Podcast with our iOS-Developer Bjarne
14.01.2020 | Christopher Lade
Tune in to hear all about how he got to HUM Systems, what his internship was like, what his role on the team entails, and much more.
Christopher: I have a few questions for you – first, could you briefly describe what you do here at HUM Systems?
Bjarne: I am on the iOS Development team, which means I am responsible for every programming task for our iOS (Livy) App. Meaning, if we put out new features, we go into a development phase, where we distribute this feature implementation to our team. This means that the whole development process has to be planned, implemented, tested, so all of these responsibilities on the iOS-side land in my hands.
C: And you are one of how many on the iOS team?
B: Currently we are three guys. I have been here since last September (2018); the other guys include a new employee, another came a half year later than me, which lead me to mentor both of them, especially our newcomer. Here, also, lies a bit of responsibility for me.
C: Could you describe the story of how you got to HUM Systems? You sent in an “unsolicited application” (Initiativbewerbung) and started as an intern. How did you initially find HUM Systems -- through a job search website, or online somewhere else?
B: In 2018, I found an open position in this company for an iOS Developer that suited someone with much more experience than I could offer, or at least from my perspective from looking at the application. So I applied for an internship – and did that internship until the end of that year (2018), and with the little more experience that I had, got into a full-time job here.
C: Did you find HUM Systems online, through a job website? And you thought you would just send in an application, just to try?
B: Yes, I did. The thing was, I was doing a lot of mobile engineering during my university time, not only as private projects but also as my bachelor’s thesis. So, I came in here, talked to Helena and Reza about those projects and they liked what I did for my thesis a lot, which led me here.
C: What motivated you to take the position in a super small start-up that was just at its start, when it was only 7 or 8 people? More creative freedom? Greater learning possibilities?
B: I think I just liked the environment so much, where I wasn’t just one guy sitting together with 20 other developers in a room and being one wheel in the machine. Seeing that little team in that very cute Kreuzberg office convinced me this could be a very nice place to work.
C: What was your internship here at HUM Systems like, and how long was it?
B: I think it was four months. What was nice, was that my amount of responsibility was really low and therefore I could free my head. My team leader back then gave me more of a “free zone” to dive into the development that they did. A couple of months later, I got the duty to implement an Apple Watch application for the Livy App. It was kind of a side project, that I took full responsibility for: planning, design, implementation, testing, everything. I pulled that off from beginning to end, which I think was my biggest learning improvement back then, because I just had to do it all by myself, from beginning to end. I learned so much, also from a project management side: how to manage my time, how to take responsibility for everything, and I’m still gaining from that time.
C: Was (the internship) what you expected it to be, or did you have other expectations?
B: I think I did – I didn’t expect that to implement one feature would actually take such an amount of workload that it is unmanageable for one person. So, this whole contribution of work was something totally new to me because, since that time, I always pulled everything off by myself. But it is cool – it means that you collaborate with very talented people together and you are able to pull something off that is not manageable by just one person.
C: What was the amount of responsibility you had as an intern versus what you have now (as a full-time employee)?
B: It’s probably a 180 flip (laughs).
C: (laughs). So, a big difference?
B: Yea, a big difference. The thing is, and that is something I really enjoy in my daily work here, is that the responsibility shifted from just taking tickets which could suit my abilities and then I implemented them and after that showed them to somebody, but now it starts much earlier, during the process of actually thinking about features that we could implement in the future. To also take part in that discussion – bringing ideas in not only for features, but for design, user experience flows. So, you see something that you later would implement, and you know that you started with that idea in the very first place and then you see it evolve until the users actually have it in their hands – which is a really nice experience.
C: Would you recommend an internship at HUM Systems to someone else? If so, how come?
B: Absolutely, first of all. I think I can hardly rely on my view from back then, so everyone who would start new here, not knowing the content of the company, I can understand them (and their position) and I would be able lead them down a path where they feel more successful in what they are doing and gain a lot of experience here.
I think we are still a very small team, so here one is able to speak with people and speak with different departments and different groups of talent. And you can gather a lot of information this way, rather than if you just had a neighbour (employee) at a bigger company, who you could talk to.
C: Do you see the possibility for yourself, who is still so young, to be able to continue to grow within this company?
B: Absolutely, yes. I have been here for about one and a half years, and my overall experience level can still grow so much more, and therefore it leads me to something that I can imagine in the future.
C: Bjarne, thank you so much, it was a pleasure.