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5 years of example42

example42 was founded back in 2015.

It was the union of intents and purposes of two of the most experienced and known puppeteers in Europe: Martin Alfke from Germany and Alessandro Franceschi from Italy.

Martin recalls with a smile the first steps of the company:

“I still remember well the day where we received information of our official company registration on October 8th 2015 while being at PuppetConf 2015 in Portland, Oregon:

I had a call with my girlfriend in Berlin, Germany, and she was excited that I had received a letter from the district court, a few hours prior I had to give my talk about Puppet 4.

I asked her to open the letter: It contained the official company registration letter.

That made us the youngest company at PuppetConf 2015, being less than 1 day old!”

Trainings

We mainly do consulting and training. A lot of training.

In 5 years we trained more than 300 people on Puppet within 50 courses.

We have an astonishing list of locations where we conducted trainings:

  • Essen, Germany
  • Berlin, Germany
  • Munich, Germany
  • Hamburg, Germany
  • London, UK
  • Rome, Italy
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • Singapore
  • Abu Dhabi, UAE

Customers

We are humbled and impressed by the customers we had the privilege to work with: from major car brands to telcos, from financial giants to startups, from central banks to public institutions.

Some of them are direct customers, some of them coming from our deep and solid collaboration with Puppet.

We traveled for several hundreds of days, delivering onsite services mostly in Europe but also in the Middle East, now times are definitively different, and while we like to provide remote support worldwide, we are looking forward to flight “back to the road”.

We have always tried to put at disposal and share with customers our experience and knowledge: we want them to success with the technologies we work with and we want them to be independent and autonomous on the topics for which we provide consulting and training.

Still, not unsurprisingly, it happens frequently that they keep on asking us for support and services.

Products

Before becoming a company example42 was the name of a collection of modules developed by Alessandro. We continued to work on Puppet modules and Open Source projects in these years, and now we are mostly focused on these projects:

  • Tiny Puppet, a Puppet module which allows to easily install and configure in the way we want “Any Application on Any Operating System”. Looks like magic, but is real.
  • Psick, a reference control-repo and a Puppet module that provide the most common resources that Puppet usually manages in an Operating System
  • Hiera Data Manager a web frontend to visualise and manage Hiera data.

Being open source and freely downloadable we don’t have a clear idea on how much and where these products are used, but from time to time we are surprised in learning that some major companies and institutions actually do use them in their production systems (in some cases the ones so big and popular we wouldn’t even dare to think about).

This is always a source of motivation and great responsibility.

People

We are a small company, someone might define it a consulting boutique rather than a warehouse, and actually we consider our work automation craftmanship.

We started as 2, sharing the company vision, equities and responsibilities, then Jessica Zimmerman came onboard, taking care of the administration side.

In 2019 Simon Hönscheid joined as Senior IT Infrastructure Automation Engineer and starting in February 2021 Robert Waffen will be with us as well. Both of them are experienced DevOps with great Puppet background.

We don’t even have a sales department, as works chase us via word of mouth, direct contacts or our partnership with Puppet.

We are growing steadily, without any financial help from banks or backers or any other investment or funding.

Even if we work on cutting-edge IT space, under this point of view we don’t consider ourselves startuppers, but rather tailors of automation.

In the future we plan to keep on growing, steadily and without hurry, and keep on learning and using the wonderful technologies that make IT more and more automated and reliable.

Happy puppetizing, take care and stay safe.

Alessandro and Martin