Introducing: Bruno Ballekens, Senior Software Engineer at Waylay

Written By: Miruna Suru | Date:
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We are happy to welcome Bruno to the team and are looking forward to working together, so in order to get to know him a little better, we sat together to talk about his background, passions and reasons for joining Waylay.

What have you been doing before joining Waylay?

After graduating, I joined Alcatel as a developer. Fun fact: on the same day and in the same department, Veselin (co-founder and CTO of Waylay) also joined Alcatel, so we go back a long way. We worked on management software for network equipment and after a few years, we started developing diagnostics software for xDSL networks. Those years were really fun: first pitching the idea to management, building a prototype, convincing the DSL experts of its viability and usefulness. And then further developing the prototype into a real product with a great team, which was also later joined by Piet (co-founder and CEO of Waylay). Veselin grew fast from lead developer to architect and then to team lead of the bunch. I grew to senior developer and then to technical lead.

When the product became successful, there weren't as many technical challenges and by then I wasn't doing much coding anymore so I left Alcatel and joined a small company, EnergyICT, nearer where I lived. EnergyICT made dataloggers and communication modules for energy meters and the software to collect and process data from those meters. At the time, the metres were mainly installed at large industrial or commercial sites and measurements weren't coming a few times per year but actually every 15 minutes! So the data volumes to handle were pretty substantial.

Two years after joining EnergyICT (which was a SME at that time), the company was bought by a German meter vendor called Elster. They realised that their customers, who were preparing for the massive rollout of smart meters to residential end customers, not only wanted the hardware (meters), but a complete solution, including a data collection/management software with integration capabilities for their business applications. And that is something that we at EnergyICT excelled in.

Around that time, or maybe a bit later, we started realising that the software platform we had been writing for the past 20 years was at the end of its life. Together with our American and Romanian colleagues from Elster, we started defining and building a new platform. For the past two years I was responsible for the overall architecture of this new platform.

What will you be doing at Waylay?

I'm joining as a developer on the backend. I hope to apply my experience to help strengthen the platform and building it out further. I'm actually really happy to be coding again. To people unfamiliar with software development, it might seem strange or boring, but actually software development is really fun! It is so creative and challenging. But most of all, building software from a given problem statement and seeing the computer do what you told it to do is really satisfying. :-)

So why an IoT tech startup and why Waylay?

Smart metering is considered to be one of the first areas of IoT, so the IoT world is not completely new to me. Utility companies however, are a bit conservative and the IoT space is moving so fast these days, I know that there is much more to learn about it and that is exactly what it makes so interesting.

Why Waylay? As you can see above, I go back a long way with both co-founders and we spent some really great years together building products. I was already following Waylay from a bit of a distance. When I saw Piet by coincidence a few months ago, he explained that Waylay is growing a lot, so I started to get more interested. And when Veselin showed me all the cool stuf that you can do on the Waylay platform and all the cool technologies that it is using, so I was sold: this is the challenge I was looking for!

What are some of your passions outside of work?

Spending time with my son, who is now 6 years old, is one of my favourite things. He surprises me every day with what he learns and picks up. Apart from that, I enjoy playing the french horn, my wife and I both play it and we are members of the local band back where my parents live and I am also in the band's board.

Interested in joining us? We are hiring,check out our open positions and get in touch, we'd love to hear from you.

Miruna Suru

Inbound marketer @Waylay, background in B2B marketing, trade development, performing arts, passionate about space exploration and storytelling.


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