Interview with Jules Henze, Software Engineer at Ledgy

Jules is one of Ledgy’s original engineers, handling some of our most complex challenges, a paraglider, ice-cream maker, and a noisy typer. I had a great time interviewing him, and you’ll have a great time getting to know him.

Jules Henze

Hello Jules, you are one of the original engineers on the team, can you tell us how long you’ve been with Ledgy and your hiring story?

The founders and I knew each other already for a few years. One evening drinking beers they asked me if I would be interested in joining them. That was just after their Seed round in December 2018. We lived together in a small student house, so this was already a good prerequisite for working together. However, at first I was a bit hesitant about mixing friendship with an employee-founder relationship. Looking back, worrying about that was not necessary at all. Concerning my background, I did study environmental engineering, but around the time when I started my Masters I did my first steps towards software engineering in a part-time job. After finishing my studies, I jumped fully into this field with a lot of thirst for learning more.

When you were studying engineering at ETH Zurich, did you plan to eventually join a startup?

I had some interest in the startup scene and participated in a course from Innosuisse, even developed some plans for founding a startup with a colleague from my studies. However, I was rather risk averse at this time and this was not the right moment for me. However, the fact that I am usually looking for work, where one can innovate and contribute significantly, and be part of a rather small team, eventually drew me towards the startup scene and to Ledgy.

You have engineered some of the most complex solutions that we deliver at Ledgy, which project would you say was the most challenging?

I would say our current focus of migrating some of our core logic to a more flexible system is a really exciting challenge. Not on a mathematical level necessarily, but because it is linked to so many parts in our app, that the migration requires many well thought-through steps, good coordination with all team members, while keeping the app running as smoothly as possible despite having the old and new system in place at the same time. It feels a bit like an open heart-surgery. Apart from that, we recently re-wrote our exit modeling algorithm, which had a few limitations in the past that were not easy to solve. But with a completely different approach we solved them, and implementing this and seeing it work, was very exciting.

One thing you are known for is your paragliding adventures, tell us how this came about and how often you go flying?

Jules Flying

I have always been addicted to everything that flies. Being a bird would be awesome! I try the best means to get as close as often as possible and when the weather allows. Several years ago I discovered paragliding. Imagine flying slow almost like a bicycle, feeling the wind in your face, but hundred meters above the landscape, using thermals to gain altitude and, with increasing experience, fly for several hours across the country. It is a very "simple" kind of flying, close to the elements with only a few kilogram of equipment. This really gives you a feeling of freedom. Sometimes one shares thermals with birds of prey or a flock of swifts, which are very memorable moments and definitely make you feel like one of them.

That sounds so cool!

Everyone at Ledgy gets a unique emoji, can you tell us the story behind yours?
Jules Typing

Back in times, we were all working in one very small room, sharing desks and I had a mechanical keyboard, that was very noisy. Especially when I was excited to write down some code really quick. So Jahlela sneaked this emoji in our chat to symbolize such moments. That was the start of our emoji culture I think.

You also have one titled "Jules on Sweets." And you’re known for making your own ice cream, what's the best flavor you’ve made so far?
Jules on Sweets

Basil-lemon is definitely my favorite so far, but there is more room for experiments :-)

What does the future hold for you Jules? Where do you see yourself in the next three years?

On a professional level, there is a lot to learn for me still in the engineering role, and I am very excited for new product team members with different levels of experience to join and exchange knowledge. There will be enough upcoming challenges in the next years, so I am sure work at Ledgy will not be boring anytime soon. And the team at Ledgy is one of the best I have been working with. In the long-term, I would really like to fuse my education in environmental engineering with my experience as a software engineer. On a more personal level, my wish is to spend some years living in other countries. I spent 6 months living in Nepal and South Africa each, and would like to do something similar again, but for a longer amount of time.

Ledgy is on a mission to democratize equity, why does this matter to you?

There are many aspects to it, but one I find very appealing is the fact that sharing ownership of a company gives us a much greater feeling of being a team, working for a shared interest. Rather than focusing only on ones own position and performance metrics. A group of people with such a mindset will, in my opinion, achieve great things much more easily.

I really enjoyed this interview Jules! Thank you for sharing your story with us.

Have you gotten to know the rest of Ledgy’s team?

25 Jun 2021
Ermias Giovanni
Ledgy Alumnus