What's so great about engineering
Software Engineer at Capgemini - much more than programming
Katrin Sperrel has been working as a software engineer in the company since 2016. A dream came true for the biotechnology expert.
Actually, Katrin Barnel has three jobs. Because her tasks are so diverse that she can fill very different roles. A fact that she enjoys very much. In an interview, she told us why she found her dream job as a software engineer, how she came to Mumbai and why she can help people with her work.
Katrin's career start - how it all began
Please introduce yourself briefly.
I am a software engineer at Capgemini and work for Custom Solution Development in Ratingen near Düsseldorf. I started my working student activity in 2008 for a Capgemini customer and was lucky enough to join the company. In 2012 I started as a working student at Capgemini in Ratingen, and since 2016 I have been employed as a permanent software engineer.
What did you study?
I studied computer science with a focus on bioinformatics - both as a bachelor's and master's degree. In the meantime, I was already interested in employers who deal with biotechnology and bioinformatics.
I have been very interested in both computer science and biology since I was at school. The new bioinformatics course was a perfect fit. There is a wide range of areas of application for this. For example, the sequencing of DNA types or genetic research are interesting. This is what my clients' projects are often about. That's why I was well prepared with my studies.
Has software engineer always been your dream job?
In fact, that has always been my dream job. My mother is also a computer scientist - she was my role model.
Why were you so particularly interested in computer science?
I am very interested in technology and I like it when things are logical. I like the principle of software development, we write texts in a special language and have many expressive options there. I find that fun.
Katrin's everyday life as a software engineer at Capgemini
What excites you about the position as a software engineer at Capgemini?
There is the possibility of developing into other specialist areas, for example in the direction of test manager or software architect. And what I'm particularly excited about is the opportunity to act in different roles. I am currently working on three parallel projects for a customer. I serve three roles in each of them. I am a software engineer, scrum master and offshore coordinator because we work a lot with Indian colleagues. My job is incredibly diverse and exciting.
Which customer projects are you working on in your position?
I work for a biotech company on the projects mentioned. All of them deal with software that can be used to examine DNA samples for specific DNA sequences. For example, a virus attack can be detected by looking for a specific virus sequence. We thus enable analyzes that are used in various fields of medicine. Biotechnology can help many people - that's an important drive for me.
How big are the teams at Capgemini?
In a team we take care of software that is already on the market and continuously improve it. Here I work exclusively with offshore developers, for example with three developers in Mumbai. Here at the customer's site, we then have a tester, a test manager and the project manager.
How do you feel about the team spirit at Capgemini.
It's excellent. I really appreciate my colleagues. Here one supports the other, you get support at any time. It's always fun to train new colleagues and to carry on this team spirit.
How is your everyday life as a software engineer?
We are deployed on site at the customer, there I have my permanent job. So the cooperation with the customer is very close. I am rarely in our Düsseldorf office.
In the morning we always start with stand-up meetings for the three projects at the customer's. As I am the Scrum Master in all three projects, I have three stand-up meetings a day. In it, we discuss the current status, problems and goals for the day in question with the teams.
The rest of the day is very different, depending on which project is in which phase. I am very flexible with regard to the allocation of my capacities and can plan in such a way that in the end the greatest possible benefit results for all three projects. I am also in close contact with my colleagues in India. I have around two hours a day in which I can implement projects myself. The rest is a lot of coordination and work as a Scrum Master.
How can we imagine offshore coordination?
It's about the coordination and cooperation with our Indian colleagues from Mumbai. As part of this task, I was allowed to fly to India for a week. I was able to get to know the software developers on site - an exciting time!
Career and further education - where are you headed?
Are you planning to switch your projects?
Only recently my supervisor asked me whether I was still feeling well or whether I would like to get a taste of other projects. Since I currently have so many different tasks, I feel very comfortable and would like to stay a little longer. But if I want to change then that is also possible.
To what extent do you use the many training opportunities at Capgemini?
I started with the FastTrack program for newcomers. The presentation training was especially great, so I was able to try it out in front of colleagues without hesitation. Through Capgemini I also got to know the work in the software development process Scrum. This year I will complete further training courses here in order to gain additional qualifications.
Are there any training courses that you can recommend in the area of software development?
As part of the FastTrack program, we had a training course on the topic of Software Engineering Design Principles: An internal training course in Munich, during which we had three days of very intensive training on software development from A to Z. I took a lot with me.
keywordCareer model: Have you taken a firm path?
I am still at the beginning of my path. At the moment I am considering the field of IT architects. But at Capgemini I am flexible: if I discover a different branch of the career for myself, I can still switch in the middle of the career path, there are no limits.
What advice can you give future applicants from Capgemini if they want to start as a software engineer?
Of course, computer science skills are important. If you also enjoy trying new things, Capgemini is definitely the place for you.
The job as a software engineer at Capgemini could also be something for you?
Find out more about our Software Engineer job advertisement here. In addition, there are numerous other options for your career with us. Find out more here attractive jobs at Capgemini.
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