Guus Bosman

software engineering manager


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Dutch-American software engineering manager

Guus.About Sasha & Guus

I'm a software engineering manager and I work in Arlington, Virginia. My current work areas include fraud detection and high performance Java but I love all kinds of software development, and especially enjoy creating happy and productive engineering teams.

My wife Sasha graduated with a PhD from Duke University and now has a cool job in Washington, D.C. Our daughter Nora was born in 2012; our sons Leo and Adrian in 2015.

My full name is Guustaaf Bosman but I go by "Guus". This is a typical Dutch name, and some non-Dutch speakers use "Chris" instead. I was born in the Netherlands and Alexandra (Sasha) is from Bulgaria. We speak English at home, though Sasha speaks Dutch fluently and my Bulgarian is quite decent.

Sasha and I met in the summer of 1998 in upstate New York. In 2000 Sasha joined me in the Netherlands, and a few years later we moved to the United States permanently.

This blog serves to keep in touch with friends and family, many of whom live far away.

About my work

I love technology and really enjoy my work, which I started in September 2011. It's my policy not to describe my work or employer. Also: this is my personal blog and the views expressed on these pages are mine alone and not those of my employer.

At my previous employer I created a very successful data center management product, see screenshots here (technology highlights: ExtJS for the UI, Ruby on Rails front-end, Java back-end and REST & ActiveMQ as the glue in the middle).

Hobbies

I enjoy reading about technology, management, psychology and history. I keep track of some of the books that I read on this site. I also have a big list with "must-read" classic books that that I'm slowly working through. As a true Dutchman, I love 17th century Dutch paintings. I like running half marathons and hope to run my first full marathon sometime in 2012, or perhaps in 2013.

Are you interested in experiences of Dutch immigrants to the States? I'm the publisher of a successful newsletter & website for Dutch-Americans, Dutch in America.com (also on Facebook). I was quoted in The Economist in January 2012.

I started this website in June 2001 to stay in touch with friends and family. The server is running OpenBSD and Drupal and it is located in the Netherlands. It has been running non-stop since October 2006, and it's strong enough to survive an influx of Slashdot readers. I've considered SliceHost, but a private server is a lot more cost-effective (read more about this website).

A small open source project that I'm somewhat proud of is Java Config (http://javaconfig.sf.net): it solves a simple problem really well and it's well written and well tested software with a code coverage of over 95%. It is now "old" and lost its usefulness years ago when newer tools like Spring came along. I've contributed some other code to open source projects, mainly tiny things such as a recent comments block for Php-Nuke in 2003 and more recently a patch and scripts for Drupal. I'm proud to say that, where appropriate, I've approved many patches and contributions to open source projects in my work.

I really like languages. Dutch is the native language in the Netherlands, and obviously English is my second language but I also try to maintain my skills in other languages. I speak German pretty well, and when I worked on a consultancy engagement in Puerto Rico in 2006 I attended a Spanish language course. I always keep working on my Bulgarian since my family-in-law is Bulgarian and in 2010 I started brushing up my French through a course in Chapel Hill. Once I hope to gain a DELF B1 certification.

Occasionally I'll come across an American word or expression that I haven't heard before.

Some of the books and technology that I love.Engineering management

I'm an engineering manager by trade and I combine the roles of technical architect and people manager. I've managed up to 20 people at the same time, mostly software engineers.

I've worked with a variety of agile methods, including elements of XP and Scrum, but most companies I've worked at all had a slightly different implementation, and that's fine with me. I'm very pragmatic. I enjoyed reading "Rework" -- it had a lot of statements that reflect how I approach work and business.

Technology wise, I'm pragmatic. I believe Java/J2EE has its place in the enterprise, and there are places where Ruby on Rails or Python may be more effective. (When starting a new product at work, I switched our technology to Ruby on Rails with ExtJS for the product's front-end, a change that paid off handsomely). I use PHP and Drupal for my personal sites.

Programming wise, I've been across the spectrum: I've written kernel code in assembly and C but also used full-blown enterprise integration stacks based on XML transformations and web services and everything in between.

I'm a manager now, and do not typically write production code myself. I'll fix some small bugs here and there but I don't have the time that real development needs. Besides: I like to hire people who are better programmers than I am.

Sometimes I still dive in the code though. For a customer in Puerto Rico I designed and oversaw the implementation of an integration between an order entry system and a order work flow system, and many smaller subsystems such as for address validation and credit checks. I spent a few weeks working late nights and weekends reverse engineering one of the interfaces myself since it was very poorly documented and even the vendor couldn't help us. It was a great feeling when I managed to get a prototype of the basic system working, and in the months after that we implemented this successfully.

I've designed and architected great products from scratch. I'm very proud of a product I've made for my previous employer in Raleigh, which my team and I started two years ago and is now in use in some of the largest data centers in the world.

Technology skills have a half-life

A timeline of skills:

- 1992: Visual Basic for Applications. Created my first commercial software using Microsoft Access and OLE Automation.
- 1994: More VBA. Expanded my software business, created a payment terminal system for JUMA
- 1997: Learned Java in college
- 1999: First part-time work with Java
- 2000: Learned about Ant, jUnit
- 2002: Maven. OpenBSD. Apache.
- 2004: Learned about Unix CICS, IBM connectors, WBI integration
- 2006: CentOS, Nagios, SNMP
- 2007: Ruby on Rails
- 2008: Modern JavaScript. ExtJs
- 2010: High availability
- 2012: Responsive Web Design
- 2013: Malware analysis
- 2014: Android game development

Netherlands and Bulgaria.

