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Interview with Harry Kimpel

by | Mar 30, 2021 | Interviews,

Harry Kimpel

Harry Kimpel

Principal Solution Architect/Consultant at New Relic, Inc

Key Topics:Cloud Advisory, Cloud Migration, Software Architecture, Application Modernization, Observability

Passionate Software Architect with experience in a broad spectrum of development technologies and platforms. Always learning, applying what's state of the art and (more importantly) looking what's ahead with regards to tools and technologies. On this topic, I am currently extremely passionate about the Open Application Model (OAM), its Kubernetes implementation named Rudr and the Distributed Application Runtime (Dapr).

Focusing on cloud-native software architectures for a variety of public cloud providers including Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform, Salesforce's, SAP HANA Cloud Platform and Pivotal Cloud Foundry. Observability and monitoring these environments is another important key aspect.

Application Modernization has always been a key topic (e.g. mainframe to client/server) and still holds true today (cloud migrations, re-architecture, etc.). A key area of expertise is the acceleration of these base application architectures by providing a model-driven approach based on best practices and patterns and code generation techniques using templates.

How did you get to become an expert in your key topics?

My passion for technology and software specifically started when I was 14. I wrote the first lines of code on my Amiga 500 and knew that this is what I will be passionate about.

I then worked for many years as a software developer and architect. One of the central themes throughout my career happened to become application modernization. Back in the days – and even still lately – this meant going from a mainframe to some kind of new software architecture. I led projects that involved fat client to client/server architecture, client/server to three-tier and numerous on-prem to cloud migrations.

What topic areas are you most passionate about?

I am most passionate about software architecture. Designing state-of-the-art systems that can include things like cloud-native architecture or other managed services. But, always keeping in mind the goal a customer has in mind and the value a software solution will bring. For example, a lift & shift approach can be a good idea in case your servers or your hosting is end of life and you need to quickly get to a proper environment. However, in the long-term, a re-architecture is probably what most of the software systems need to undergo if you want to achieve certain goals such as resilience, fast time-to-market, agility, etc.

Getting an environment in place that suits your current requirements in the best possible manner, this is what I am passionate about. Of course always considering new cloud-native ways to deliver such software architectures, as an example I would recommend to look at the Dapr project.

Which influencers influence you within those key topics?

As you can imagine, I follow industry leaders who have a similar pragmatic mindset. These are leaders in this area such as Scott Hanselman, Clemens Vasters, Steve Woods and Ori Zohar, but also always try to look left and right in order to get a good perspective of what else is out there. Key people that influenced me throughout my career are people like Capers Jones, Bernard Carrier and Grady Booch.

Outside of key topics, who else influences you?

I had the pleasure to work with so many great people throughout my career. Influencers who taught me to think outside the box, think through and plan every step before going in and executing. I am a huge fan of Jordi Cabot (Modeling Languages) who is a key influencer in the area of model driven development.

How would you describe your offline influence?

When I started writing online articles, I primarily did this to document the steps I went through for myself. I then noticed that other peers had quite similar issues and I thought about putting the content in a format so that others could also benefit. At some point I wrote blog posts on my own blog and tried to share the knowledge and experience through means of publicly available content.

Lately, I have been very active on sharing bits and pieces on GitHub, open source projects and other forms of social collaboration. I try to be active where I expect others to expect content that helps them achieve their goals.

What’s your best source of information for getting ahead of a story? What resource do you use to stay ahead of the trend?

My best source of information is online content. I try to stay informed of new tools, products and methodologies by attending conferences, webinars and other forms of offline or online event. Exchanging information, discussing new ideas and prototyping is how I like to get my head around new ideas or services.

If a brand wanted to work with you, which activities would you be most interested in collaborating on?

I think I am best when sharing knowledge in the form of easily digestible content in the form of blog posts, podcasts, webinars or video interviews. I like this content to be brief and bright. Maybe with a very specific message or area to cover.

What brands have you worked with?

I worked with a lot of influential brands such as Microsoft, SAP, AWS and other key tech companies in various forms of collaboration. Well-known brands are important and help drive innovation. However, I made the experience that also maybe smaller not so well-known brands are typically where innovation happens.

Which non-paid activities would you be keen to take part in if the opportunity raised your profile or delivered value to your audience?

I would be happy to provide a quote for content or news article, share or create a social post, speak at an event, online chat, podcast or a webinar. I am also interested in co-creating a long form or video content as well as doing product reviews.

What are your passions outside of work?

I love swimming. At some point when I was a little younger, I even made it to vice state champion a couple times. In general, I love all outdoor activities such as hiking, biking and skiing. Learning other cultures is also a key passion for me along with food from other areas. I love good food.

What would be the best way for a brand to contact you?

via LinkedIn.