About / Résumé

Hi! So nice of you to drop by. This page is all about me 😉 My name is Martin Tepper, and apart from other things I’m a Software Developer living in Berlin. This is me trying to look cool while squinting into the sun:

Photo Credit: Robert “Rockriguez” Quante http://www.robertquante.de

Currently I’m on a sabbatical, “recharging my batteries” and trying out new things, like practicing my writing here.
But what I do best is web-based software development. Let’s start by listing my…

Previous positions

2012-2019

Position
CTO for www.hotel-mssngr.com
Tech
Ruby on Rails, Sinatra (for the API), jQuery (mobile, the framework), Ansible, and all the other full-stack ingredients of a “classic” write-heavy MVC CMS with a read-heavy API and lots of in-house clients and a vast array of features
Responsibilities
Lots: Coding, Architecture, Team Lead, Project Management, Mentoring, Task estimation, Deployments, Infrastructure, Provisioning, Tooling, Documentation, Backups, Monitoring, Analytics, Scaling, Dependency Management, External provider liaison.
Remarks
This is where I “leveled up” multiple times in a lot of areas and came to own a complete system inside and out. Thanks for the opportunity, guys!

2012-2011

Position
Developer for “Hitfox” game shopping platform (which pivoted away from that and became an incubator later)
Tech
Ruby on Rails, “Spree” Shopping framework
Responsibilities
Mostly coding various extensions to and working around the Spree framework, “normal” Rails backend-frontend development
Remarks
My first time in a high-powered VC-backed startup. Intense.

2011-2007

Position
Lead developer at Travel IQ (now sadly defunct)
Tech
Ruby on Rails, homebrewed “Parser” framework in Ruby
Responsibilities
Developed dozens of “Parsers” (i.e. API clients and web scrapers) to aggregate travel data. Some architecture work, and later lead for a team of students also working on the parsers.
Remarks
My first job out of university. I was such a greenhorn 🙂

Qualifications

  • Diploma in Media Technology from the University of Applied Sciences in Emden
  • Native German, fluent English

Acronym soup

I’ve been working mostly within the Ruby and Ruby on Rails ecosystem. Other technologies and tools I’m familiar with: HTTP, HTML, CSS, SQL, Postgres, Javascript, jQuery, Ubuntu, Ansible, Sinatra, nginx, JSON, XML, SOAP, Redmine.

Work examples

Unfortunately, most of my professional work is owned by someone else, lost in time, or thoroughly obsolete. I never had much time to engage much in FOSS development. What I did do publicly can be seen on Github:
https://github.com/MGPalmer
I’m a little proud of this little library: https://github.com/Promptus/masterplan
I was also occasionally trying to be helpful on Stack Overflow: https://stackoverflow.com/users/249760/m-g-palmer

Gratuitous self-aggrandizement

  • I consider the actual code itself (while often fun to write) a means to an end, and prefer to first look for other ways to solve problems, or to use something off-the-shelf. While I’ve worked mostly with Ruby (I just love the language) and Rails, I always try to find the best tool for the job (and budget, team, time constraints, etc…)
  • I like to keep a steady pace and work in a structured and organized way. What I build usually works well and keeps working, though it might seem slower to come to fruition.
  • I like to think I’m not only a developer but a problem solver, and can work independently and thoughtfully as long as I’m familiar enough with the (business) context.
  • I’m something of a conservative within my trade; While current fashions in tech are fun, I like to depend on tried and mature approaches and technologies. Sticking to fundamentals like KISS, DRY and YAGNI has served me well.

Obligatory self-admonishment

  • Sometimes I get stuck on a particular solution or approach to a problem, often because I found a clever way to do something. And even though I usually have a gut feeling that something simpler would be better, it often takes someone else to argue me around. It really helps being in a team.
  • Related to that, I appreciate a culture of open discussion and idea-sharing – but in a friendly and relaxed way. I love to brainstorm and feel out a problem space. But I find it hard to stand by my opinions when arguments get heated and personal…I need to work on that.
  • A calm work environment is key to productivity and happiness – I can’t function for long with constant interruption.
  • I’m something of a conservative within my trade – which can also be a problem 😉

Hobbies and such

  • I do appreciate writing – I’m an avid reader and now trying to improve my own writing.
  • I’ve been playing the guitar for a long time with varying degrees of seriousness. Lately I’ve been improving a lot, and I’m helping out as a community teacher with the GSBTB Open Music School which is a lot of fun
  • I like to ride my bicycle everywhere in Berlin and my motorcycle everywhere else. Don’t like cars much. Hate flying.
  • For some years, I’ve been a hobby blacksmith, making household things out of steel with a friend (who’s been teaching me and also has the actual smithy…my apartment neighbors probably won’t appreciate me setting up a forge on my balcony) who’s a metal-sculpting artist and all-around good people, check out his work: http://werners-esse.de
  • Apart from that, I enjoy swimming, /computer|board|card/ games, gardening, cooking and/or eating a good meal, and a beer or two

Mail me

mgpalmer [teh olde at signe] monogreen dot de

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