You have been working at adesso insurance solutions for a while, haven't you?
Awhile is relative, but I have been working here for about a year. First as a student, then a few months later I took a break to finish my bachelor thesis and I have been working full time since this month.
And do you feel comfortable?
What is your job title here?
I am a software engineer.
What did you do before you started at adesso insurance solutions?
I was a programmer for a service provider for the technical handling of business processes on the electricity and natural gas market. We developed billing software with the customers, incoming invoices and taxes, etc. I started with my training to be an IT specialist before my studies and completed it during my studies.
And you studied computer science?
Without a concentration?
Yes, without one! I wanted to experience the entire range of topics and took nearly all courses. Even if I didn't get certified everywhere.
What was your original plan with your studies?
To be an IT specialist? ... (laugh) Well, I actually didn't have any specific plan regarding which industry I want to go in or what exactly I want to program. I mean, of course it was always a little dream of mine to develop games sometime, but you quickly burn out in the gaming industry. That is why it was also clear to me that I don't want to work there. It was simply always important to me to create something new later. So to say, to make sure that something is there that wasn't before! Something that other people use and every other person knows! (laugh)
And you are doing that here?
Yes, actually I am. But every other person probably doesn't know it.
Then tell us a little about a normal day for you.
Well, first I clean my screen... (laugh) all jokes aside. Well, I am currently doing a lot of SQL, but I normally work more or less from release cycle to release cycle. That means for each release, there is a list of improvements for the current version and I have to repair these for the next release. Then the mathematicians look at the current software version, determine specifications with the customer and share this with us. We software engineers implement this, all of this goes into a test and can then be rolled out after this.
So a software engineer just does development?
Hmm, no, not just that. Normally everyone should be able to discuss software specifications with the customer, to plan the software development, to suggest implementations for customers, to perform implementations, to test and install software and to have these accepted by the customer. But since all of that requires a lot of time, it makes sense to divide the tasks among several people and for the software engineer to concentrate on development.
Is that the difference between a typical software engineer and a software engineer at adesso insurance solutions GmbH?
No. I think the difference is much more in the versatility. On the one hand, we build independent software and on the other hand, we modify our software for individual customers.
So that means you do mass customization?
Yes, exactly. There are companies that simply produce software in-house and there are companies that get external projects, meaning they program software for external parties. We do both at adesso insurance solutions. We develop basic products and also customize these to the individual customers. Run with the hare and hunt with the hounds and that is why we see more.
You just said that you are currently doing a lot of SQL. What other programming languages do you work with?
Well SQL is more of a query language to extract data as opposed to a programming language. Before I did SQL here, I worked on the front end. Meaning what the user interface looks like. And we mostly do this with Java and JSF.
adesso insurance solutions develops several programs. Which one are you working on?
I work on in|sure PSLife, our software for managing life insurances.
And what do you like most about your work?
First of all, the versatility and flexibility that I just talked about. I can work in-house as well as for customers. Furthermore, there is also a lot of very positive criteria. Everything is orderly and structured and has flat hierarchies. I always have a contact. I like to say that if you are able to talk, somebody will be able to help you here.
(laugh) That sounds good!
Yes, that is good! Everyone here has a lot of knowledge and everything works very well through this. I mean, I came back here after a few months off for my bachelor thesis, and they directly put me on a project I wasn't familiar with. I was at the same level of all other colleagues within four hours. And this is because everything is well-structured, documented and prepared. You can directly contact expert colleagues and get everything important explained to you. Work can only really start flowing if these obstacles are overcome. I can quickly acquire knowledge and concentrate on the actual work. In addition to this is that a lot is done for employee well-being at adesso and the colleagues motivate each other, for example, to work out or to do stuff together. That is great!
Can I say that you do not regret taking on this job?
Correct! ... (break) There is an African travel guide for Germany that says you should not ask Germans how they are doing, because they will just complain. I can't complain! I would like to invest my energy and performance here to make sure things run smoothly. And if something is missing, then I just ask about it. At latest my team director can help me. I have had the experience that problems and mistakes are dealt with constructively here. And it is a difference if I work-to-rule or work because I want to. And working here is a lot of fun, because I also receive recognition for what I do. Thus – no, I don't regret it!
Thank you, Martin!