Matthias Mitscherlich gets a kick whenever the product for which he co-developed the software works as it should. ‘After all, you’re working on something that thousands of people are going to use. For instance, when I’m driving along the road, I love to see all the smart charging stations I have been working on. Or when I hear that the father of a colleague benefits so much from the James III lift, which was one of my projects.’
Matthias has been working at ICT Group as a senior software designer since 2018. He grew up in a village in Northern Germany, where his father was the first to own a computer. Matthias’ grandfather was a programmer in the army. When it was time for Matthias to choose a course of study, his father advised him to ‘do something that involved electricity’, ‘because’, he said, ‘that has a future’. Matthias enrolled in an electrical engineering course, but ended up switching to computer engineering. ‘Apparently, it was written in my genes, Matthias laughs. He turned out to have a knack for it. He decided to do his final-year internship in the Netherlands and was offered a job immediately after graduation.
His third employer became ICT Group. Matthias: ‘I really wanted to work for them, as I’d heard a lot of positive stories. I knew they were a large organisation with interesting projects and excellent growth opportunities.’ Matthias believes those opportunities are very important. Your diploma from a college or university is like a driving licence in the sense that they give you just enough confidence to continue learning without help. There’s a German saying, Stillstand ist Rückstand, which means that stagnation is regression. I want to keep developing in my work. Moreover, at ICT Group I can also develop as a person.’
As part of his first project at ICT Group, Matthias helped develop the software for smart charging stations. ‘Two colleagues had been working on this project for several years and had so much work that they needed extra support’, Matthias said. ‘I mainly added functionality to the existing system.’
His next assignment was the James III lift for United Care. United Care was looking for a software partner for a futureproof lift, in addition to hardware partner Variass. ‘The lift is used in healthcare and helps people get up who can no longer do so on their own’, Matthias explains. ‘There’s an amazing amount of software in these lifts. United Care has developed a way of lifting in which the lift activates people to use certain muscles, so they remain physically active and are not just supported. During the lifting process, the lift automatically calculates how much and what support is needed to allow the user to stand up in a natural manner and partly on their own. The software has to support this. The preconditions for this product are also crucial. For example, when someone uses the lift, the battery should always have enough charge.’
Matthias carried out this project together with his team leader. A question that kept Matthias preoccupied was whether he would be suited for the position of lead engineer. That’s why the team leader suggested switching roles and Matthias became lead engineer. In this role, he liaised with both customers and with Variass. Because it was his first time, the team leader kept an eye on things. Matthias also did the software design and implementation. ‘The fact that I was given the opportunity to work as a lead engineer is also the beauty of working at ICT Group’, Matthias says. ‘Colleagues and managers encourage you to develop further. The policy and atmosphere are aimed at getting the best out of every employee.’ He liked the new role, partly because he had already taken several valuable training courses at the ICT Academy. He could immediately apply in practice what he learned there.
“The fact that I was given the opportunity to work as a lead engineer is also the beauty of working at ICT Group.”
Matthias Mitscherlich, Senior software designer
Matthias not only has a lot of fun with his colleagues; they also learn a lot from and with each other. ‘ICT Group encourages you to connect with colleagues from other sites and share knowledge with each other. If you have a technical problem, there’s always a colleague somewhere in the country who can help you further. After all, there are more than 1,500 of us!’