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Kristof Kovacs, Software Architect and DevOps Consultant

Kristof Kovacs
Kristof Kovacs
Software Architect & DevOps Consultant

Hello, I’m Kristof, a human being like you, and an easy to work with, friendly guy.

I've been a programmer, a consultant, CIO in startups, head of software development in government, and built two software companies.

Some days I’m coding Golang in the guts of a system and other days I'm wearing a suit to help clients with their DevOps practices.

Some companies I've already worked with #

Career timeline #

gantt dateFormat YYYY-MM-DD axisFormat %Y todayMarker off Senior Consultant & Partner - Priority Queue Consulting: 2015-01-01,2023-04-30 Head of Software Development - MAG: done, 2013-01-01,2014-12-31 Software Architect & CTO - Online Projects: 2005-08-01,2012-12-31 Senior Consultant - Qualysoft: done, 1998-07-01,2006-08-31 Software Developer - Medimon: done, 1994-05-01,1998-06-30 Freelance Programmer: 1993-01-01,1994-04-30

What does blue mean? Marked with blue are the companies where I was founder or co-founder, and also a director or managing partner.

Is everything included? Actually no. Since my 30s, I frequently co-own product companies and fulfill roles in multiple (the way Elon Musk is CEO of both Tesla and SpaceX – not to compare myself). These usually got sold to investors or business partners, and are excluded here.

Skills #

kanban go openbsd automation terraform aws mysql ansible big-data containers rtos caddy wireshark high-availability C c++ erlang gcp freebsd visualization azure scrum management embedded CI/CD agile kafka devops monitoring filamentphp laravel javascript php forensics saltstack grafana load-testing quic mil-std-498 kubernetes benchmarking playwright tcp/ip virtualization blockchain testing java cloud hadoop public-speaking tcl nginx loki scripting dashboards prometheus assembly bash economics lxd zabbix docker dpdk redis nodejs postgresql erp finance game-theory gitlab rapid-development vim linux

Senior Consultant and Partner, Priority Queue Consulting #

2015 – currently

Priority Queue is a boutique DevOps consulting firm specializing in planning, managing, developing and operating bespoke web applications and high-performance backend systems. Some highlights:

  • Developed a high performance and high availability ad-serving system handling thousands of requests/sec. The system was deployed on Austria’s most popular news sites like Spiegel.
  • For a government authority, development of a very high performance deep packet inspection (DPI) cluster in C/C++ (DPDK) and Go, managed with SaltStack.
  • Planned and executed with Ansible the migration to AWS and scaling up of a Machine Learning (AI) and marketing analytics client operating in South America.
  • Development of a distributed global DNS-monitoring system that helps uncover and monitor illegal activities hidden by geographical split-horizon DNS. The system continously shapeshifts around the globe using SaltStack, utilizing a multitude of cloud providers.
  • Developed in Go a Hyperledger blockchain-based online marketplace and a crypto coin for a US client.
  • Consulting for several startups funded by an Austrian-German-Swiss venture group regarding DevOps, system architecture, validation and advice on scaling up systems for growth.
  • For an online premium fashion retailer, the development of courier tracking, invoicing and internal operations modules.
  • Helped the full rewrite of the ERP software and implemented DevOps best practices for a large public body of attorneys ("Bar Association") in PHP.

Head of Software Development, MAG Zrt #

2013 – 2014

MAG Zrt was a Managing Authority through which EU funding of the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) are channelled through to different projects and regions.

  • Increased in-company satisfaction with the IT department by creating a fast-time-to-market LAMP team, which in quick succession released several intranet applications that improved all employees' work environment and streamlined internal processes.
  • Increased the legacy developer team's productivity multi-fold by reorganizing team structure and bringing in-house as much know-how as was possible.
  • Introduced modern Agile methodologies and reformed the relationship of the development and operations departments based on DevOps best practices.

How it ended? I left when the Managing Authority was folded into the Ministry of National Economy, and the IT department was folded into the National Infocommunications Service Company (NISZ).

Software Architect and co-founder, Online Projects Ltd #

2005 – 2012

Disclosure: Although I'm not involved in day-to-day management, I still own part of this company.

