At age 10, I first got to know computers by a book from my brother called “C++ for game developers” even though I didn’t have the slightest idea of coding then and the book started out pretty steep with all kinds of things, over two-three years I managed to get through to the last page.
After I discovered PHP and web programming for me. It was totally contrary to what C++ had to offer: get things done, easily, quickly and without too much complexity. There I developed my first few complex web 2.0 applications.
Already then I realized that I’m somewhat not a loser at this whole programming thing. And let me it tell you: it was a lot of fun! So I decided quite early at the age of 14 to go to a technical high school, that would encourage me to dive deeper into computer science. At the HTL I also learned a lot about how a computers electronic circuits work and why things make sense the way they were designed.
Back then I already set my goals high to become a professional in this field. Especially my professors in Highschool encouraged me to shoot for the stars. Somebody told me back then, that a high school alumni a few years earlier became one of the best Google engineers. My goal where I wanted to get to was at that point set. I wanted to join Google as well.
Not that this was even close to realistic, but I tried to shoot high and see what was possible. So one of my professors encouraged me to apply to the Technical University of Munich instead of a regional college. I did just for fun and actually got in to my surprise.
Within five years I got to meet a lot of smart people. Learn more basics and tried to get through the courses nobody liked, but were mandatory. The network and possibilities how to work together in many of the groups around campus was just what I loved to do. I became project manager for the TUM campus app. I’m encouraging diversity at TUM through the diversity & queer division of the student Union. I organized a big truck on the Munich pride parade. I got to know a ton of amazing people and we have had amazing times together.
In December I finished my master thesis on site reliability engineering in transformative IT landscapes, looking at startups and mid sized companies that are planing to start applying SRE principles to their software projects. I’d like to thank Dan Lüdtke again, for mentoring my thesis and for chasing me to complete it in time.
Today was my first day at Google as a site reliability engineer.
Shoot for the stars. You might as well reach them and if not, stay persistent. It took me God knows how many applications until I got noticed. I tried again and again. Really wanting something is not enough. Trying ten times is not enough. If you think you are the best in that field, think again. Go to meetups to get to know other people. Be excellent every day. Be passionate about technology! Show the love <3
Big shout out to anyone that supported me on this journey. My professors in high school and in university. My colleagues at my last jobs. All my friends that challenged me. (Chris and Philipp, I’m looking at you) Thanks to my family and my partner, who always believed in me and my goals.
The journey just started.