Meet Sebastian, Head of Development at Yodel

Name: Sebastian Plagemann 
Twitter: sabbbel
Current City of Operation: Vienna, Austria
Hobbies: running, watching TV shows, mountain biking

What is your passion at Yodel?
I just started at Yodel as their Head of Development. At the moment my passion is to get into the code and the product itself. I am able to bring in an outsider view to see where the product has room for improvement. From the development point of view, backend engineering is my home! I make sure that the platform is stable and for example can handle lots and lots of parallel calls. I am still in the learning process and work closely with Mario and Andre. We brainstorm a lot and coming up with great ideas while doing so. Another responsibility of mine is to ensure that we stay on track with our roadmap!

Let’s talk about Yodel. What do you love about the Yodel bot?
The main reason why I love our bot is that the whole communication process is in one place: Slack. It is great that we make it possible to have a phone number integrated and it makes taking and making phone calls so much easier. I am not much of a guy that likes to be interrupted while coding, so Yodel is working great for me. I know beforehand if the call is important and needs attention right away or if I can give a call back at a later and more convenient time for me.

I also like the fact that no extra hardware is needed! I’m a minimalist when it comes to devices, so this is a huge advantage in my opinion.

What do you like best about being part of the Yodel family?
Everyone is really just really nice to me. Yodel is a small company and is the embodiment of a startup! There are not many conventions and things that have been done a certain way for years. Everyone is open to new approaches and improving processes. At this stage, everyone also has a lot of impact on the product itself. I feel like I am a part of something big and can shape the future.
Besides all this, it is also my first remote job. It is exciting to experience this kind of communication and collaboration with the whole Yodel family.

Back to you Sebastian. What is your background? What have you done before you joined the Yodel Team?
Originally I am from northern Germany. To be precise, I am from Oldenburg and also went there to school. I studied Business Informatics next to working full time. I worked for a bank in their IT department. Fun fact: This is also where I learned how to write COBOL.
Four Years ago I felt like I need a change and I decided to move to Vienna. I wanted to work for a small company in a big city. This is how I ended up at a local Startup as a developer and later as team lead. My main focus was on web development and DevOps. After now 4 years, it was time for a change again and Yodel caught my attention.

How did you figure out that, this is the kind of profession you want to work in?
I had my first experiences with programming websites when I was a kid (like around 12). Around 2000… back when websites were ugly and had flashy images. I worked on some private projects but I really got hooked on web development through my first internship when I was 15. From that moment on, I knew that I only want to do this and nothing else as my future job. I took on some more IT internships to learn more about it and also taught myself a lot through learning by doing.

If someone who reads this wants to become a lead developer, what advice would you give that person?
Just go ahead and try! I would suggest to read a lot about it and think of what kind of technique and environment you want to work in. Do you want to go more into the direction of App development, Web development or something completely different? There are plenty of options out there!

The best way is to think about something that’s missing and try fixing it yourself! Also, try to do some internships, you will have insights from other people and this will give you more ideas and creativity! Try to get as fast as possible into companies to have a hands-on experience. Start as soon as possible and try to land a job during your studies. It complements your studies with practical experience.

Can you recommend any websites or tools, that you wouldn’t want to miss?
My favorites are the following:
Google Calendar — needed to remember appointments, birthdays and Austrian holidays
Meine Wunderlist — I like crossing items from my to-do lists
Pocket — Everything that I’d like to read, but don’t have time at the moment
Feedly — It’s a shame that RSS feeds are so unpopular nowadays — a smile here and there backed by reality — if I need a reason why something does not work

Last but not least: What is the most random fact about you?
I like a good adrenaline rush. For example, I did a bungee jump from the Donauturm in Vienna. It was a lot of fun and a crazy experience! I would recommend doing it when you visit Austria.

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