This is my website. I’ve had it in various forms since the mid nineties and with this domain for two decades now. For the last decade or so, I’ve been in Berlin, Germany. Before that I lived in Finland, Sweden, and the Netherlands (my home country).
I am the CTO for Formation where I am building a map powered productivity tool for frontline workers that provides them situational awareness about who is doing what with whom where in the workplace. We use integrations with indoor positioning, IOT, map providers and our own data aggregation platform. Formation was founded only last year as a company but has been bootstrapping for a few years. I joined in 2020 and am now very busy building out the team and technology platform and strategy.
Additionally, I work on the side on small projects mostly related to helping other companies with their Elasticsearch setups. As of 2021, I also mentor a few startups via Techstars program in addition to several startup friends that I coach and spar with.
While my main job is being the CTO for Formation, I still do some consulting on the side to supplement my income. For this, I’m mostly looking for projects where I can add a lot of value in a short time.
I can do several things for you:
Help you with your Elasticsearch architecture or implementation. I’ve done several projects in recent years helping customers with complicated upgrades of their Elasticsearch setup, query optimizations, Extract Transform Load (ETL), and more. I have about 15 years of experience with search and have been an early adopter of Elasticsearch. While I mainly specialize in Kotlin/JVM stacks, I’ve also consulted customers with python, go, scala, node.js stacks in recent years and can generally add value on most backend software stacks. What I do tends to be similar across these.
Help you scale your IOT or geospatial architecture. We obviously do this at Formation and I’ve also worked this topic in Nokia Maps and Nokia research as well as my own startup Localstre.am (2012-2014). I’ve been deploying software using AWS, Google and other solutions for over 15 years.
Mentor or coach you on CTO related topics, product & technical roadmap or strategy, etc. I’ve seen and done a lot in my career, had my successes and failures, and have the battlescars of having worked in big companies, small startups, academic world and freelance projects. If you are stuck with your team and looking to change things, I’m happy to advise you and help you do that. As of 2021, I’m a mentor in Techstars and I have also been helping and advising friends with their startups for years. As an outsider, my only stake in the game will be to help you unblock things in your company. I’ll be blunt, honest, and am generally a straight shooter. I’ll tell you what you need to hear rather than what you want to hear.
For more information, refer to my Linkedin profile.
When not working for startups, I’ve done a few successful consulting projects with customers during the last four years:
- I am helping Berlin based Xai labs with several of their in house projects involving Elasticsearch.
- I am helping Selfloops, an Italian IOT and Sports performance analytics company with their move to Elasticsearch and coaching them on cloud & scaling related topics.
- I consulted on a Bertelsmann project to help them build out their Elasticsearch based recommendation engine and set up their ETL pipeline using Apache Airflow.
- I worked with cere.network to help them with their early technical roadmap, remote team management, and integration of Elasticsearch, Kinesis, in their decentralized analytics solution.
- I helped a Berlin startup based Artory get organized with their ETL pipeline and Elasticsearch querying in a short focused project.
- I migrated Soundcloud’s search engine from Elasticsearch 5 to version 7 in an intense one-month project. The project scope included migrating their custom plugins, updating their schema, fixing their ETL code base and upgrading their deployment scripts.
- I helped build what is now matmatch.com as part of a BCG DV venture and designed and built the first version of their material search engine backend. This included figuring out this very complex domain and coming up with a solution to index, rank, and query hundreds of different types of material properties (physical, chemical, electric, magnetic, etc.) to help users find materials matching their specification from a comprehensive catalog of many tens of thousands of different alloys and other materials.
- Email: jilles AT jillesvangurp.com
- Cellphone: +4917661895701. I’m also on WhatsApp and Signal.
- Address Bergstrasse 16, 10115 Berlin, Germany
- Generally @jillesvangurp on anything I use. That handle is globally unique.
A little guide for contacting me:
- I prefer email but please don’t add me to mailing-lists.
- I generally don’t connect to people I don’t know on LinkedIn, Skype, Facebook, etc. Don’t take it personally if I decline your invitation for this reason. This happens a lot as I have all the buzzwords in my LinkedIn profile. See #1.
- Phone calls are just rude these days. Unless there is an emergency or you know me well: don’t cold call. Especially not during office hours. See #1. I’ve been getting a lot of scam phone calls so, I generally don’t pickup unless I know the number. Leave a message if that happens to you or, better, email or text me.
Privacy & Cookies
This site currently has no cookies that need setting, I have no analytics installed, and nor am I interested in invading your privacy. This may change in the future if I add some new functionality to this site. Current browsers are making tracking quite hard and I actually enjoy using browsers that are good at blocking this. If you enjoy the content, give me a shout out on e.g. Twitter or something. The web hosting that I use may collect some server logs of course. Beyond that, I’m not aware of any kind of tracking or privacy invading tools on this website.