Leaving Pix4D

David Wagner

After four years at Pix4D, today is my last working day. This article presents my main projects and some lessons learned at this company.

Calibration Team

I joined Pix4D’s Calibration Team in August 2017 as a C++ developer. My first task was to improve the quality report generated by the first stage of PIX4Dmapper‘s image processing pipeline.

  • Best times: I learned a about photogrammetry.
  • Worst times: I rearranged a data structure in some reporting code and the performance of a seemingly unrelated module dropped 10%. The team spent weeks tracking down why this happened.
  • Lesson learned: Fighting code complexity is the hardest problem in maintaining a successful software product.

Integration Team

In 2018 I joined the Integration Team to work on a new build automation system for the company. Developers needed a tool to build and test their applications and libraries on various platforms. I developed an interest in building cloud infrastructure and deployment pipelines.

  • Best times: I learned about Amazon Web Services and about modern tools for deploying distributed systems.
  • Worst times: Because of an unpinned dependency we picked up a kernel update with a bug that crippled our entire fleet of build machines.
  • Lesson learned: When working on a green-field project our head is full of creative ideas and it’s easy to miss prior work.

The experience in this team inspired me to experiment with my own build automation system.

Cloud Services Team

At the end of 2019 I was invited to join Cloud Services, the team responsible for Pix4D’s photogrammetry processing service. I was excited to work on a live system serving paying customers. I also had a chance to lead the technical work of a small team.

  • Best times: I learned about the operation and maintenance of a production cloud system.
  • Worst times: Browsing through a hundred SQS queues trying to reverse-engineer what they’re for.
  • Lesson learned: Building things incrementally is a good idea. Figuring out what not to build is a better idea.

The work in this team rekindled my interest in Nix and led me to build a decent Homelab.


After four great years at Pix4D I’m moving on. I accepted a job at Nexthink where I keep learning about the intricacies of cloud systems.

I wish everybody at Pix4D a lot of success!