Nick is founder and company director of Cloud Under. Born in Germany, he ran his first online services (BBS) in a pre-internet era from the early 1990s and founded his first web design company in Bavaria in 1999 whilst still going to school. He designed, developed and hosted websites and back-office solutions for customers such as:
- German-Irish rock band “Reamonn” (Virgin, Universal Music) and various other musicians
- trade fair construction company (part of Messe München)
- various local businesses, e.g. car dealership
- tech start-ups
Nick grew up with the web and was, like most web designers at the time, entirely self-trained in HTML, PHP, Flash, Linux etc. Between 2003 and 2006 he broadened his knowledge further in a more academic way at the Augsburg University of Applied Sciences. Although he didn’t stay to finish the degree, he successfully completed modules, including:
- graphic design
- time based media (audio and video)
- photography (analog and digital)
- software engineering
- network technology
Whilst still working for his own clients until then, in 2007 he started to work as an employee for digital oriented marketing agencies in Munich, Germany, gaining further experience and insights from a new perspective.
Two years later he finally made a dream come true: With the blessing of his employer he moved to Manchester in the northwest of England and continued the much valued work remotely for four years until he became completely independent by founding his own company, Cloud Under, with his former employer still being a loyal and regular customer.
Since the mid-90s Nick has evolved from a self-trained web designer to a highly experienced web developer with a broad area of expertise, who has worked on and lead numerous projects across many sectors and industries. Despite being specialised in back-end and front-end web development, his huge personal interest in design and technology as well as the ambition to continuously learn new things give him the ability to bring different areas together in order to achieve best results.
Nick is available for hire as a freelance web developer – back-end, front-end and more.
Key Skills and Interests
- PHP, Scala, NodeJS, Bash
- MongoDB, MySQL
- Docker, Vagrant, microservices
- Cloud computing
- Speed optimisation and scalability
- API-centric web applications
- Git, CI, CD, automation
- Search engine optimisation (SEO)
Frequently Asked Questions
“I’ve got a small business. Can you design a website for me?”
I can definitely help you getting your business online. I’ve got very high quality standards and that’s why I usually leave the design process itself to experienced designers. But the design is only one part of getting a website online. A website needs to be coded in a user and search engine friendly way. Even if I don’t design myself, I can take care of your entire online project. If you’re on a very low budget I may even recommend pre-made design templates to get started. In long-term, if you want to grow your business, I recommend a more custom design with features as required.
“Can you make mobile-friendly websites?”
Absolutely. Unless you have very specific reasons, why a website or a web application should not be mobile-friendly, I always assume that a website shall work almost anywhere and adapt to all sorts of devices as well as possible.
“Can you temporarily help me with a project?”
Generally, yes. Even if you don’t have an entire project to hand over, I’m happy to help, e.g. because one of your employees is off sick or too busy with something else. Please get in touch as soon as possible to discuss how I can help.
“Nick? André? What’s your name really?”
Just call me Nick as most people do. Strictly speaking my first name is André, which is what you find on official documents and some people call me that. Nicolaj, hence Nick, is my middle name and I’ve always been called Nick by friends and family.
André Zahn or Nick Zahn or André Nicolaj Zahn can all be considered valid. For programmers:
/^(André )?(Nic(k|olaj) )?Zahn$/