Andreas enjoyed a very special status with us. This was not only because he was our longest-serving employee, but also because he had something good in store for all of us.
When Andreas started at wegewerk in January 2004, he was the only member of our "technical team". A few months earlier, our previous technical manager had gone into self-employment and taken his colleagues with him. So between Christmas and New Year I sat alone in the agency and tried to launch a website with the code of our self-developed content management system "ww.edit", a poor installation guide and my remaining HTML knowledge. When Andreas came, looked and said "I can fix this", a boulder fell from my heart.
Afterwards Andreas took what code he found and realized a major project. He made the system his own and swore in the growing team on ww.edit. Maybe not least thanks to his already unorthodox working methods at that time, the scope of the software grew quickly without any noticeable increase in installation effort and error-proneness. A big factor for our economic development in the following years. When we were named one of the fastest growing tech companies in 2010, it was clear to me: I'm going to the awards ceremony with Andreas.
With ww.edit we are still building websites today, even if the TYPO3 business grew at some point. To meet the increasingly complex requirements of our own infrastructure and that of our customers, Andreas' side job of system administrator gradually became his new main job. His understanding of the internet was as profound as his scepticism about its not always positive developments. This was a blessing for my awareness of security issues. Andreas explained tar pits and rainbow tables to me and forced me to say goodbye to cherished passwords.
His initial impatience with those who were not quite as well versed in the subject as he was later gave way to a new relaxation. Perhaps because of Buddhism. Or the encounter with his wife. Or both. His slippers, worn at work and often smiled at by us, did not hide his unwavering sense of responsibility. If he had to take his parakeet to the vet in the morning, he was the last one to sit in the factory in the evening and made sure we could work. And in an emergency, he was even able to help us out of a jam from one of his favourite holiday destinations in India.
As before, Andreas found his very own solutions for us and our customers as a system administrator. For a whistleblowing project, he developed his own intrusion detection system, he revised fail-safe solutions, and by cross-backing us, he enabled us to shut down reserve servers that had previously swallowed up energy unnecessarily. And just recently he implemented a scaling function that makes us independent of Amazon & Co.
In the meantime, sustainability is also being discussed in the IT industry. How technical solutions can become more efficient and sustainable, save energy and ultimately protect the climate was something Andreas had been working on long before many others. It makes me all the sadder that his knowledge and skills are no longer available for this discussion.
After four months of fighting cancer, he died on January 21, 2020.
Andreas, wegewerk remains inseparably connected to you.