EntwicklerHeld is a coding challenge platform. Software developers can solve various programming challenges and receive coins for it, which they can exchange for rewards. During the challenges, developers can not only prove their skills, but also get in touch with IT companies - who are looking for developers.
Ilja Bauer is one of the founders and managing directors of EntwicklerHeld and is responsible for sales. He also accompanied the migration to the Hetzner Cloud. In the interview, Ilja tells us more about EntwicklerHeld and the switch to Hetzner.
What challenges did you face?
We first needed to find a provider, a cloud provider. We had been at quite a number of them. We really had tried out everything. And the challenge with our infrastructure was to make it, well, migrate-able — because we didn't want to get locked into anything at the beginning. I think one of the biggest challenges is getting the VMs started up — for example — like when we need to scale up a lot and quickly. So that meant we would do a lot even before the provisioning stage, meaning, like starting up a lot of machines so that users could access their environments relatively quickly. That's the big advantage of Hetzner Cloud; we wanted to try them out — see if maybe we could even get the VMs to start dynamically — because it is just so quick.
Why did you choose Hetzner?
Well, I would say the main reason is the low cost. It means we pay only one-tenth to one-twelfth the cost compared to other cloud providers that we had tried out and for the same configuration — but the support — and simply the fact that the cloud actually runs in Germany and with a German company — was a plus, too.
What can you tell us about the migration to Hetzner?
The migration, too, actually went really smoothly. And it's got modules for all the tools we need — Terraform, Ansible, and so on. So that made it go really quickly. We did the migration for all of our productive data. It took about two man-weeks to migrate our 40,000 users.
What are advantages of switching to Hetzner?
It triggered some new thoughts about how to do things — how we could make better use of the speed, for example — to improve our product even more and to give our users more opportunities, like, for example, that the VMs just start so quickly.
And whenever someone develops something on the platform, it runs on Hetzner Cloud so it's dynamically scaled and so that really all of the computational resources are available and are used to tackle the task.
So I don't need to wait for five minutes if I have bad luck, but instead, really just between five and ten seconds, and then the VMs are there and can handle the dynamic workload from our users. And whenever someone develops something on the platform, it runs on Hetzner Cloud so it's dynamically scaled and so that really all of the computational resources are available and are used to tackle the task. That means we can really, actually scale in a totally, totally dynamic way — so for each user, start up something here, and end something else there — and use that to still have great cost effeciency. That's what we've got planned. And it means, this inspiration that comes together with these improvements, and with getting more effiencient, it's good for the environment, in a way, because we're simply not using as many resources.
What can you do to improve your power usage?
Naturally, we check on that — and we see that resources are saved. Like, maybe, How are the server rooms cooled? Or, how are resources saved by using Arm processors? Actually because we have a whole — because our load can have some big peaks and it can change per user. And, well, an Arm server has lots and lots of cores. And that's really suitable for this WebWelt ("WebWorld") — for this world, that we use.
How will EntwicklerHeld continue to develop?
We want to make EntwicklerHeld into a platform for developers that will be relevant,