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Paul Adams' Wanderings Around Engineering, Free Software and Berlin

About Paul

Engineering Leader ■ Certified Scrum Master ■ Team Builder ■ Open Source Advocate ■ Chartered Engineer

I am passionate about software engineering and software engineers. I love working with, teaching and learning from other engineers. I have learned that servant leadership is the finest way to ensure that I get the most out of my teams: I listen, I teach and I help. I work in fast-paced environments and build-up a mutual respect with those I work with by enabling them to work at their best.


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Engineering Lead | Zalando
Engineering Manager |

Crate is an open source, highly scalable, shared-nothing distributed SQL database. Crate offers the scalability and performance of a modern No-SQL database with the power of Standard SQL. Crate’s distributed SQL query engine lets you use the same syntax that already exists in your applications or integrations, and have queries seamlessly executed across the crate cluster, including any aggregations, if needed.

  • Facilitation of all engineering across two sites (Berlin, Austria)
  • Act as agile coach
  • Responsible for hiring of new engineers into
Director of Engineering | KDAB

KDAB was the first Technical Solution Provider for Qt. For many years they have produced the training materials used in the Qt programming courses offered by the owners/developers of Qt. They continue to help develop parts of Qt and are one of the major contributors to the Qt Project. They can give advanced or standard trainings anywhere around the globe.

  • Responsible for the delivery of all KDAB's software development projects (with a seven-figure turnover)
  • Continued improvement of the engineers and practices
  • Mentorship of project managers for 9 teams spread across Europe and North America
  • Monitoring project progress, assessing productivity and profitability
Regional Director (UK) | KDAB

KDAB (UK) is the newest regional company within the KDAB Group of consultancies specialising in Qt / OpenGL / C++ development.

  • Business development in the UK under the guidance of the global director for BD
  • Team growth in the UK under the guidance of the global director for HR
  • Management of a Berlin-based team of junior engineers with a focus on professional and skills development
Chief Operating Officer | Kolab Systems

Kolab Systems AG is the professional company behind the Kolab Groupware Solution, the premier choice for everyone who wants peace of mind, freedom of choice and the ability to innovate. Founded in 2010 in Zürich, Switzerland, Kolab Systems has taken the place of the Kolab Konsortium which initially provided Kolab services primarily in German speaking areas from 2004 to 2010.

  • Founder and investor. Controlling of finances
  • Guided the product development and partner management processes
  • Management of large-scale development and deployment project to Fortune 100 company and many smaller projects
Research Manager | ZEA Partners

Zea Partners was a non-profit network for companies building open source solutions. Stakeholders from the open source world were welcome. Zea activities were focused on growing the open source market by pooling resources for promotion, research and advocacy.

  • Continued research into open source community productivity metrics
  • Helped conclude ZEA's participation in the EC-funded projects QUALOSS and FLOSSMETRICS
Research and Projects Manager | Sirius IT

Sirius was founded in 1998 to bring organisations the high-performance low-cost benefits of Open Source software. An industry pioneer and expert in the field, Sirius is recognised by the UK Government, the Technology Press and Conferences around the UK and Europe as a leading voice in Open Source solutions.

  • Lead Sirius'​ contribution to the EC-funded "SQO-OSS"​ research project: development of community metrics for open source projects, engineering of the "Alitheia Core"​ platform for automated quality assessment of open source products
  • Project manager for Sirius' client portfolio of system integration projects
  • Consultant for Zope / Plone / Python projects
Research Associate | Univeristy of Lincoln

The University of Lincoln is a public research university in the city of Lincoln, England. The university has origins tracing back to 186 and after gaining university status in 1992, was known as the University of Humberside until 1996 and the University of Lincolnshire and Humberside until 2001, when it adopted its present name.

  • Conducted research into open source community metrics as part of the EC-funded "CALIBRE" project
  • Worked as part of an international team to develop and maintain the collaboration portal for CALIBRE using Zope / Plone / Python
  • Teaching support on both undergraduate and postgraduate courses



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PhD: "Sustaining Productivity in Free Software Development" | University of Lincoln

In my research I studied productivity within Free Software communities:

  • Which metrics make sense?
  • How effective are projects at ramping-up new contributors?
  • How do communities cope with growth?
  • How do communities react to contributors leaving?
BSc: Software Engineering | University of Durham

In my final project, I developed a protocol allowing distributed Free Software contributors to collaborate on code concurrently. It was a primitive precursor to the Obby protocol. Other subject studied included:

  • Project management
  • Formal specification methods
  • Formal logic
  • Programming: Java / C++ / Haskell
  • Agile processes


  • Certified ScrumMaster
  • Chartered Engineer
  • Chartered IT Professional