Kanada

Vancouver, a new Adventure

12. Jul 2022

It’s time for VSHN to expand internationally. Between this and next month, three VSHNeers will board a plane to Vancouver, BC, Canada, with the idea of transforming the way we work.

Faithful readers of this blog will surely remember that between October and November 2019, Daniel Hauswirth, Manuel Hutter, and I spent a few weeks in Vancouver as a „trial run.“ During that time, we learned to live and love the city, scouting office locations, fulfilling our daily duties from nine timezones away, and also (of course!) enjoying a fantastic site on Earth with breathtaking scenery. We compiled our experiences and memories in a video on our YouTube channel, and the evidence we collected overwhelmingly supported our hypothesis; as the Mandalorian would say, „This is the way.“

Sadly, the global pandemic temporarily broke our plans to move to Canada for a few years. But in the meantime, we kept working towards this goal, and we officially registered a business in British Columbia last year.

But now, the time has come for the next step.

VSHN has a double goal: to provide the best 24/7 support to our customers and a healthy and enjoyable work experience for our VSHNeers. Opening an office in Vancouver reinforces this commitment. By „following the sun,“ we can increase the quality of our monitoring and maintenance services while at the same time ensuring nobody has to be awake at two in the morning to do that.

Our explicit goal is to reduce the need for nighttime work for Swiss VSHNeers, to handle maintenance, solve incidents, and provide support during regular business hours. This approach will naturally yield better customer support; having an office in such a location allows us to spread maintenance tasks across multiple days. And it means we can provide support and handle incidents with fresh minds daily.

Tobias Nehrlich and I will take off next week, on July 14th. We have lots to do until then, like coordinating payroll and accounting, organizing work with our teams, and last but not least, sorting out our private lives (personal belongings, homes, etc.)

As soon as we arrive, there will be more to do; first of all, surviving the jet lag! And then organize our coworking space, complying with the „administrivia“ required for operating in Canada, getting ready for maintenance tasks in coordination with our colleagues in Switzerland… and even looking for VSHNeers in Vancouver!

Yes, we’re going to be hiring, so if you are a DevOps engineer in British Columbia interested in working with a company with the best culture you can imagine, get in touch with us! We’d love to hear from you soon.

matthias.indermuehle

Matthias ist Mitgründer der VSHN AG, Mitglied der Geschäftsleitung, und Partner

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Allgemein Kanada

VSHN goes to Canada

6. Jan 2020

VSHN goes to Canada – our findings

In the last months of 2019, Daniel, Manuel, and I were working in Vancouver. You can find more about the reasons behind choosing Canada in our blog post VSHN goes to Vancouver.
But now, enjoy the recap video about our findings and to give you a glimpse into life in Canada.
Enjoy and let us know what you think. 😃

matthias.indermuehle

Matthias ist Mitgründer der VSHN AG, Mitglied der Geschäftsleitung, und Partner

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Interne Kanada

VSHN goes to Vancouver – Part 1

5. Nov 2019

Currently Daniel, Manuel, and I are working from Vancouver. Therefore I want to tell you a bit about why we are here and then give you a glimpse into life in Canada.

A little bit of background

VSHN grew a lot since we started five years ago. We went from one customer with one server to over 350 customers and 1300 servers in 16 countries. With the growing number of customers also their requirements and the number of managed systems grew. And with all of that the amount of work we have to do during the night in Switzerland. More systems mean more maintenance work. More customers mean more migrations and changes (that have to be rolled out during the night to minimize the impact to regular services). Bigger, international partners means having developers from all around the world working on platforms managed by us. And these developers have support requests around the clock.
This presents us with a problem. We at VSHN love to help our customers and provide quick solutions to their problems. But one thing no one from us is keen on, is getting up at 3 o’clock at night or working through the whole night to upgrade systems. Not only is working at night not so much fun, also these people are missing the next morning to do their normal work.
We were looking for the obvious solution: find people that work when we are sleeping in Zurich.

Where should the new office be?

With that, the idea to open up a new office in another part of the world came up. I started talking to some of our customers and partners who already have offices in other countries or are working as a remote team. I talked to Comerge about their experiences in Kuala Lumpur, Sherpany about handling teams that are distributed, Amazee.io about being a fully distributed company and many more.

I learned a lot of things during these discussions about what is important to setup a company abroad. Our main take-aways were:

  • It has to be in a timezone approximately 8 hours away from Zurich
  • It has to be in a location with a decent IT scene
  • We want the same philosophy in the new office as we have in Zurich
  • We want our engineers go to the new office for 1-3 months at the time to train the local engineers, but also to have senior engineers on staff during the night
  • A VSHNeer from Zurich has to lead the new office initially

Other considerations

After a lot of discussion and planning we came up with a list of interesting places. There were cities like San Francisco, Austin, Mexico, Buenos Aires, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Vancouver, Perth, Sydney and many more. During that process some more important limitations were discovered:

  • It should not have too much latency towards our servers in Switzerland
  • We would prefer as a first location, somewhere were the culture and language is not too far away from what we know
  • Regarding coordination and maintenance it would be better to start with a location in a timezone which is about 8 hours behind (west of) Zurich as there are more support requests and maintenance during that time
  • Some countries are not interesting for political or legal reasons (e.g. data protection, Example: USA, China)

Vancouver as starting point

After considering all these points – and some personal choices involved as well – we decided to do a proof of concept for two months in Vancouver.

On Saturday, October 5 2019, Manuel Hutter, Daniel Hauswirth and me, Matthias Indermuehle set out on an adventure to Vancouver!

The first weekend we spent exploring the city, after that the work started. But that is a story for the next blog.

matthias.indermuehle

Matthias ist Mitgründer der VSHN AG, Mitglied der Geschäftsleitung, und Partner

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Tech

Puppet Development Workflow mit Vagrant

8. Jan 2016

Wir von VSHN wollen unsere Kunden bei einem sauberen Lifecycle Management ihrer Software unterstützen. Dafür stellen wir ihnen mit Hilfe von Puppet mehrere Umgebungen zur Verfügung. Dies kann mit einer Testmaschine für die Entwickler beginnen, (mehr …)

matthias.indermuehle

Matthias ist Mitgründer der VSHN AG, Mitglied der Geschäftsleitung, und Partner

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Unser Expertenteam steht für dich bereit. Im Notfall auch 24/7.

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