it, you run it! How technology decision discipline works at BlaCar

Was a great ride with you, Olivier! We both turned out to be a bit more Bla ;-) in this episode than we initially thought.

#22 - Frank Karlitschek // CEO NextCloud


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How to make a living from Open Source?
My guest Frank Karlitschek, the CEO of ☁️☁️ NextCloud ☁️☁️ the open alternative to Google Cloud and Microsofts Office 365 (!) does it for years and tells us where to start. He knows the game!

**Other topics we touch?**
- The 3 Ultimate tipps for open source developers/publishers
How he leads his team of 50+ FTE almost fully remote
- How GDPR can be seen as a chance for European entrepreneurs
- How he built his company without any VC money

Thanks a lot Frank for being my guest!

#21 - Jason Warner // CTO GitHub


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In this episode I talk to Jason Warner, Github CTO aka "the PaaS Guru". He used to work for Heroku before and
explained what he's planning and executing at Github and how Github uses it's massive amount of data to go away
from pure repo-hosting.

Topics that stand out:
* How microsoft is working out quite well for them (Careful: contains Steve Balmer rants)
* How Github will revolutionize the Platform as a Service world (PaaS)
* His thoughts about developer productivity and the broken idea of measuring an individual engineers performance πŸ“ˆπŸ“ˆπŸ“ˆ
* How he breaks down the organization strategy from into mission, vision, priorities, goals, and tasks to get everyone aligned

He also reveals his past as πŸ‹οΈ Fitness Guru, having written multiple fitness books and what happened when a colleague found that out...

#20 - John Graham Cumming // CTO Cloudflare


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This time I spoke to John Graham-Cumming, the CTO of 🌩 Cloudflare🌩, a publicly listed CDN and
Edge Computing platform.

Topics we touched:
* His GNU Make book ;-)
* How they grew to 25 BN marketcap πŸ“ˆ
* What he thinks about edge computing and concrete usecases for it
* How COVID changed the πŸ₯· security world πŸ₯·
* How they operate and maintain a global network with millions of servers

Thanks a lot John for the Chat. Looking forward to see what Cloudflare comes up with next.

#19 - Mitchell Hashimoto // CTO HashiCorp


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This time I'm talking to an absolute legend: Mitchell Hashimoto, the CTO of HashiCorp the company behind a series
of brilliant open source products (Terraform, Vault, Nomad, Vagrant) that are highly successfully both business wise and community wise.
I would even argue that HashiCorp is the only company that manages to do that.

We talk about:
* The path from 7 to 1000+ employees in the last 10 years πŸ“ˆπŸ“ˆπŸ“ˆ
* How Mitch is still able to be a very active github user and contribute a lot of code while growing a big enterprise company to IPO
* How to build successful open source projects
* Where to draw the line in open core businesses
* How to be able to prevent cloud providers from sucking your blood πŸ§›

#18 - Jean-Denis Greze // Head of Engineering at Plaid


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Podcast time! In this episode I'm chatting with Jean-Denis Greze, the Head of Engineering @ Plaid and former Director of Engineering at Dropbox.
Plaid is a fintech Unicorn from the US that just turned down an acquisition by Visa.

We spoke about:
* The upcoming topic πŸ”’ Privacy Engineering πŸ”’ and how it will change our thinking
* How plaid handles 1000s of connections to banks and integrates with a lot of legacy APIs just fine
* His thoughts around Defi and Blockchain
* How they do good business in fintech without touching any money πŸ’°

It was great having you, Jean-Denis!

#17 - Eric Bowman // SVP Engineering TomTom


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This time in the podcast I have a very bright guest I admire for years:
Eric Bowman, SVP Engineering at TomTom, Former VP Engineering at Zalando AND one of the
developers behind the game "The Sims" πŸ§β€β™‚οΈ
He is a brilliant mind when it comes to tech leadership and has strong opinions on autonomy and empowerment.

Topics we touched:
* How 90s gaming development compares to 20s large scale tech teams
* What TomTom does these days and the technical challenges in location based services & mapping these days
* How to establish tech culture and open source in a large enterprise
* The challenges of the automotive industry in a software world πŸš—
* πŸ“ˆ The importances of the accelerate KPIs in modern engineering orgs and how to move fast πŸ“ˆ

It was a pleasure talking to you, Eric!

#16 - Tyler McMullen // CTO Fastly


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This time, I have a very technical podcast on Webassembly and the new kid on the block: the Edge Cloud
with Fastly's CTO Tyler McMullen, one of the leading CDNs and edge cloud companies out there.

* The future of distributed computation: From Serverless to ☁️ Cloudless ☁️
* Webassembly as the new industry standard intermediate representation/micro container.
And guess what? Your browser most likely already supports it!
* How a CDN works internally and the challenges of building it
* How he manages to still be a coding geek in πŸ’°πŸ’°πŸ’° 10BN company

This podcast was actually recorded shortly before Covid - if you wonder how we could meet up in Berlin ;-)

#15 - Jean Michel Lemieux // CTO Shopify


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This time I had Jean Michel Lemieux or short JML, the CTO of πŸ›’ Shopify πŸ›’ in the podcast.
Craziest fact: He took the time two days before black Friday πŸ’₯. In the podcast he also told me why.

We spoke about:
* His fight against crazy πŸ‘Ÿ sneaker - sniping - bots and how Shopify keeps people
in line happy with games
* What it takes to run the largest Ruby on Rails (majestic ;-)) monolith on the planet
* Why he does not believe in microservice architecture but still runs some services
* How he keeps his 2000 engineer army πŸͺ– aligned
* Why he still sells stuff for kids online through his own platform

It was crazy fun, even if I missed the swearing after David Heinemeier Hansson took that route.

#14 - David Heinemeier Hansson // CTO Basecamp, inventor of Ruby on Rails, bestselling author & Race driver


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In this episode I am thrilled to welcome David Heinemeier Hansson, CTO of Basecamp, inventor of Ruby on Rails, founder of Hey.com, book author of books like "Remote" or "It does not have to be crazy at work".

Some topics we touched:
* How David Discovered the magic of Ruby πŸ’Ž
* How he finds moments of deep flow in programming and racing
* Why Smartwatches are a gift from hell⌚
* Why the 60 hour work week is a stupid lie
* Why he would immediately quit if he was hired as CTO of Zalando πŸ‘š
* How they successfully manage Basecamp, and why "the Spotify Model" is a myth

☠️ Strong language, be careful ☠️
And: You might notice that I had to laugh at least 60% of the time. Thanks David for your time and this great episode.