Recap Functional - Intro

Michael Pöllath|


Founding Even though Functional has been in business since 2022, we haven’t managed to do a proper recap. Things have been wild. To no one’s surprise, there is a lot to talk about, think about, and do when you found a company with 9 others.

I’d like to catch you up on Functional, the people, and our achievements, if you’ll indulge me.

Instead of writing about the company, I’d like to write about the people, their motivations, their engagements, and our fantastic offsites. People matter, not organizational structures. We even go so far as to say that our team members come before our customers because we believe that everyone benefits from happy engineers. This way, we are more committed to accelerating the cloud journey of our customers.

There’s a lot to write about, so buckle up and hold on to your hats.

The People

Our starting setup was a wild mixture of Data Engineers, Data and Cloud Architects, Cloud Native Engineers, and Frontend Engineers. The team wasn’t thrown together by coincidence; we had a hard decision to make in our last company and decided we were better off doing our own thing.

And what better way to found a company than with people you already know and like to work with. In fact, some of us have been working together for more than 10 years now. We also knew we had to evolve, bringing in fresh ideas and strong arms to help us grow our vision.

In January 2023, Christoph decided to join us. He very quickly jumped on a customer’s project to manage and extend their ADX Platform and has since become the beating heart of that same platform. From the first month on, we have heard only excellent feedback.

More people usually mean more organizational overhead; luckily, we were able to hire Ricarda. She joined in March 2023 to help us with our financials, setting up team processes, and so much more. We are really glad to have her onboard with us.

Also in January, but a year later in 2024, Andre joined. He is doing his dual studies in Computer Science together with Functional. We are excited to work more with Andre and accompany him on his journey into the Cloud Native and Data world.

We are opposed to hiring for the sole sake of growth; instead, we want to find the right people that match our mindset and the job. The happier we are that Cris decided to join us in April 2024. Many of us had worked with him before, and he fits right in. A no-brainer, really.

What about churn? Not a single person has left Functional since its founding in 2022.

Our Purpose

If you haven’t noticed yet, we do a lot with data in the cloud. Our background is mostly in Cloud/Data Engineering/Architecture. This naturally orientates Functional towards this expertise.

But this is not our purpose; it’s what we are skilled to do. We are driven by what is important to us. Some of us like to optimize infrastructures, get to the root of a problem, or architect highly functional software stacks. However, we are driven by a common goal.

We want to ensure that our solutions are good for our customers AND the environment. Sustainability has been a constant topic in our discussions; we even write some Blog Posts about it.

In 2023, we developed scripts to calculate the CO2 footprint of Functional. We were interested in how our traveling, hotel stays, and even heating in the home office impacted the environment.

Carbon Emissions


Surprisingly enough, train traveling wasn’t the issue, but staying in hotels was. We can’t always minimize the amount of time we are onsite at customers, but we can pick hotels that are certified green.

As a result, we have offset our CO2 emissions.

Our Customers

Without our great customers, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do. For example, we are quite involved in the heating sector at one of our customers: Techem.

There, we have been involved in more than 6 projects, some running for more than 2 years now. We have architected and implemented a data platform, which is now the backbone for new emerging cloud solutions with billions of events. We built up the infrastructure and pipelines to optimize the boiler room for more efficiency and making it CO2 friendlier. A project of ours even built up new E-Charging capabilities for Techem to handle charge logs, consumption reports, and invoicing.

Each of these projects moves the needle a little bit towards a more sustainable future while offering real value for Techem and its business model. After all, they are making buildings greener, and we are happy to help where we can.

We are not only goal-wise aligned, but we also love the same tech. With our focus on Azure and its managed services like Azure Data Explorer, Data Factory, Fabric, Cosmos DB, App Functions, etc., we fit right in. We love to choose tools that work, are secure, and deliver on the flexibility promise of the cloud. Being able to bootstrap projects in days, not months, and deliver new capabilities with cloud technologies is functional. We stand by that, and our customers do too.

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