About

About me

Childhood programming

I started programming back in 1986 when I got my first computer. It was an Atari 1040 ST, and I got hooked immediately at the creative process. When Windows 95 arrived, my father bought a PC for us with that operating system, and my efforts went from BASIC to static pages in HTML and CSS. During a web design course at a school in Svalöv, Sweden, back in 2000, I discovered ASP and started building systems instead of websites.

.NET Career

In 2005 an opportunity finally presented itself to develop software for a living. While traveling in Australia, I got the chance of a lifetime! I built an online based purchase order system. After having missed an opportunity to buy an apartment cheap in Sweden, I couldn’t turn this offer down. I was upfront about my lack of experience but received reassurance that I’d have a mentor all the way. Within a year we launched a revamped and complete version of the original idea. It was built with VB.NET using an MS SQL database where most of the business logic lived. I also created a WebShop where a company could register and have their system automatically set up for them.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay in Australia. They are strict on who gets a VISA, and I was forced to go back in 2006. Started my own company in 2007 and did some consulting for a client in Sweden that first year.

Back then, I didn’t know how to freelance and ended up working in various places using .NET technologies until 2010. At this point, I was fed up with Microsoft and closed source. I remember reporting a bug in the .NET framework that is still there.

Ruby Career

Beginning of 2010, I was living and working in Oslo. A colleague there introduced me to CrossFit. My first workout was something called Filthy Fifty. It was brutal; I got about halfway through when I completely broke down. I was overheated, exhausted beyond what I thought possible and I stumbled to the nearest toilette where I collapsed to the floor. Lying there on the floor of a toilette in Oslo I thought this was it for me; I was positive I would die there and then.

I immediately fell in love with CrossFit for showing me how incredibly out of shape I was. At around this time, my friend and mentor in Oslo suggested I should try Ruby. I guess I was quite visibly upset with Microsoft on more than one occasion.

I started learning Ruby in January 2010 and fell in love the first time I tried a for loop:

[1, 2, 3].each { |n| puts n }

I mean, come on, how can you NOT love that explicit simplicity over the following equivalent in C#:

Int32 arr = [1, 2, 3];

for (int n = 0; n < arr.length; n++)
{
    Console.WriteLine(arr[n]);
}

I probably didn’t even get the syntax right. I haven’t touched C# since 2011…

When I moved back to Sweden, I kept at the CrossFit, and I was searching for an app where I could log my workouts. Someone who later became a dear friend and partner in crime reached out on Twitter and recommended a website called WODstack. It was a little rough around the edges, and I reported a few bugs, asked Brandon Gadoci who developed it if he needed any help. Brandon had a few negative experienced before and made it clear that he didn’t need any help at the moment, but after answering some of his questions on StackOverflow, he got back to me saying he’d love for me to get involved.

We founded a company that we named Form26 LLC; we shamelessly stole some branding ideas from 37 signals. Not only did we, as a two-person team, build out an excellent workout tracker. We also launched a product we named Taskk, a time management app that was appreciated by our users.

Shortly after our soft launch, someone posted an article on Lifehacker, and I spent half a day migrating our entire setup to something that scaled better. That might be the most fun I’ve had in my career.

After the article, we got a little bit of funding, enough to support me working full time on Taskk for a while. We built out a fully functional and excellent product, but as we ran out of money, it was not possible to sustain the dream anymore. Brandon went to (I believe it was Austin) see some investors about realizing the dream. It did not turn out as we had hoped, and at this point, we were both exhausted and disappointed. We didn’t have enough skills to reach the goal. As a side effect of building Taskk, we were forced to prioritize WODstack down. We lost faith for various reasons. Brandon needed to give more focus to his family, and I needed to find full-time work again. We didn’t want to completely abandon WODstack because we had quite a lot of users regularly logging their workouts so we reached out to the interwebz and asked some competitors if they would be interested in taking over.

After getting a few offers, we selected the one that was the least financially beneficial for us because we believed it would be best for the users. The company who took over is Kisko Labs in Helsinki, and the product is WODconnect. They migrated all our users, and workouts to their system and we turned over the source code.

The only real traces from our old apps are Twitter accounts (WODstack, Taskk) and some articles on the internet.

From here on out, I chose a consulting approach and had been freelancing more or less since 2013. I got tired of imposed restrictions on the hardware I could use. I wanted to make my own decisions about my setup. In 2013 I started working for a client who is now named Hero Gaming. At the time their product was called Casino Saga but due to some foul play from King.com who builds and maintains Candy Crush Saga. George Westin, who founded my then client, decided to rebrand the product to Casino Heroes. I built around 80% of the backend; I automated the VMware infrastructure using Chef, was onsite on Malta a couple of times to install servers, handle the technical side of the meetings in regards to getting a gaming license on Malta. It was immense fun building this out, I built the original money transactional system with gamification, designed a truly one of a kind campaign system, integrated two or three casino providers, one or two payment providers. It was a rush!

Unfortunately, it didn’t last, I was working 60-90 hours a week, and instead of building a team, I slowly built myself into a corner.

We had several frontend developers, genuinely amazing people! I was slowly but surely becoming a bottleneck. After a few turbulent months, I began recruiting help, and I interviewed some amazing people. For me, however, it was too late. I completely burned out in 2015 and was forced to step away from the computer for a few months.

At this point, I had been consulting on the side for Kiskolabs. We had a no strings attached type of collaboration. I did what I could when I could, and after a few visits to Finland, I came to like these guys. Kisko Labs is a forward thinking company and an excellent place to work. We talked about perhaps me moving to Helsinki. I figured the language barrier would get in the way, and after some contemplation, I decided to take a permanent position in Berlin.

After another much longer break from the computer and some serious soul searching, I took on a client in London and started flying into London every other week. When I met my wife in 2016, we got pregnant, and she called me from Berlin being sick at home when I was in London, I decided that is not what I want to do.

Most of the work I’ve done since 2013 has been remote.