Life as an OSS Developer

and how to become one

Every story needs a Hero

Ours is …​

Middle aged

for almost 30 years now.


even if he wouldn’t shave from time to time.

Depends on gifts from strangers for clothing

mostly conference organizers.

But he has strengths too!

Like asthma

And bad eye sight

Lets begin at the end.

Our hero starts his dream job

He joins Pivotal

Hey Boss what should I work on?

Whatever does help the project.

What DOES help?


Bug Fixes

Reviewing & Merging PRs

Implementing Features

Doing talks

Even not Spring (Data) related ones like this one.

Organization & Process

No planning


Except for

Release Dates

after Spring Framework

before Spring Boot

Breaking API changes


No time tracking

Home Office


My Desk

My Monitor

My Chair

I see my kids


95% Async

  • Slack

  • Mail

  • Twitter

  • Jira

  • Stack Overflow

5% Synchronous

  • Hangout

  • Skype

  • Zoom

Great Team

Boss is Java Champion

Multiple Book Authors

Author of relevant DB drivers

Multiple JUG organizers

All are international conference speakers


Great Visibility

People talk to you


Everything is public

No escape from Work or Home

I hear my kids

No control but self control

It’s like doing you favorite thing all day and getting paid for it. But you do it in front of an enormous audience that is constantly murmuring.

A workday in my life

6:00 Get up

6:05 Make my bed

6:10 Take a cold shower

6:30 Make breakfast

Coffee & Müsli for me, tea for my wife.

6:45 Journaling & Meditation

7:00 Catching up

Twitter, Slack, E-Mail, Stackoverflow

7:30 Work on Jira issues

I picked those to work on the day before or during Catching up.

9:00 Standup

11:30 Move

Running or Freeletics

12:15 Lunch

12:45 Back to work

Small stuff.

Staring at Jira issues to find stuff to work on.

17:00 Work on something outside my office

1st Wrap up

It’s awesome

Inspiration for other companies?

How did I get there?

I realized early on I’m a Prodigy

How to Display an Image

1st attempt

for (x <- 0..9)
    for (y <- 0..9)
       plot (x, y, image[x][y])


for (y <- 0..9)
    for (x <- 0..9)
       plot (x, y, image[x][y])


for (y <- 9..0 step -1)
    for (x <- 0..9)
       plot (x, y, image[x][y])


for (y -> 9..0 step -1)
    for (x -> 9..0 step -1)
       plot (x, y, image[x][y])

There are 8 variations of this

I tried them all.

Multiple times.


Razor sharp focus

In all situations.

Teacher distributes handouts

2 printed on single sheet.

You don’t have to rip it a part. I have a hole punch.

— Me

Still making stupid mistakes

like a pro.

Be a Prodigy?


Keep learning!

Clearly set my goal

By studying physics

I learned …​

You won’t make it alone!

Thanks to

  • Jens

  • Christine

  • Andreas

  • Axel

  • Volker

and many more

I didn’t even wanted to become a software developer

So I started in IT

Got side tracked

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

— First Boss

I’ll become a Project Manager

— Still young me

I finally became a Software Developer

and realized that I loved it!

Set your Goal and follow it!



Try things and see what works for you.

Create opportunities

for Luck to find you

for connecting to people

for learning

What opportunities do you create …​

…​ while sitting in an office?

…​ when speaking at conferences.

…​ working abroad.

…​ writing a blog.

Don’t get stuck in a situation you hate!

Get yourself in scary situations.

Possibly the biggest mistake I made

18 months USA

Creative Writing

Triggered my blog

Which formed a contact to Oliver Gierke

Let’s wrap up

Don’t overthink stuff

You can’t control it anyway

Try stuff

And learn from




Enjoy the trip

One last thing

You probably have to apply

to get a job.

Jens Schauder

Vater, Spieler, Läufer, Boulderer


JUG Organizer