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André KomesEmbedded Software Developmentbei OMICRON

“Verwende den Ferialjob nicht nur um Geld zu machen, sondern versuche auch, verschiedenste Firmen auszuprobieren, dann sieht man eher, welche Unternehmen für einen interessant sind”, rät André Komes, Embedded Software Developer bei OMICRON. Die größte Einschränkung an diesem Job? “Dadurch, dass ich Embedded Software mache, die mehr oder weniger unsichtbar ist, bekommt man nicht gerade viel Feedback von den Kunden.”

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Transkript

Drei Ratschläge an Dein 14jähriges Ich!

Don’t work during the holidays just to make money. Instead you should try out a whole variety of different companies to find out which you find interesting and where you would like to focus your future career. In the end you want to find out what you enjoy. Naturally, it’s important that you like the job you choose. It will become monotonous or routine if you don’t take pleasure in your work. An important aspect of holiday jobs is to ensure that you don’t always do the same thing just because it’s easy and the company would be willing to take you next year. Instead you should try out a variety of different jobs to get to know a range of companies.

Was steht auf Deiner Visitenkarte?

This is the advice of André Komes, Software Developer for Embedded Systems.

Was ist das coolste an Deinem Job?

One thing I really like about my work is that you get this sense of achievement when you have finished something, and it works properly. It is also fantastic to see a product being used, and working smoothly, at the end of the project. Of course that’s a cool feeling.

Welche Einschränkungen bringt Dein Job mit sich?

The embedded software that I create is pretty much invisible, so one of the major restrictions is that you don’t get much feedback from the customer. And the only feedback you’re likely to get from the customer is that “this thing or that thing is not working”. After a while you get the feeling that there isn’t a single customer out there who can use the software at all. But apparently there are a few who receive faultless products. The other drawbacks are just typical of development: there will always be faults, and you simply have to cope with locating and fixing your own mistakes. It doesn’t get better. There will always be mistakes, no matter how much experience you acquire.

Worum geht es in Deinem Job?

Omicron makes test solutions for energy providers, for transformer stations, etc., and these solutions are used to test the protective mechanisms. I am responsible for developing the embedded system software, which is the software that runs directly on the devices. It is controlled by special PC software and suchlike, or in some cases it runs automatically. During the week I turn up at my workstation, sit in front of the PC all day testing software, programming, and locating and repairing my own mistakes. I have quite a lot to do with other people, and we work in fairly tight teams. This means we complete projects in teams made up of 5 to 10 people from the department, but within the projects themselves we work quite independently. We hold several meetings, and depending on the size of the team or whether we are at the start or the end of a project there are quite a few things to plan. This frees up time for our development work later on. The people here in the Embedded Unit mainly use C++, and sometimes C+. It really depends how deep the layer is in the device. But C++ is the main language we use for embedded software.

Wie sieht Dein Werdegang aus?

I attended the HTL in Rankweil. After completing my Alternative National Service I enrolled in a degree course in IT, or technical informatics, at the Vienna University of Applied Sciences. I always had holiday jobs while I was at university. But more or less out of convenience they were in my father’s company, because I didn’t really have to do all that much. Then a few of my student friends told me about Omicron, and suggested that I apply for a job there, which I did. Thank God they took me, and at the end of the holiday job they made me an offer to continue in the company on a part-time basis while I completed my degree course. The offer was fairly lucrative and attractive from a student perspective. I was given a full-time position when I graduated from university. So my first encounter with the company was in 2009, and since then I have been here without a break. If I remember correctly the first three years were on a part-time basis, and since then full-time.

Ginge es auch ohne Deinem Werdegang?

It would certainly have been difficult without the HTL. In this job you do need a technical education, and without one you are unlikely to be accepted. My degree course may not have been absolutely necessary, but it was definitely helpful. I suppose it depends on the qualifications needed for the specific vacancy. For instance, it is possible that the company is looking to strengthen a team, and will therefore be keen to recruit novices or beginners. Other times it will be looking for specialists in a technical field. In the latter case it will be difficult to get the job without a degree or professional experience. It is certainly beneficial to have some programming experience, because once you start, before you even start maybe, it’s likely you’ll be presented with a variety of different tasks, and if you can make a good impression it’s all the more likely you will be accepted. So it is definitely an advantage if you have a bit of a background in development or programming languages, and not just at school.

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