Das italienische Weindepot

Blog: About the Author | Shop Features

My name is Tobias Strunz, I am not only the owner of 'The Italian Wine Depot', but also the author of the technology that makes our website gerardo.de possible. This requires extensive and in-depth programming knowledge, which I acquired as an autodidact in my early youth. The first attempts were made on the Commodore 64 with Commodore Basic (successful) and Assembler (less successful), even before we had the subject computer science in school.

When computer science finally came along during my school years, I was able to develop my skills further and learned numerous BASIC dialects (such as Quick Basic) and several other programming languages (Fortran, Cobol etc.) , as well as rudimentary knowledge of design and layout.

At the Media Design Academy in Munich, the web programming languages and technologies that are still used on most websites today were added: HTML, CSS as well as PHP and MySQL. During this time, I expanded my knowledge even further and learned a lot in my spare time, including the use of graphics and layout programs.

Before joining our family business, I worked for some time as a self-employed web designer and web programmer, but my father needed help in the store and so this form of work had clear priority over my self-employment at the time.

Since 1998 I have been developing our website, which since its launch in 2001 has been accessible under gerardo.de and has grown into a full-featured online store. Thereby the whole repertoire of the knowledge acquired in earlier years was used. First my father gave me the idea, because he didn't want to use an off-the-shelf online store. He gave me a book about online store design.

The first source codes were created at that time still using freely available tutorials and reference books (such as Web Database Applications with PHP & mySQL by O'Reilly). When the base was ready, I was able to expand, refine and customize it over the years.

This process has been with me for over 20 years now, so that the website and the associated technology have almost become a part of me. You could also call it my 'brain child'. After my father passed away in August 2021, the website is also a kind of memory store, which is not least due to the domain name and the many texts he contributed.

In the meantime there was always a 'hiatus' in the further development, which is also due to the daily business, because I was and am not paid as a programmer. During this time I was motivated by the book 'Masters of Doom' by David Kushner.

When I took over the company, I quickly realized that I would no longer have so much time for the further development of the technology, because now other tasks are waiting for me. However, the source code is still being expanded and developed step by step. The base has worked very well over the last years and runs securely, reliably and error-free. I like to build on this now with 'comfort features' that will be added in the next years.

Wine trade is an exciting business, the subject of wine is interesting and enjoyable at the same time. For me it is the highest fulfillment when I can combine wine and technology in my business activities. - Tobias

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