Home > About me

January 13, 2024

About me

My name is Axel Knauf. I am a Cologne-based IT professional working in software development and architecture, general IT and business consulting and tech leadership. I’ve been working in the industry since March 2005 after having graduated from university. Nowadays I am usually staffed as tech lead and delivery principal on interdisciplinary software development teams.

Areas of Expertise

Tech and digital strategy

How can we efficiently and effectively build robust and maintainable software products? How can we make digital products and services successful in the market? How can we make sure that we’re building the “right thing” in a user-centric way?

Software design and architecture

How can we evolve software with the right level of abstraction and complexity for the need at hand? How can we take the right decisions and make sure we’re future-proofing our approach? What kind of architecture suits our needs now and in future? And how can we get from here to there in a reliable way?

Tech Leadership

Never forget: Software is built by humans for humans! How can we create an inclusive and diverse workplace, being respectful with each other and mediating conflicts in a grown-up way? How do we take into account the full breadth of who we are and who our customers are? How can we improve our working processes without neglecting fun at work?

Current Role

I am currently working as tech lead on an agile development team building the self-service portal for a major German insurance company. As tech lead my main responibility is making sure that we balance the needs between business - such as time to market, compliance and regulatory requirements - and technical aspects, especially around a harmonious architecture that grows with the needs of team and application. In that role my main focus is working as a ’team catalyst’, removing obstacles, nurturing information flow, facilitating workshops, aligning with the organisation, mediating conflicts and having a keen eye on software quality and style.

In previous engagements I have mainly been filling the same role in different settings and with a colorful variety of team setups. I used to work in IT consulting a lot, had a lot of exposure to intercultural and international teams with co-located, remote and hybrid setups. I am currently working for an IT services company in Cologne, focusing on the local market. In addition to my client-facing work I am also engaged in some internal initiatives aiming to improve the working environment, business and strategic needs of my employer.


Here’s the buzzword bingo of technologies, frameworks, and nerd-paraphernalia that I’ve used over the years, omitting a lot of detail, but search engines like it:

Some of this dates back a few years, but learning is one of the main skills a technologist needs, and I am quite quick at picking up new languages, frameworks and tools. Try me.

Previous Employment

Personal Interests

From my childhood days on I have always been very curious about how things work. Correspondingly, I have a broad variety of personal interests, including, but not limited to, the following topics (in no particular order):


Is there anything that could interest me? What am I missing? What should I be looking at? Drop me a note - there’s an e-mail address in the footer. However, I am currently not looking for a new role or freelance work.