The great thing about our job is that we are not just spending our days working on theoretical solutions – we also work directly with our customers in project teams and develop suitable solutions together.
For example, one of our current projects involves implementing an open-source data collection platform. A large proportion of Burda's brands, which have online platforms for shopping or publishing, use SaaS web analytics systems to measure website traffic. To reduce dependency on the few established providers, a pilot project was launched to find and assess alternative open-source data collection platforms. We are currently examining how the Snowplow data collection platform can be used at Burda in various contexts. Snowplow OS software can essentially be installed in any data centre or a private cloud. This gives companies total sovereignty over the data they collect and ensures GDPR compliance.
Burda has its own data centre, in which Snowplow can be run to ensure that data is only processed inside Burda. The platform was placed directly in a Kubernetes cluster so that we can run the applications everywhere. However, for time reasons, we decided to start by running the cluster in Amazon Web Services (AWS) during the PoC. We provisioned the necessary infrastructure using Terraform and the Kubernetes applications using a combination of Helm 3 and Skaffold.
I find this project particularly fascinating because of the various topics it covers – such as Kubernetes and Infrastructure as Code, as well as the use of open-source technologies (Snowplow) for safer administration of user data. It is great that large companies are continuing to focus on user interests and that we can all play our part.
Working together on projects is not the only reason we as a team have such a good relationship. Personally, I think group sports are crucial, which is why I enjoy going bouldering with my colleagues and take part in charity runs. Obviously, this is not compulsory. But for me, it is a great opportunity to switch off from work and talk to co-workers from other teams.
Even now, amid a global pandemic – when we are free to work remotely – we have started holding regular meetings via Teams so that we can see each other and enjoy a casual chat outside our projects. It is a shame we currently cannot gather in the kitchen, but I think it is great that we can meet up away from our regular project work – it is even encouraged by the management.