My interest is the area of Requirements Engineering, Product Management, Systems Integration & Software Engineering in customer-centric and service-based industries - I like to solve problems through people, processes and technology with an agile mindset and empathy. I have more than 10 years of experience in developing and managing mission-critical digital products at scale in the hospitality and insurance industry.
I have been educated in a broad range of quantitative and qualitative skills at three European universities in Germany, Sweden, and England.
My work or work that I have contributed to has been published in peer-reviewed and recognized journals within their respective fields. Products that I have architected and shipped are used by real customers at scale, generating significant transaction volumes.
Outside of work, I like to spend my free time with running (I’ve recently gotten into running half marathons), reading sci-fi books and stuff about psychology, cooking, playing guitar and music in general. I tend to - for better or worse - absorb knowledge like a sponge, there is probably nothing I am not interested in or can not get excited about.
💻 Skills & Experience
I consider myself a ‘full-stack software engineer and business analyst with a focus on cloud technologies’. I have a wide range of skills from requirements engineering, software engineering, business analysis and project management methodologies. I grew up with the internet in the 90s and started writing code when I was 12 - the time I got my first Mac with HyperCard. For nostalgic reasons, have an ‘under construction’ gif:
I have learned to dynamically deal with shifting priorities and expectations in highly uncertain environments.
- Product Manager at Uncharted. Uncharted is a global insurtech company that is moving insurance distribution, product innovation, and policy administration into the platform economy. Our platform powers digital insurance transactions between global insurance carriers, brokers, and distributors - increasing scale, efficiency, and the flexibility to operate across product lines and insurance markets (Current).
- Head of Software Development at hepster.com, where I built a scalable, cloud-based insurance distribution platform. I helped the business from seed to its Series A by architecting and implementing a cloud-native infrastructure based on Spring Boot & Kotlin, AWS, Docker, Laravel, and Vue.js and coaching the delivery team. I turned high-level ideas and visions into technical product roadmaps and concrete deliverables using methodologies like impact mapping and “Discover to Deliver”. Spearheaded the transition from project-based delivery into product-based thinking. (Oct. 2017 - Jan. 2021).
- Systems Analyst AIDA Cruises’ Digital Unit, where I helped with the integration of Digital Products into legacy systems infrastructures as part of the organization’s Digital Transformation. I was primarily involved in building decision support systems for call centers and the group’s expansion into the Chinese market. I also got to spend some time in Shanghai which was a great experience. (Oct. 2016 - Oct. 2017).
- Business Analyst Reservations & Electronic Channels at AIDA Cruises, where I was responsible for the internet booking platforms and the electronic channels (B2C - B2B) connected to it. I primarily dealed with the integration of legacy reservation systems, requirements engineering and architecting a mission-critical Java stack based on Spring & Hibernate handling high transaction volumes. This included close collaboration with stakeholders in Europe and the United States across the whole product lifecycle (Nov. 2011 - Oct. 2016).
- Project Manager for a business-to-business marketing analysis project for a major cruise line in the DACH travel market.
- Research Assistant for the programme in (International) Cruise Industry Management at the Bremerhaven University of Applied Sciences.
- Internship at the “Touristikverband Rotenburg Wümme e.V.”, where I implemented a county-wide internet reservation system.
🚀 Technology Stack
- Java Ecosystem (Especially the Groovy programming language, Spring Boot, Kotlin, and Scala)
- Amazon Web Services (ECS, EC2, SQS, SNS, RDS, Route53, CloudWatch, Lambda)
- Spring Framework (Spring Boot)
- Payment Processors (Adyen, PayPal)
- iOS / Passkit
- Headless Content Management Systems (Prismic, Contentful)
- Play! Framework
- Elixir & Phoenix
- Test Automation with JMeter and Selenium
- IntelliJ IDEA
- RESTful Web Services
- XML-RPC (I have worked with some very strange legacy APIs)
- Model-Based Requirements Engineering
- Test-Driven Development
- Agile Requirements Engineering
- Use Case 2.0
- User Stories
- User Story Slicing
- Acceptance Criteria
- Product Roadmapping
- Quantitative Statistics
🎓 Research & Other Contributions
My work or work that I have contributed to has been published in peer-reviewed and renowned journals within the respective fields. I have been educated in a broad range of quantitative and qualitative skills at three European universities. I also do side projects and some consulting to scratch own itches, stay on top of current technologies, and give something back to the communities that I owe a lot to.
I teach undergraduate courses in Information Systems Management and Information Systems Development at the University of Applied Sciences in Bremerhaven tailored to Cruise Tourism Management students (CTM Website).
- easy-rules. I contributed the ability to read MVEL rules from strings using a java.io.Reader to easy-rules, a simple rules engine for Java.
- ferien-api. I built a small service based on Spring Boot, Kotlin, and Jetty that exposes German school holidays via a RESTful API
My aim is to participate more in OSS in the future.
- Ferien-Api.de. I built a small service based on Spring Boot, Kotlin, and Jetty that exposes German school holidays via a RESTful API. (https://www.ferien-api.de)
- Brejla, P. & Gilbert, D. (2012). An Exploratory Use of Web Content Analysis to Understand Cruise Tourism Services. International Journal of Tourism Research. 16(2):157-168. (Download / Buy)
- Papathanassis, A. & Brejla, P. (2012). Tourism Extranet Acceptance in the Cruise Distribution Chain: The Role of Content, Usability, and Appearance. Journal of Information Technology & Tourism. 13(2): 105-117. (Download / Buy)
- Papathanassis, A., Matuszewski, I. & Brejla, P. (2011). The ‘Cruise Ship Railing Dance’: Conducting academic research in the cruise domain. In Cruise Tourism and Society A Socio-economic Perspective. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. (Download / Buy)
- Master Thesis: Looting the Buffet and Prowling around the Pool - Exploring the Co-Created Cruise Vacation. A Web Content Mining Approach. - Linköping University, Sweden. Supervisor: David Gilbert, PhD (University of Surrey, England).
- Bachelor Thesis: Modelling Travel Agency Extranet Acceptance: The Role of Usability, Content and Appearance. - Bremerhaven University of Applied Sciences, Germany. Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Alexis Papathanassis.
You may contact me via e-mail under paul(at)paulbrejla(dot)com or via social media, which I prefer.