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    From physics to programming

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    08. November 2023
    4:00 min.

    Matthias Rosenauer has been working for Krones as a software development engineer for six years. He describes what really matters in his job, what a typical workday looks like and what he would love to program just for the fun of it.

    “Software development? Not my cup of tea – You see, I’m a physicist.” That was what Matthias Rosenauer said when he was first brought into contact with this job description at a recruiting fair. To which he received a prompt answer: “That doesn’t matter! It’s not unusual for physics graduates to end up in this field.” After all, the physics degree course also frequently touches on programming at one point or other, and programming is what this job is based on. Moreover, students of physics learn analytical thinking which is equally indispensable in software development.

    However, to quote Matthias Rosenauer: “That shouldn’t lead you to think ‘being able to do a bit of programming’ automatically makes you a software development engineer. I did in fact make that mistake and underestimated just how many more abilities and skills this job requires.” To qualify as a software development engineer, the usual route is to obtain a degree in computer science or complete training as an IT specialist. But this is in no way a must, as Matthias Rosenauer tells us: “Back then, I simply started work as a software development engineer and followed the maxim of “learning by doing”, picking up as much practical and theoretical knowledge as possible from my colleagues while also making use of advanced training opportunities.”

    Image 37873
    Matthias Rosenauer joined the Krones family six years ago.

    In two-week sprints to the finishing line

    For six years now, he has been an integral part of the software development team at Syskron, one of the players in the community. When reading the online description of the community’s remit, any layperson will probably think “Wow - That’s all Greek to me: IIoT-platform, on-premise services, edge devices, tech stack…?” But Matthias Rosenauer gives us a succinct summary: “What it comes down to is this: Customers get in touch with us because they want a digital solution to certain problems. And that’s what we set to work on.” Mostly, the job is divided into two-week sprints. A goal is specified for the period, and then the team starts: requirement analysis, programming, testing the software and optimising it. At the end of the period, the result is presented to the customer. “In best case, we’ve at least headed in the right direction and can plan for the next two weeks,” says Rosenauer. “That’s the basic framework for our daily work routine but different tasks will also crop up inbetween, such as code reviews, for example, which means assessing the work done by colleagues. You see, we’re working on the dual (minimum!) control principle.”

    Ongoing projects may include small applications which can be produced in next to no time. But there are also those extending over months on end and requiring a lot of the team’s time and effort. “To give you an example: You have to write a program for monitoring the metrics at all temperature sensors in the hall, one of the requirements being that a warning be given when the temperature at a sensor rises above 30 degrees and an alarm be sent to the maintenance and operator team when a sensor signals a temperature of over 50 degrees for longer than three minutes,” says Rosenauer. But basically the projects offer a lot of variety, are very multi-facetted, he continues.

    Image 37874
    Together with his colleagues, Matthias Rosenauer makes sure that cryptic codes are dependably turned into fully functional programs.

    A structured approach is the paramount priority

    Staying on top of your work in this field requires not only programming skills but above all appropriately structured working methods. “That’s extremely important. It’s most likely that other people will later on have to work with the codes you write. If the process used in writing them is chaotic, it will take hours of trouble-shooting if something goes wrong,” says Rosenauer.

    And just like in any other job, it helps when you’re passionate about it, which has definitely been the case with Matthias Rosenauer. The 33-year-old also occasionally thinks about a programming project for his private life and tells us about the latest one of these: “When I’m working with headphones in my home office and somehow feel I won’t hear the front-door bell, that drives me up the wall. I mean, sometimes you know that the parcel you’re waiting for will be delivered that day. More than once, I’ve thought about putting together a small application that makes sure I get a visual notification, like light signals, when someone rings the front-door bell.” But alas, he continues, something like that is not simply produced on the fly. It would require several hours of work. “And before I spend time on such frivolities, I should actually tackle more urgent projects like refurbishing the bathroom at home,” says Matthias Rosenauer, laughing. But just the fact that he still likes programming and IT even in his leisure time shows him that he has chosen the right job.

    Krones is progressing digital transformation

    • Syskron GmbH is part of
    • In early 2022, Krones combined all of its resources in the fields of digitalisation and automation into a new unit –
    • In this groupwide community, more than 500 experts around the world are working together on digital solutions.
    • Krones aims to increase efficiency along the entire value chain and to lead the beverage and liquid-food industries into a sustainable future.
    08. November 2023
    4:00 min.

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