my story until now, kinda autobiographic

I’m into research, informatics in general, software development, web video creation, photography, 3d printing, metal music, skateboarding, bouldering, and so much more. In the past, I co-authored 20+ research papers, I created over 4,200 videos that were viewed a total of ~60 million times, I wrote tens of thousands lines of code, and I certainly fell more than a 100,000 times from my skateboard or a climbing wall. On this page, I summarize how that came about. If you’re more interested about the present, visit my now-page, watch one of my best videos, or read a research paper.


how it started

I started programming when I was 12 years old using Visual Basic.NET 2005. With limited internet access, I learned the language and Windows Forms-based UI development primarily by reading the provided documentation by Microsoft. Back then, I programmed dozens of little tools that helped in my daily life and played with new technologies; funny thing: really not so different compared to today. My school had only very limited classes on informatics, so I was basically on my own.

A couple years later, in 2009 or 2010 with the age of 15 or 16 (hard to tell by now), I uploaded my first YouTube videos about the game Audiosurf. They are not online anymore, but some were reuploaded. In October 2010, I uploaded my first Let’s Play video, inspired by the very young German Let’s Play scene. One month later, I discovered a game in early alpha status called Minecraft and started creating videos about it.

I finished school in 2012 as best of year in informatics (well, there was no official ranking, but I reached the highest possible score, so, yeah). By then, I already had uploaded hundreds of videos, reached more than 10,000 subscribers, and became YouTube partner. This was quite a big thing: Everyone dreamed about earning just enough money with a let’s play series to pay for the game being played, and only very few reached the partner status. In my spare time, I developed my very first popular peace of software, skate’s Thumbnail Tool that helps in automating the thumbnail creation process. Nowadays, not worth mentioning, but back then this crappy tool was quite well known :)


studying computer science

In 2012, I moved to Karlsruhe to study computer science at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology – and also to do more skateboarding :). While struggling with maths in the early semesters, I continued to create videos from my small basement flat. In this time, the very first big German Minecraft Let’s Play projects were started, e.g., the Mega Project or Craft Attack 1. Creating videos together with other YouTubers helped my channel to grow substantially and I reached the mark of 100,000 subscribers mid 2015. During that time, I did coding streams for the first time. While creating videos at night, I slowly moved towards reaching my bachelor’s degree at day.

The most successful time of my YouTube career started in late 2015 with a Minecraft project named Craft Attack 3 and later a project called Minecraft Novus. At the peak, my videos were viewed around 2.5 million times per month. Although I was just about writing my bachelor’s thesis about incremental model synchronization with databases, I considered myself a fulltime YouTuber by that time.


towards the master’s degree

During this time, I had great opportunities and I experienced crazy things like visiting Japan multiple times, giving keynotes, meeting so many subscribers (and also the YouTube CEO), and building my own studio. Despite the success as web video creator, I was more interested in computer science and continued my studies at KIT, Karlsruhe. I focussed on software engineering, software architecture, telematics, and security. In 2018, half way through my studies, I started while(true), a podcast where I speak about my daily life in computer science (‘till this day!). In retrospective, it’s really impressive how many original Minecraft viewers already were or became interested in informatics – I’m sorry for maybe influencing your decision to study computer science ;)

As the end of my studies were getting closer and closer, I had to make a serious decision: Should I continue investing every single free minute into creating videos, or follow my passion for computer science? For a variety of reasons, I choose the latter. I produced and uploaded my last major video series called Beyond RTX, seven educational videos about modern graphics cards (in cooperation with Nvidia), flew to Tokyo once again, and finished my master’s thesis about defining data flow constraints for confidentiality analysis which was awarded with the VKSI Award.


staying at the university

After finishing my studies of computer science in 2020, I stayed at the university to become a doctoral researcher. I choose against going directly to industry for a variety of reasons, including my interest in research and teaching. Since then, I created significantly less videos, as my focus shifted away from YouTube. However, I still developed new content and formats, e.g., streaming regularly live while coding, or science communication using Minecraft.

As doctoral researcher, my research interests include software architecture, confidentiality, data flow analysis, and uncertainty. The central research question of my dissertation is how to consider the effect of uncertainty in design time confidentiality analysis. At the university, I already had many great opportunities for cooperations and possibilities to travel to seminars and conferences all over the world (literally, from Canada to Australia). I was involved in the FluidTrust research project on fluid access control in Industry 4.0 and I currently work in the KASTEL Mobility Lab. I published at many high ranked venues, including the International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE), the International Conference on Software Architecture (ICSA), and the International Conference on Software Engineering for Adaptive and Self-Managing Systems (SEAMS).

Regarding teaching, I am involved into the lecture for advanced software engineering, and I supervised team projects for software development, practical courses, seminars, and a dozen or so of bachelor’s and master’s theses. Furthermore, I invest a lot of time in open source development, e.g., for the open source plagiarism detector JPlag, my own research project ABUNAI, our group’s data flow analysis, and many other projects.

Currently, I’m in my fourth year as doctoral researcher, see my now-page. Found this interesting? Write it to me! :)