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Meet Michael Baas

This year we have brought Michael Baas on board to provide local support for our German resellers and represent Dyalog more directly in the German market. Michael is an experienced APL developer who will be able to provide APL consultancy in German. He will also work as a member of the APL Tools Team internally within Dyalog.

For years, Michael has been one of the most enthusiastic users of Dyalog APL in the German market. He has used Dyalog in his own products and services, and has made several presentations of features of Dyalog at APL Germany meetings. He has significant experience with MiServer, having used it for a personal project as well as in projects for clients of Dyalog. The latter projects have given us an opportunity to do some non-trivial work in collaboration with Michael and we have found him to be both competent and pleasant to work with – and very up-to-date on Dyalog technology.

Read what Michael himself says below...

So, when did you learn about Dyalog?

It was around 1994/5. At the time, I was working with a different interpreter, wanted to add a Windows-UI for our system and did not like the way the vendor implemented his Windows interface. A business partner put me in touch with Adrian Smith, who had the reputation of being a "cross-platform-wizard" working with multiple vendors. He suggested that I look at Dyalog. I went to see them, liked it...and changed platform.

What is your perspective as a user for the last 20+ years?

I think I started with version 6 or 7. At that time, I was still much of an APL novice. Working with Dyalog was very different – the "other apl" that I used before had not seen any interpreter updates except one (Win) that I didn't like. Dyalog, in contrast, seemed to roll out new stuff almost continuously. There were bugs, of course – especially in the early years – and I admire how they managed to create bugs that only came up under certain extreme conditions which were then precisely documented. The development in the last years under the new management team has been stunning; Gitte and Morten radically improved a company and product that was already in the fast lane, and today Dyalog has a solid reputation as THE leading vendor. In the last years, I was a bit distracted and worked with PHP (I even became a ZEND-Certified PHP-Engineer, can you believe it). But when working with data, I caught myself countless times wanting to use APL instead. So I passionately jumped on the wagon when I heard about MiServer in 2014 and I am so glad that it has been instrumental in my personal turnaround and doing APL full-time again.

What about the Dyalog team?

Through my many support calls (I seem to remember Pete Donnelly once mentioning I had most entries in their issue tracking system that year) I got to know Vince quite well, and I admire his patience and knowledge. Over the years I met John Scholes, John Daintree and other Dyaloggers at the German APL meetings and at Dyalog's own annual user meetings...and I do not recall any negative experiences. It's always been a pleasure to work with them.

How do you feel about joining Dyalog?

I mentioned how I perceived the development of the company from the outside – from the user perspective. The only thing I wasn't happy about (and I nagged Morten and Gitte more than once about it) is that I felt a little lonely at German APL user meetings, because other APL systems are still more widely used in Germany than in so many other countries.

It is, therefore, very exciting for me, personally, to now be working on changing that. Any fellow Germans reading this, please get in touch ASAP!

After having worked on my own for so long, I am probably not cut out for a traditional enterprise approach. Even though Dyalog Ltd is a solid and established organisation today, the company still operates with a start-up mind-set that I find very attractive. There is this amazing group of people that I feel honoured to work with. Last but not least, there is a nice set of challenges (both technical as well as business-wise) waiting to be addressed.

For me, the opportunity was too tempting to ignore, and I am extremely excited to now be part of Team Dyalog.


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