Meet Gustaf, Developer Experience Expert and salty licorice aficionado
October 11, 2022
- Job role: Developer Experience Expert
- Team: R&D Tools
- Office location: Axis HQ, Lund, Sweden
- Time at Axis: 6 years
What is your role at Axis?
I’m an expert on developer experience. It’s my job to ensure developers are happy and working with tools that help them and don’t cause friction. Ultimately, I help them become more efficient.
I have been working in R&D Tools since I started at Axis. I have been in a few different teams such as working with source code management, how to collaborate around source code for our products, as well as our continuous integration systems – how we build and test things.
Now, my role is more focused on the experience of our developers and how we can collect and present information in the correct context. This is so that they never feel hindered in their development and that it’s easy for them to find the information they want when they want it.
Can you share more about what a typical day at work might look like for you?
A typical day for me is likely quite different to everyone else’s day at Axis. This is because I’m working on quite a few different projects. As a result, no day really looks like the one before.
Depending on the day I may code, hunt bugs, or put out fires. When I say “put out fires” this can mean when systems go down. I try to bring them up as quick as possible to ensure our businesses don’t stop, so that we can continue to produce software.
I also make plans and roadmaps for the future for our tools and services. I collaborate on research with local universities. It’s a very wide ranged role and I love that, it’s awesome. Lately I have been working on our new engineering blog which I’m very excited about.
Understanding our developers is really important. My goal is to make them as happy as possible. This involves lots of talk with various engineers. My end customers are engineers and that’s a very special kind of end user because they’re as technical as I am, if not more. Discussions are extremely straight and focused as they often know what they want. There’s a lot of simply talking with developers and asking them about their day and what frustrates them.
We also cooperate with LTH (our local university) where we do interviews and try to find out what parts of an engineer’s day may feel extra complex and how can we make it easier. We may ask: Why was it extra hard to find this certain piece information in a certain context? And things like that. We actually have really good research to back us up. Together with universities we build evidence on what we need to do and how to fix it. It’s exciting work. It’s also quite a new thing for larger companies to take a more human look at their complex software infrastructure and try to figure out how to make everything feel less complex.
For example, the team I’m in (around 26 people) support over 800 developers who are all delivering code to many different products and features that work over a huge span of technologies – from software running in the cameras, to cloud software, to complex analytics machine learning. It’s a really huge span of technologies on all levels.
Describe Axis in three words.
Innovative, kind and collaborative.
I think we are extremely innovative. I find Axis kind, as in a place with like a kind, warm environment. I think that’s quite special for Axis. Highly collaborative environment.
I think we focus efforts very much in finding individuals who are good engineers and good people because we know that we want a really good environment where people love coming into work.
“Be passionate and be kind. It’s that simple.”
What do you enjoy most about working at Axis?
I would say that Axis is an engineering driven company, if I have an idea for a change that needs to be implemented, I can get support and the chance to make my case at pretty much all levels at the company. Many times I’ve been in meetings and discussions with various directors about large ideas or big tech commitments that the team feels is necessary for the benefit of Axis.
As an engineer I feel like I can really affect stuff on a company-wide level as long as I can back up my claims and make a business case for it. I’m always given a fair chance.
Not only this, but I also feel the feedback that I get from all levels of the company (e.g., all the way up to our directors) is very detailed. I’m always surprised by how much even someone with a huge team to manage (i.e., thousands of employees below them) takes his time to give me the feedback needed, as well as coming back with great follow-up questions. Axis is one of a kind when it comes to being driven by engineers and allowing engineers to be heard all through the company, this is quite unique.
Anecdote: I love working with open-source – I think it’s a great way to promote Axis and our engineers. I have an informal group where we meet a few times a year for what’s called an open source fika. We invite someone at the company to talk about what they’re doing open-source wice. Last year just for the heck of it I invited Martin Gren, founder of Axis and a very busy man, just to see if he wanted to join our fika and talk about open source in the early days at Axis. It only took like four minutes for him to personally get back to me, eager to join and asking when he should show up. He really showed up and held one of the best presentations – it was really funny with lots of interesting anecdotes from the early days of Axis. I think that was quite unique to have the founder just show up and meet us open-source enthusiast in that informal way. It was really great and really fun.
Axis has awesome offices that are light and extremely well planned out. I love our new building and new offices because it’s extremely functional for me and that’s the most important thing. It’s a beautiful environment I love working here.
What piece of advice would you give to those looking to secure a career with Axis?
I have interviewed a lot of people for Axis – all engineers. One of the most important things to show is that you’re passionate about the tech. It really shines through. If you’re passionate, you’ll become a greater engineer.
Be passionate and be kind. It’s that simple
What does work-life balance mean to you?
For me, work-life balance means that the company understands that family life outside of work is important to me. It means that the company does as much as possible to ensure that I don’t work more hours than I’m expected to work.
We have flexibility in how we work. Everyone has commitments outside of work and Axis works with us to ensure we can balance our home life successfully. This is something I really feel my managers at Axis have always tried to do. For example, if we work at home we make sure this works with the team and so on. All my mentors at Axis know that our home life is important, and they know that we should feel well and not stressed. It’s a really good balance and I know Axis prioritize it.
How would you describe Axis’ company culture?
Kind, collaborative, innovative. This is the culture for me, it’s a special kind of culture.
“We always have an ethical early discussion around our products and how they are used – how we can help ensure we build a better world.”
How do you see Axis making a difference in the world?
I think Axis has shown its commitment to being an ethical company, which is important to me personally and likely many other engineers too. We as engineers, and of course Axis as a company, care about how our products are used, the materials used, and their sustainability. We always have an ethical early discussion around our products and how they are used – how we can help ensure we build a better world.
What’s your ideal day off?
I work with my mind quite a lot, so during my time off I want to build stuff with my hands rather than brain. This can be anything with wood, from a bicycle shed to flower boxes. I enjoy that. Anything my wife says we need, I know I will try to build it.
Tell us something about yourself most people won’t know
I love salty licorice! And I have a twin brother – an identical twin brother. Don’t be surprised if you say hello to me and I don’t recognize you at first… sometimes he may just decide to play along instead of explaining that he’s my twin brother.
Curious to join Axis’ R&D team?