Online Projects is a software development and product company that specializes in delivering fast and customized software solutions by building on top of field-tested open source products like (formerly) Drupal, vTiger and the Zend Framework, and (later) WordPress and Laravel.

  • Unveiled WAGE, the first WAP-based game engine at Nokia Conference 2005 in Barcelona.
  • Our “Soccer Manager” online multiplayer game was voted “Best WAP game” at Mobil Show 2006.
  • WapStocks voted “Best business application on mobile phones” runner-up at Mobil Show 2006.
  • Created an educational massively-multiplayer stock trading simulator that was later acquired by the Hungarian Stock Exchange.
  • Lead the development of multiple very high-load backends and webapps, amongst them a smart-metering solution with Sagemcom.
  • Coordinating programmers in Hungary and India for clients.
  • Managing operations of the company's own high-availability cloud solution (this was before IaaS was widely available).
  • Gained experience with various sectors (finance, energy, FMCG, retail, telecom, media, education, etc).

How it ended? I got an offer for a government position that I was eager to get experience with.

Senior Consultant, Qualysoft Ag #

1998 – 2006

As a senior consultant, project manager and developer, my responsibilities were technical team leadership, IT project advisory, programming, keeping in touch with key accounts, and supporting the sales team. During my time at the firm, I worked in Hungary, Austria, and Germany.

  • Participated in more than 15 successful projects (General Electric, Renault, Chrysler, Infineon, etc).
  • I was involved in the development in two Austrian stock trading systems (Erste Bank, Meinl Bank).
  • Worked on high-tech gear such as the wearable computers of Xybernaut Ag.
  • Introduced the agile programming development methodology. (This was new and groundbreaking back then.)
  • Built the IT infrastructure for a successful ISO 9001-2002 audit.
  • Military developments in Germany.

How it ended? I left the consulting firm for a life of entrepreneurship.

Software Developer, Medimon Ltd #

1994 – 1998

Medimon was developing mission-critical medical software for radiology stations; planning, designing, developing and maintaining complete hospital radiology systems in several Hungarian and foreign hospitals.

  • Development of multiple generations of the same software (DOS, Windows, UNIX).
  • First European commercial implementation of the DICOM medical communication protocol.
  • Development of Hungary’s first tele-radiology system.
  • Exhaustive quality assurance, because repeating radiological examinations increases the X-ray dose in patients.
  • Successful installations as far away as Mogilev, Belarus.

How it ended? An unrefusable offer from a consulting firm turned me into an international consultant.

Freelance Programmer #

1993 – 1994

Disclosure: I started working commercially at 16.

Software development by commission for various companies.

  • Developed an early Videotext service for Hungarian cable TV networks.
  • A communication protocol for 2400 baud modems, with error correction.
  • An OS-independent real-time disk encryption starting from MBR.
  • A small antivirus software. (And a 25-byte virus for a challenge.)
  • A sales system running on "Psion" palmtop computers.
  • Modules for a specialized CAD software for "prefab" buildings.
  • Security "audits" of various copy-protection schemes.

How it ended? I got a job offer at an interesting medtech company.

Executive Education & Certificates #

Executive Education:

  • Data Storytelling and Visualisation (🇬🇧 Economist Education, 2023)
  • Integrated Risk Management and Critical Infrastructure Protection (🇨🇭 GCSP, 2022)
  • Critical Incident Management (🇨🇭 Geneva Centre for Security Policy, 2021)
  • Diplomatic Tradecraft for Non-diplomats (🇨🇭 Geneva Centre for Security Policy, 2020)
  • IT Benchmarking (🇺🇸 Stanford Center for Professional Development, 2013)

Online courses completed:

  • Software Security (with Distinction, Coursera)
  • Cryptography (Coursera)
  • Information Security (Coursera)

Additional Information #

(Assessed skills: Go, C, Linux, Bash)

Psychological profile:

  • Myers-Briggs: INTJ ("a rational strategist")
  • DISC profile: high D&C ("a structured individual with a direct style")

In 2002, early signatory of the Manifesto for Agile Software Development:
("Agile" was a revolutionary new idea then, not the default best practice it is today.)

A list of my open source contributions:

Employment legality:

  • 🇪🇺 EU citizen
  • 🇬🇧 UK settled status