Full-Stack Software Developer Lukas Lätsch explains in this interview how he ended up at Hostpoint and what tasks and challenges he faces on a daily basis.
Lukas, you’ve now been with Hostpoint since 2020. How did that come about? How did you end up with us?
Lukas Lätsch: Originally, I completed an apprenticeship as a computer scientist in the field of application development. After basic military training and completing my federal vocational baccalaureate (BMS), I started studying computer science at the HSR in Rapperswil (now part of the Eastern Switzerland University of Applied Sciences) and gained additional work experience as a software developer on the side. I then came into contact with Hostpoint employees at an HSR job fair, and was able to get a very good impression of the company. After graduating, I looked into vacancies at Hostpoint, and started a short time later as a junior full-stack software developer.
Within the developer team you work according to an agile project management method, Scrum. What does a normal working day as a full-stack software developer look like?
Due to our very agile way of working, the Scrum method, I can select on my own from the open tasks what interests me the most and what I can do well. In principle, all developers at our company should be capable of both back-end and front-end work. However, since our team has a broad range of capabilities, everyone can usually pick out tasks according to their preferences. In addition to the open tasks that need to be completed, “code reviews” are also done by colleagues for all tasks. Quality is generally a key priority for Hostpoint. This is particularly evident in our developer team.
Instead of trying to get a release done by hook or by crook, we sometimes prefer to do one more round so that we can be sure that the feature we want will work no matter what. Apart from our daily standup meeting at 10 a.m., where current tasks, progress and any problems are discussed for a maximum of 15 minutes, there are usually no other fixed points. This means that I can basically schedule my working hours and breaks entirely on my own.
“Quality is generally a key priority for Hostpoint. This is especially evident in our developer team.”
That sounds extremely flexible. What are the biggest challenges you and your teammates are currently facing?
At the moment we are in the process of replacing the existing platform and building a new one. This is also where I see the biggest challenges at the moment. Replacing the old platform is a matter of analyzing existing solutions to adopt best practices while improving known limitations at the same time. Overall, performance, maintainability and usability are to be increased. Careful evaluation is needed to show which parts have potential for improvement. But there are challenges for the new platform, too. When building the new platform, we pay particular attention to the future viability of the technologies used. We need to weigh whether an interesting technology can be profitably integrated into our existing platform.
Hostpoint has tens of thousands of different customers who work with the platform every day. Where do you see the biggest challenges?
I guess they lie in two areas. On the one hand, there’s usability and user experience. Since our platform, known to our customers as the Hostpoint Control Panel , is used by many different user groups – from the “techie” who would prefer to write the config himself to the grandmother who works on the website of her gymnastics club – it is important to find the right balance so that everyone can enjoy the Control Panel and work with it as best as possible.
On the other hand, we must ensure that we can offer smooth operation with as few service interruptions as possible in daily use, with every update and for all new developments. To achieve this, a certain level of redundancy and margin for error must exist at all levels of the platform.
You’ve been on the Hostpoint team for about a year and a half now. What do you like best about your job so far?
The most interesting aspects of my work are those related to software architecture. Among other things, this involves evaluating the technologies that we could integrate into our platform in the future and creating what are called “proofs of concept” for software design patterns or internal services, for example.
What do you think makes the work the development team does special?
First off, the team and the work itself, definitely. We are well-coordinated, very collegial and take care of the whole platform, which consists of tens of different projects and topics, with a lot of passion. This makes the daily work routine very varied. We never get bored because we can always develop something exciting and learn something new.
The way we work is definitely also a factor. We place great value on solution-oriented thinking and personal initiative. We therefore work very pragmatically and agilely. It is important to us that we continuously improve, fix mistakes and learn from them. If we can identify a problem and present a viable solution to it, the solution will be implemented in a timely manner. In addition, it is customary for us to involve the entire team, or at least the people affected, in major decisions in order to discuss how to proceed.
Hostpoint’s Software Development team currently consists of seven developers. However, Hostpoint is constantly on the lookout for new, motivated team colleagues. More interesting information about the team and current vacancies can be found in the Jobs section of our website.