Meet Jan: The Solutions Guy
Hey, I’m Jan, and I’m one of the original members of the PLANETROMEO team. I’ve been here since the time when our online community was run mostly by volunteers. We wanted to create a safe platform, where you could build lasting friendships, find sex, and love. These are still our core values today.
As PLANETROMEO grew, it became evident that the volunteer structure wasn’t going to be able to cope with the demands of our rapidly growing network. So Jens, our founder, was often looking for me to help on one project or another. In 2003, I was already so involved and familiar with PLANETROMEO that he hired me as Development Engineer.
When PLANETROMEO started, code was in its early days, and no one could imagine how it would grow. In the beginning, we didn’t have much of a clue about what we were doing. The lack of proper frameworks that would ease development forced us to create custom code. Today, with a larger team and greater knowledge, it’s time to improve and evolve the code to match our expertise. We always try to maintain the original essence of PLANETROMEO, a fun and safe space, while enhancing the code underneath.
PLANETROMEO Beta is an excellent example of this. It’s beautiful, user-friendly and new, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg. Behind all the gorgeous glossy graphics, we still have some of our old code from the early days. Over the past few years, we’ve been finding ways to update and replace major parts of the code while still keeping PLANETROMEO going for all of our members.
And there’s still a lot to come. For example, when we originally built the messaging system we were using the technology and the limited resources available to us at the time. Now everything is very different, and we need to update the chat and messaging system from how it was, to a more modern and larger service. We want to offer more storage, to meet demand, and to be able to keep a longer history for users to refer to.
Currently, my business card reads ‘System Owner’ which, in developer’s terminology, is similar to a product manager, but more targeted towards the technical stuff and the infrastructure. However, I’m not fulfilling that position to its full extent. I’m ‘a little bit of everything’ and involved everywhere – of course mainly backend development and system operations stuff.
With my very broad and deep technical understanding, I can quickly come up with solutions to help point my co-workers in the right direction. I also enjoy keeping an eye out for threats, trying to spot problems and development issues before they happen, and offering contingency plans to our developers and ops people.
Suffice to say, I’m a solutions guy who loves working for and belonging to a gay company. It’s great to think the work done here is enjoyed by so many men in the gay community. It’s a very special feeling.