August 2002. I'm getting off the bus ready for my interview. I've had two other interviews that same week which brings my total number of interviews up to four. Four interviews from fourtytwo applications sent to various companies in and around Aarhus. It's been a good week but that doesn't make the track record go away which means I'm nervous, not just nervous but shaking and having trouble focusing on the job at hand nervous.
With these thoughts in my mind I make my way to M. P. Bruunsgade 26 where my interview awaits. In the mail letting me know that I got the interview I've been told to look for a particular brand of photo shop and that the office of the company will be in the same building. Sure enough there it is. I make my way up the stairs and into what I can only describe as an private apartment, not the fancy office I imagined on the bus ride downtown ten minutes earlier.
I'm welcomed by a man who introduces himself as Erik Hougaard, CEO of Vertica. He shows me around the office and points everybody out to me, the whole thing is over in about 15 seconds and I'm whisked into a meeting room with Erik and two other guys whom I'm sure I was just told the names of but my nerves porhibit my brain from actually storing their names so I just archieve them as red haired guy #1 and red haired guy #2*.
Erik tells me a little bit about the company which has only been in existence for about one year and is currently held by five partners working fulltime in the company. Following the introduction I'm sure I'm asked a number of questions pertaining to me personally and technical stuff but I'm just not sure as I've entered crunch mode and my instincts have taken over... As I tune back into reality once more I'm awed by the fact that I've made it through the interview with only the memory of the chequered linolium floor I saw on my way into the meeting room, a brief image of Simon Sayilgan who was to become something of a mentor to me, and the feeling that I botched the interview by answering the question, "do you know about other technical stuff than programming?" with "do you mean stuff like model trains?".
Leaving the office having said my goodbys and thank yous I take heart in the fact that I've got two girls waiting for me in a nearby bar sure to have a cold beer ready for me.
The rest as they say is history. From that fateful summerday in August 2002 I've grown more than I'd imagined possible in such a short time, both technically and personally. My role has evolved from being the student to becoming the mentor bringing new people on board and having a great time doing so. I've moved from trying to grasp the base technologies such as OOP, SQL, .NET in general to building value added products on top of standard products from Microsoft like Commerce Server and SharePoint.
My two proudest achievements range from the code which drives invoicing and money capture for Bolia.com to building a great delveopment team which specializes in building high quality Commerce Server solutions and custom .NET solutions.
I'm lucky to work with top notch people whose technical skills inspire me to develop my own to ever higher levels. With these poeple around me I look forward to meeting the challenges still in store for me at Vertica head on!
* Red haired guys #1 and #2 are actually Sune Hansen and Troels Riisbrich Underlien, partners at Vertica.
The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent
my employer's view in any way.