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Erik Dörnenburg

Developer and Head of Technology

I'm a software developer, consultant, and Head of Technology at ThoughtWorks, helping our clients with writing custom software.

Over the years I have worked with many different technologies and technology platforms, always curious to understand the potential they offer to solve real-world problems. Having seen a fair share of overly complex architectures I became interested in exploring simplicity in design and software visualisation as a way to make architecture more understandable.

My career began in the early nineties and throughout I have been an advocate of agile values and open source software. Over the past ten years I have spoken at many international conferences, contributed to a few books, and maintained the OCMock and CCMenu open source projects.

The Interview

I came to find ThoughtWorks by

...a friend. The office in London had just opened up, my friend had joined and was really excited about ThoughtWorks. After a few conversations I knew I had found the right place. I wanted to keep writing software; nothing wrong with becoming a manager, but not for me. Over the years I got more involved with influencing ThoughtWorks' strategy, but, still, I'm spending a good bit of my time writing code.

The thing I'm most proud of from my time here is

...helping The Guardian build their new online platform. Of course, The Guardian newspaper has a long and successful history. At the same time they knew that the future would be online. Completely rebuilding the website, parting with a dusty content management system and building a new bespoke solution, was an ambitious but also hugely rewarding task. I am proud that the technical vision I shaped as the initial tech lead has served as the foundation for many years to come.

One of the most interesting stories I recall from my time at ThoughtWorks was when

...we travelled to Istanbul in the context of a larger project. This is quite a while ago, in my first year at ThoughtWorks. The client had arranged dinner at a restaurant on the Bosporus. Afterwards we stood outside on a pier, when a small boat suddenly appeared out of the darkness to pick us up and to bring us to the Maiden's Tower for some drinks. (The tower is on a tiny island in the middle of the Bosporus.) One of my favourite travel moments, sitting on that small boat with colleagues who had become friends, literally travelling between Europe and Asia, surrounded by the lights of a great city.