“Building stuff” Inside Casengo #7


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Eight years ago Christophorus (Chris) Nugroho (1986) came to the Netherlands to study the crazy coding word of IT, and here he remains. Our Java maestro is one of the founding few to work on Casengo from day one, and calls it ‘new, challenging, warm and friendly’. Fortunately for us, Chris says he actually likes working on his computer hour after hour, day after day. “I like to build stuff, and then do the final implementation with the server update. The whole end-to-end process is satisfying.” And fortunately for you, Chris is ‘the guy on call’ if ever the server connection is lost - 24/7. Not only does he ensure the service is uninterrupted, he also handles the frequent application of updates to the server, plus any migration work required. While mainly behind-the-scenes in the back-end of the application, his role is an important one. When asked if there are any identifiable features in the software that he can lay claim to, his response is: “Can I say ‘everything’? After all, I keep the application running, haha! My work is mostly in the back-end detail, which users don’t see, but most noticeable in the interface is the email reply handling and the left-hand overview panel on the home screen.” Obviously he’s happy to develop the front-end too, when required, which is one of the benefits of working for a startup. “Everything is varied. I like trying out new technology, learning new stuff and experimenting... which isn’t always a possibility with more established products.” Developing code for the foundations of a product is another reward - and a challenge - of working for a grass-root product. “What we create today needs to be scalable for the future. I need to look for the best solution with the minimalist impact to server performance. I’m constantly asking how lightweight a feature will be. Sometimes the answer is not the most obvious, nor the easiest solution.” It’s all in a day’s work for Chris, who, despite his love affair with IT, breaks the typical IT mould. “I’m proud of achieving a good work-life balance. I do try to tackle the stereotype of the IT geek by socializing, working out at the gym and travelling.”