Contact

Time line

  • 1978: born in Opperdoes, the Netherlands
  • 1981: Ettie, my sister is born
  • 1987: moved to Middenmeer, the Netherlands
  • 1991: high school, "Wiringherlant" in Wieringerwerf, the Netherlands
  • 1997: graduated high school, trip to China with my father
  • 1997: started Master's Computer Science at the Vrije Universiteit; moved to Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • 1998: worked summer job as a short-order cook in Diamond Horseshoe Ranch (Antonio's), Tannersville NY. Alex (Sasha) and I met there.
  • 1999: worked summer job in Six Flags Great America, Chicago IL
  • 2000: Sasha started Master's Economics at the Vrije Universiteit; started working at Net.Footworks (part of the Chess group)
  • 2001: moved to Amstelveen, the Netherlands
  • 2002: moved to Haarlem, the Netherlands
  • 2003: graduated university, full-time work at Chess
  • 2004: moved to Washington D.C., USA
  • 2006: moved to Durham, NC
  • 2007: Sasha & Guus engaged
  • 2008: Sasha & Guus married
  • 2011: Sasha got her PhD from Duke; moved back to DC; we both started new jobs
  • 2012: Nora, our daughter, is born
  • 2015: Leo and Adrian, our sons, are born

See also the year overviews (login required).

Year overviews

Hope to see you soon in real life,

Guus.

Comments

Hello, my name is Gerry and I am Bulgarian. I found this site by accident and if I may say it is amazing that you want to learn Bulgarian. My question to you is Why? You cant often see people having the desire to learn this language. Many people as a matter of fact don't even know about the existence of my country. As a matter of fact I am 18 years old and soon I'll be getting my PhD of Psychology and I'll be starting to study History. Its nice to see people with similar interests.
The web site seems really good. Good Job :)

ik vond het prachtig, ik ben Hollands (Eindhoven) ik woon nu all 35 jaar in Kingsport, TN, een vriendin heeft me deze website gestuurd, geweldig hoor:-)

HOLA

I also found your website by accident, when I googled "Bosman Raleigh "trying to track down someone who seems to have borrowed my sons identity. My son is named after Gerrit Bosman, my Grandfather, who left the Netherlands in the 1880's. I live in Mebane, NC, and work at a garage called Wasp Automotive near RTP. I am always looking for others with the surname Bosman, as it is not as common here as it is in Holland and South Africa.

I heb dit website ook bij toeval ontdekt. Ben aan het zoeken waar ik conimex kan kopen. Ik hoop dat ik het ergens lokaal kan vinden. Mocht je op zoek zijn naar Nederlandse recepten ik heb er aardig wat op mijn website staan: http://arrisje.com/ Leuke website heb je, en ga effe browsen op jouw site:)

Hello Guus.
Ik heb dit website ook per ongeluk gevonden.ik was naar het website van de Hema aan het zoeken die ik van de Dutch groep in Dallas ontving.
Het is altijd leuk als je weer iemand vind die Hollands is,en het leukste is dat ik een broer heb die vlak bij jouw woont,in Carry NC,IK WOON HIER al 50 jaar in Lafayette La maar ik was geboren in Amsterdam in 1937.
Heb ook nog 2 broers in Holland .

Groetjes Ans.

Hallo Ans,

Leuk dat je deze website hebt gevonden. Mocht je geinteresseerd zijn in 'Nederlands-Amerikaanse' dingen die ik tegen kom, houd dan dit onderwerp in de gaten: http://www.guusbosman.nl/topic/22.

Groetjes,
Guus

Hey Guus (ver van Huus),

Ik kwam je site tegen tijdens het zoeken naar een typisch Nederlands recept. 'k wil je niet teveel stresses, maar ik zal de komende weken jou recepten aan de tand voelen (no pun intended). Anyways, leuke site en groetjes uit Ottawa, Canada :)

~~~~~

Hey Guus (Chris/Guss?),

I bumped into your site while looking for a traditional Dutch recipe. I don't want to put you on the spot but we'll be testing & tasting your recipes in the next couple of weeks. Anyways, cool site and cheers from Ottawa, Canada :)

Wil

Hi Wil, glad you found my website!

I hope that the recipes will work out well for you. What will you be making?

Hoi Guus, ik woon zo'n 2 1/2 uur van Raleigh, vlakbij Wilmington, NC en ben alweer 20 jaren in Amerika. Ik kon mijn ogen niet geloven dat je hagelslag hebt gevonden! WAAW, ik kan Nutella wel vinden in de Costco (grote "American sized" potten!!), fantastisch toch! Ik moet je recepten eens uitproberen, alhoewel ik meestal Amerikaanse pot eet. Als je een goed bier wilt proeven, probeer eens "1554" of "Fat Tire" van de New Belgium Beer brouwerij uit Colorado, heel lekker bier en je krijgt het bij Harris Teeter of Whole Foods...
Groetjes, Chantal

Hi Guus,

I came across your website via linkedin. That is great that you learned Bulgarian! Was it difficult to learn? I am married to a Czech man and also learned the language. I guess I am a lover of Slavic languages :)

Do you enjoy Bulgarian food? I am wondering if it is similar to Czech but with more of a mediterranean influence?

This is a great website!

Tyler Siprova

Hi Guus,

Leuk dat je gestemd hebt op onze site. Ik dacht dan woon je vast ook in de US en heb je even gezocht via Google.

Leuke site heb je, vooral je pagina met recepten en wat waar te krijgen is, heel handig!

Groetjes,
Yvette

www.teeppeltjes.com

Hoi guus, ik kwam je site min of meer per ongeluk tegen en heb er nu denk ik wel een uur opzitten hier.
Ik lach me suf om de pagina How To Deal With Dutch People!
Ik heb deze site dus meteen maar effetjes bij mn favorietjes gezet.

Groetjes uit (as we say) mokum ouwe :-)

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