Transitioning products from proof of concept to mature and stable systems as a Backend Engineer

Daniel Jimenez Maldonado, 01.06.2023

Hello! Who are you? Please introduce yourself.

Hola! My name is Daniel and I am a Backend Engineer. I was born and raised in Barcelona and I am passionate about rock climbing and bouldering so I am quite driven by challenges and I really enjoy the process until I solve them. In my spare time I always try to get my camper van and drive to the mountains to enjoy nature and outdoor sports, especially climbing of course!

I started to work as a Java Backend developer in Barcelona in different companies and sectors such as e-learning, banking, procurement and by 2020, just before the Corona pandemic started, I moved to Munich and worked in the aviation industry and currently in the railway industry.

What is it like to be a Backend Engineer at KONUX?

I find it very interesting working in the railway industry at KONUX as a Backend Engineer because it involves IoT which is a topic that I have been interested in and I think it is transforming the way we live and work by connecting everyday objects and devices to the internet. IoT enables us to collect and analyze data in ways that were previously impossible.

What are you working on?

Currently I am working on the project Point Machine but before explaining what the project is about, let me quickly answer the question of ‘What actually is a Point Machine to make it easy to understand’:

In a nutshell, a point machine is a device used to operate the switches on a railway track. Switches are movable rails that allow a train to switch from one track to another. The point machine is responsible for controlling the movement of these rails.

I am involved in transitioning the Point Machine project from a proof of concept towards a mature and stable system capable of monitoring the health of different types of point machines and supporting multiple railway organizations across the world. I find this very exciting because it has the potential to revolutionize the way we travel, work, and interact with the railway industry in terms of efficiency, productivity and sustainability.

What does that look like in everyday life?

Everyday life as a Backend Engineer at KONUX is challenging. It was especially so at the beginning, since I needed to learn a bunch of new serverless technologies ranging from AWS as well as new programming languages like Python, which for me was completely new since my main expertise was Java. However, I feel much more confident with Python right now. Those are examples of things that I really like about working at KONUX as a Backend Developer. Learning new technologies that make you better as a software engineer as well as the freedom to choose the most suitable technologies for the project.

Can you tell us a bit more about the Point Machine project?

What is special about the project is that we are partnering with another company. This integration is an important piece of the system because it opens the door to monitor the point machines of any railway organization by collecting data from our partner’s sensors. This data is then turned into valuable insights from our system to our customers in an automated and near real time manner. This partner integration is especially interesting because it allows KONUX to leverage the capabilities of our partner’s sensors for point machines in order to enhance our advanced products and also allows different technologies to work together seamlessly and efficiently, creating a more comprehensive solution for our customers.

What is needed to make a project like this with an external partner involved a success?

There are several considerations that should be taken into account to ensure a successful outcome but here are the most important ones for me:

  • Clear communication: It’s important to establish clear lines of communication from the outset. This includes defining roles and responsibilities, setting expectations, requirements and establishing regular check-ins to ensure everyone is on the same page.
  • Compatibility: It’s important to ensure that the systems and technologies being integrated are compatible with each other. This includes testing and validating the integration to ensure that data can be shared and processed effectively.
  • Support: Finally, it’s important to provide ongoing support for the integration project, including monitoring and troubleshooting issues.
What is your role in it?

As a Backend Engineer, I design and implement the system features along with the team members as well as designing and implementing the system integration tests. I also take care of the technical refinements in order to make sure that all requirements are clear before working on the user stories. The technologies used in the project are strongly sitting in AWS services and Python.

What are you looking forward to most, when this project is accomplished?

Seeing how the system brings value to the customer.

What’s your favorite KONUX value and why?

My favorite KONUX value is grit for theses reasons:

  • Passion: it provides the essential motivation, enthusiasm and energy to take on big challenges.
  • Persistence: You have to embrace failure in order to learn and be better afterwards. During these moments one has to be persistent and not give up even though it can be hard to cope.
  • Resilience: Helps to keep going on and the morale up.