Meet Christian Probst: DevOps Tech Lead at Nordic API Gateway

With a burning passion for DevOps, Christian Probst has driven the cloud maturity of Nordic API Gateway to a higher level. He’s managed to implement the DevOps mantra into every corner of the company by automating everything he can get his hands on. He’s implemented Terraform to our setup and our infrastructure is now easier than ever to work with. 

But who is this razor-sharp developer and what does DevOps mean to him? We sat down with Christian Probst to find out. 

Why did you decide to become a software developer? 

From a very young age, I’ve always had an interest in computers. I thought machines were cool, so I went for mechanical engineering. 

Turns out, that wasn’t the right choice for me. I was designing a crane as a part of my assignment and quickly came to the realisation that my crane would forever be a simulation. I couldn’t build it myself because it was so big and even if a company would build it, it would take years before I could see it with my own eyes. 

In software development, the time from idea to something running on thousands of VMs in the cloud is unbelievably short. Plus, I could implement an entire system from the comfort of my couch. 

What does DevOps mean to you? 

DevOps is a cultural mindset focusing on transparency, teamwork and rapid iteration. In some ways, it’s also about making software development a joyful experience.

How do you make sure that the DevOps mantra is implemented in all corners of the company?

By always looking out for inefficiencies, not only from a technical perspective, but also from a process perspective. 

If we see that teams are solving the same kind of problems, but in different ways, we might suggest that they find a solution that everyone can benefit from. 

If we see teams struggling in the same areas, we can provide tools, do some research and share our findings or simply encourage them to join forces.

DevOps is not just about tools and automation. If you throw a tool at someone without any guidelines on how to use it, you will probably create more chaos than order. 

How would you compare the current setup to the setup the company had when you started?

It’s easier than ever before to work with infrastructure. But there is still a long way to go and a lot of low-hanging fruits.

What has been your biggest achievement at Nordic API Gateway? 

Being a code reviewer on a Terraform change made exclusively by a developer. That was a clear sign that what we were doing was working.

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How would you define the workplace culture at Nordic API Gateway? 

The culture in Nordic API Gateway is unique. We’re all super focused and high performing. At the same time, we’re all ready to give each other a helping hand and we’re always nice to one another. You can always depend on  someone in the company ready to support you. And you always know that there are at least a handful of people ready to play Nintendo Switch and drink Polish vodka after work hours. 

What do you like to do outside of work?

Computer games are what started my journey into software development, and I still spend a lot of time playing different games with my friends. When I do something in the real world, I enjoy cycling and bouldering.