In my latest business venture Degesso, I have been concentrating on developing WebMate: currently the only solution that allows you to automatically and exhaustively test Web 2.0 applications for cross-browser compatibility. By bringing WebMate to the market, Degesso performs a research transfer: award-winning research results are transferred to the market and, at the end of the day, brought to business success. In my spare time, I teach Salsa dancing at Studio behrous, Saarbrücken. You can find further information about my Salsa classes at (Er-)Lebe Salsa.
Already during my time at school, more precisely in April 1999, I launched my first large online project – “Saarparty” was one of the first events guides available online in Germany. Motivated by quick success both of this and other projects, I started my own business in the very beginning of my studies in computer science. There, I was able to test acquired academic knowledge in praxis and to gain more experience at a practical level.
Accordingly, for my diploma thesis I chose a topic that conjoined latest research in software engineering and concrete needs in industry. In my doctoral studies, which followed directly, I also had been working on methods that automate finding failure causes and simultaneously make debugging more efficient. The knowledge gained from those studies consequently has been transferred into the economy.
The interlocked learning at the university and in two companies owned by myself constantly has been complemented by specific further training on topics like style of leadership, communication, business management, consulting, and project management. In this way, I have had the opportunity to acquire diverse and versatile knowledge, and also to gain many years of practical experience in software engineering, project management, and last but not least, business management.
Tell me – and I forget. Show me – and I remember. Let me do – and I understand.attributed to Confucius
After I had completed my thesis on the subject of “Locating Failure-Inducing Code Changes in an Industrial Environment” in December 2005, I got my diploma in computer science (Dipl.-Inform.) at Saarland University. That research project was a close collaboration of the Software Engineering Chair (Prof. Dr. Andreas Zeller) with 1&1 Internet AG where I worked as intern.
Following this, I had been working as scientific assistant and PhD student at the Software Engineering Chair. Since July 2011, I had been working there as Postdoc. The focus of my research continued to be on automated debugging – finding the cause of a failure automatically: Why does my program fail? What exactly is the root cause of the failure?
In June 2011, I successfully defended my PhD thesis and finished my work on JINSI: Taking a single failing run, this debugging tool records and minimizes the interactions between objects to the set of those that are relevant for the failure. The result is a minimal unit test that faithfully reproduces the failure at will: “Out of these 14,628 interactions, only 2 are required”. In a study of 17 real-life bugs, I reduced the search space to 0.22 % of the source code, with only 1-12 interactions left to examine. Other researchers referred to this new record as “the end of manual debugging”.
Already at the very beginning of my studies in computer science – in 2000 – together with Daniel Barth I founded the company netbeyond in the Starterzentrum at Saarland University. From there, we moved to the Science Park of the university and finally to our own office space in the center of Saarbrücken.
netbeyond developed custom software, offered content management system solutions, and provided services related to web design, including the design itself and consulting.
We put knowledge from different disciplines, as computer science, information systems, information science, and psychology into practice. In more than ten years, we had been implementing many projects for different clients, from small businessmen to medium-sized businesses to stock corporations active on a global scale. As a result, we were able to gain a strong industrial background in software engineering, usability, design, and web technologies.
When my PhD thesis came to an end and with the fruition of the idea of WebMate, I finished my work at netbeyond. That work offered the perfect opportunity to transfer academic knowledge right away into reality and to align it with praxis.
In April 2007, I acquired a well established Salsa dancing school called Chili 'n' Salsa and became managing director of the school. The school was located in Saarbrücken, Germany. Besides general management (human resource management, marketing, controlling, etc.), I was responsible for organizing classes with internationally renowned Salsa dancers. In September 2007, I decided to resell the school in order to concentrate on my studies.
Furthermore, I have been giving dance classes myself where I taught the Latin-American dances Salsa and Bachata. Next to social dancing and taking group lessons, I still regularly take private lessons from internationally renowned dance and drum trainers (e.g., from Cuba and Brazil) to continuously improve both my dancing and my teaching skills. And the best thing: both dancing and giving classes is terrific fun.
Currently, I am giving Salsa leassons at Studio behrous, Saarbrücken. Engaging in activities like dancing, drumming, running, and yoga provides an ideal counterbalance to my work schedule.