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David Friday Fun: Introducing… Jan, Rany, and Johannes From The App Team

For this week’s employee spotlight, we rounded up 3 of our back-end wiz-kids. These guys are a part of the amazing team that builds the features behind SoundCloud. In the picture below, from left to right, we have an action shot of Jan Berkel (next to him is Alex, whom we won’t be interviewing just yet…but dont worry, it’s coming soon), Rany Keddo, and Johannes Wagener busily coding away. You know, just another hard day at work on the sunny office balcony.

So, where do we begin? Why don’t you tell us how you ended up at SoundCloud?

Rany: I was born in Germany and then moved to New Zealand when I was 10. After uni, I got a job at a stock-trading startup called Share People in London. That was back in 2000 or something – can’t think back that far. I then worked at moviepilot.de before working on my own startup, the event platform Boomloop, for 2 years in Frankfurt. But I’ve always followed SoundCloud closely; I’ve always been a fan of what the guys built here. I’m actually user #120… old school!

Johannes: I’m user #3207, so I joined quite late in comparison to Rany. I was a freelancer before I started working here about a year ago, when I met Eric Wahlforss at the SoundCloud release party at Picknick. He was living together with a friend of mine so I was invited to the party. I just asked him for a job there.

Jan: Well, I spent 5 years in London and had enough of it. I wanted to move and work with something at the intersection of music and technology. SoundCloud was the perfect place.

Now tell us a bit about what you do here. What features on the site can be directly attributed to your hard work up on the Cloud?

Rany: I ‘m on the App Team, which is responsible for creating new features. I’ve only been here for a month, but I’ve worked on some changes to the way sharing is done, so that it can actually work smoothly while handling thousands of requests and not explode in your face. At the moment I’m working on the Dashboard. Nice things to come.

Johannes: When I started, I was working on the Ruby API  Library to integrate your app with sound. Afterward I worked on the Facebook integration. Right now I’m working with the payment system.

Jan: I worked on the People Finder – the app that lets you import your contacts so you can find your friends from different networks on SoundCloud. Right now i’m working on the Dashboard with Rany. And a lot of other stuff.

Are you musicians yourselves?

Rany: I actually studied Classical Music & Guitar Performance down in New Zealand before I became a programmer. But since then I haven’t really played that much guitar anymore and it’s just sitting in the corner in the apartment dusting away. I think at some point I’ll probably have some big guitar renaissance though.

Johannes: I play guitar and sometimes I try to fiddle around a bit with Ableton Live.

Jan: Mixtapes!

Best part about working at SoundCloud?

All: The people, for sure.

Excellent. Any questions you want to ask each other?

Rany: Yea. How old are you Johannes?

Johannes: 24. You?

Rany: Hang on, counting…33. You, Jan?

Jan: 31.

So there you have it, this week’s wiz-kids:

Find them on Twitter: Jan @jberkel, Rany @purzelrakete, and Johannes @johanneswagener and say ‘Hi’ in the comments.

Happy weekend!