Niels Gandraß

Freelancing IT Multi-talent and Master of Science


Hi, I'm Niels — a freelancing IT guy based in Hamburg, Germany

I like to keep Linux servers happy and healthy, automate a lot of DevOps tasks to let machines do the heavy lifting for me, and build the cloud infrastructure to run all that. Moreover, I develop specialized applications, often with a scientific background, tailored to the business needs of my customers. These range from DIN/ISO-compliant laboratory software to energy-efficient firmware for low-power embedded IoT devices. Though not my primary focus, the creation of websites for small to medium-sized businesses is also part of my skill set.

In recent years, I have worked with various clients, including the following:

Open Source Projects

Below is a selection of the open source projects I'm currently working on
You can find more on my  GitHub account (@ngandrass)

TrueNAS Spindown Timer Cover
TrueNAS Spindown Timer

Monitors disk I/O and forces HDD spindown after a given idle period. Resistant to S.M.A.R.T. reads.

Moodle Quiz Archiver Cover
Moodle Quiz Archiver

Archives quiz attempts as PDF and HTML files for long-term storage independent of Moodle.

Moodle Quiz Archive Worker Cover
Moodle Quiz Archive Worker

Renders Moodle quiz attempts inside a headless webbrowser and exports them to PDF/HTML files, including MathJax formulas and other complex elements that require JS processing.

UFW IPSet Blocklist Auto-Updater Cover
UFW IPSet Blocklist Auto-Updater

Blocking lists of IP addresses from blocklists / blacklists (e.g., via ipset and ufw.

GitLab Group Backup Cover
GitLab Group Backup

Creates full backups of GitLab groups, including subgroups and all projects, via the GitLab API.


Niels Gandraß
Moodle Quiz Archiver — Future Proof Archiving of Exam Results

Quiz Archiver is a novel Moodle plugin that archives quiz attempts as PDF and HTML files for long-term storage independent of Moodle. It supports complex question- and content-types,...

Conference Talk English Moodle University Conference 2024
12 Mar 24
Niels Gandraß
Moodle Quiz Archiver — The road from v0.6.3 (BETA) to v1.2.3

Quiz Archiver is a novel Moodle plugin that archives quiz attempts as PDF and HTML files for long-term storage independent of Moodle. It supports complex question- and content-types,...

SIG Talk English SIG E-Assessment (Moodle an Hochschulen e.V.)
05 Feb 24
Niels Gandraß
Moodle Quiz Archiver — A Quick Glance

Quiz Archiver is a novel Moodle plugin that archives quiz attempts as PDF and HTML files for long-term storage independent of Moodle. It supports complex question- and content-types,...

Conference Talk English Moodle.NRW
16 Nov 23
Niels Gandraß, Felix Koch, Karin Landenfeld, and Emira Zorgati
Zentrale Absicherung von Prüfungsszenarien in verteilten PC-Poolräumen — Konzept und Verwendung

Digitale Prüfungen ermöglichen innovative Prüfungsformen, bieten einen großen Gestaltungsfreiraum und können die Qualität einer Lehrveranstaltung maßgeblich steigern. Die Nachfrage nach...

Conference Talk German ePS 2022
25 Nov 22
Niels Gandraß
A Uniform API for Cross-Platform Timer Hardware Abstraction on Resource Constrained IoT Devices

Timers are part of every microcontroller and influence numerous aspects of embedded applications. As the heterogeneous spectrum of timer peripherals continues to grow, embedded OSs...

Master's Thesis English Hamburg University of Applied Sciences
23 Feb 22
Niels Gandraß, Michel Rottleuthner, and Thomas C. Schmidt
uTimer: A Uniform Low-level Timer API for RIOT OS

Microcontrollers offer a large range of hardware timers. As peripherals grow in diversity, the complexity of supporting them increases for embedded operating systems. Well-established...

Conference Paper English Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) DOI: 10.1109/iThings-GreenCom-CPSC... ISBN: 978-1-6654-1762-4
08 Dec 21
Niels Gandraß, Michel Rottleuthner, and Thomas C. Schmidt
Large-scale Timer Hardware Analysis for a Flexible Low-level Timer-API Design: Work-in-Progress

We report on our ongoing development of an optimized low-level timer-API for the RIOT operating system. Starting with a survey of hardware timer peripherals from 43 MCU-families and 8...

WiP Paper English Association for Computing Machinery DOI: 10.1145/3477244.3477617 ISBN: 9781450387125
30 Sep 21
Niels Gandraß, Karin Landenfeld, and Jonas Priebe
Examuntu: A Secure and Portable Linux-Distribution for Summative E-Assessments at Universities

As electronic assessments emerged into the academic landscape, specialized software solutions were developed along with them. Nowadays, many e-assessment systems that provide secure...

Conference Paper English European Society for Engineering Education ISBN: 978-2-87352-023-6
14 Sep 21
Karin Landenfeld, Jonas Priebe, and Niels Gandraß
Digitale Aufgaben und Prüfungen in Mathematik – ein Erfahrungsbericht

Kaum ein Studiengang lässt sich heutzutage noch vollständig ohne digitale Komponenten denken. Insbesondere die Ausrichtung der Studieninhalte auf eine zunehmend digitale Arbeitswelt ist...

Short Paper German ARGESIM Publisher, Vienna DOI: 10.11128/arep.45 ISBN: 978-3-901608-69-8
12 Mar 21
Niels Gandraß, Torge Hinrichs, and Axel Schmolitzky
Towards an Online Programming Platform Complementing Software Engineering Education

Existing online programming platforms provide many opportunities for individuals to develop and improve their programming skills. Using descriptive assignments that address different...

Conference Paper English SEUH 2020
27 Feb 20
Niels Gandraß and Axel Schmolitzky
Automatisierte Bewertung von Java-Programmieraufgaben im Rahmen einer Moodle E-Learning Plattform

Die Programmiersprache Java wird an zahlreichen Hochschulen gelehrt, um Studierende mit grundlegenden Programmierkonzepten vertraut zu machen. Zur Integration von...

Conference Paper German DOI: 10.18420/abp2019-1
08 Oct 19
Niels Gandraß
Unsupervised Machine Learning: Feature Extraction for Classification of LIDAR-Ceilometer Aerosol-Backscatter Profiles

In this bachelor thesis a method for unsupervised feature extraction from aerosol backscatter profiles is proposed. After a first data preprocessing step the LIDAR-ceilometer datasets...

Bachelor's Thesis German
29 Apr 19
Philipp Palm, Nena Kerner, Sarah Alexi, Niels Gandraß, et al.
Werden? Ich bin doch schon!: Neue Schule Hamburg

Die Neue Schule Hamburg ist eine demokratische Schule, die konsequent die individuelle Freiheit ihrer Schülerinnen und Schüler in den Mittelpunkt stellt. Doch wie wird das...

Book German NullPunkt & Komma Verlag ISBN: 978-3962780005
01 Nov 17


How I spent my time, aside from doing great projects...

Acquired M. Sc. in Computer Science
Acquired B.Sc. in Computer Engineering
Employed as academic researcher
Started working as a freelancing software developer
for various customers
Acquired general university-entrance diploma (Abitur)
Created my first coding project together with friends
It was messy but sparked my excitement

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