Welcome to “Inside Wercker”, a monthly feature where we introduce you to one of our team members. This month we get to know Benno van den Berg, Cloud Engineer at Wercker.
Who are you and what do you do at Wercker?
My name is Benno van den Berg, but you can call me Benzo. I’m originally from a small village called Den Helder and moved to Amsterdam about 5/6 years ago. I live in the northern (coolest) part of the city and I’m a Cloud Engineer by day and beer connoisseur by night. I mostly work on the backend, so from a technical perspective I basically do everything :).
I like to write my code in Go because of its simplicity and ease of use. The fact that it compiles into a single binary is awesome. Before I saw the light I used Node.js and before that it was C# (C-sharp).
When did you know that you wanted to be a developer?
I think I somehow knew that I wanted to be a developer since I was a little kid. I was always very interested in computers – which were very different back then even though I’m not that old, haha – and remember going on a family vacation to England when I was still in primary school, whilst there I bought a book on VBScript (Visual Basic Scripting Edition) which got me into programming. When I got back home I spent A LOT of time sitting behind our family computer. In a vain attempt to curb my Internet usage my parents installed an Internet data limiting application, which I quickly bypassed…
Initially at school we learned the all-round IT stuff with very little programming, so I pursued the ‘real thing’ in my free time. Later on during my studies it finally got more interesting and I realised pretty quickly that I had a knack for programming. Why backend? There is actually no specific reason for that. In my eyes it’s just ‘easier’, you’re much more in control of what’s happening in the backend, a lot more can go wrong while working on the frontend.
What attracted you to Wercker?
Fun fact but I was actually Wercker’s number one hire so that makes me the first Wercker (besides the CEO and Founder). When I was still at my old job a former co-worker of mine, Mies (side note: Mies = Micha Hernandez van Leuffen, CEO and Founder of Wercker), asked me to get a drink with him at a local bar where we often hung out. This is when he asked me if I wanted to join Wercker. I slept on it for a night, but the decision was quickly made. Back at my old job I was always working on the same product, programming the same thing over and over and over (all in Windows, I get goose bumps just thinking about that). Wercker was something completely new for me, starting something from scratch has it’s up’s and down’s but is so exciting to be part on something new like Wercker that that you created together with a team of passionate developers. It’s just the best feeling.
What software do you use?
I’m a passionate Linux user, I have never been a Mac person even though I also have a MacBook for mobile work. Apart from that I use Ubuntu and Xmonad for screen splitting. Vim is my go-to editor.
In terms of phone I’ve been an Android guy from the beginning. I actually had the first developer phone, a G1. Right now I’m using the Nexus 5, which I guess is due for an update.
What side projects are you proud of?
I think that would be my Cronetes project. At Wercker we need to run scheduled jobs on our Kubernetes cluster. Since Kubernetes’ answer to cron (ScheduledJobs) isn’t quite production ready yet, I set out to create a simple cron daemon to periodically run our jobs for us in the meantime we need to run scheduled jobs on our Kubernetes cluster.
If you’d like to find out more about this please check out the blog post I wrote about it, which you can find here.
Where would we run into you when you’re not sitting behind a computer?
That’s an easy question that probably all of my co-werckers could answer for me. In my free time I can often be found at the Oedipus Brewery in Amsterdam North eating a burger from the Beef Chief. They make the best beer and burgers in the whole of Amsterdam respectivly. Apart from that, I’m a big fan of Korean food, so you might run into me at Yokiyo in the East of Amsterdam enjoying some delicious Korean dishes. I’m a big fan of craft beers so in terms of bars I like to go to the Beer Temple, located in the city center. If I’m not at work or at one of these places I’m most likely at home with my temporary cat Louis playing a game (currently ‘Fallout 4’) on my Xbox One.
Want to get to know more about Wercker? We’re hiring, so check out the careers page for open positions in Amsterdam and San Francisco.