“I learned more in my first month than during my studies” – An interview with the IT consultant Annekatrin Fetzer

The IT world changes quickly. To keep software developers at Lufthansa Industry Solutions up to date, the company is focusing more strongly on promoting communication and exchange. For Annekatrin Fetzer, a young professional, the regular transfer of knowledge and the pair programming method are both particularly important.

Ms. Fetzer, you started your career as an IT consultant in early 2017. How was your introduction to the professional world?

I feel like I learned more in my first month at Lufthansa Industry Solutions than during my entire undergraduate studies. Of course I was taught the basics of business informatics at college, but I started gaining practical experience in software development in my professional life from day one. That also had to do with the fact that I was fully involved in a major client project right off the bat.

What project was that exactly?

We developed a web app for a major automaker to help it handle the introduction of the new worldwide harmonized light-duty vehicles test procedure, or WLTP for short. The test procedure defines a harmonized standard for determining the emissions and fuel consumption of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. Automakers must adapt their measurement procedures for their cars’ consumption values to the new guidelines before the WLTP is adopted in fall. We supported one manufacturer with a new web app.

Annekatrin Fetzer - IT-Beraterin bei LHIND

“Pair programming, as it is known, is particularly helpful. At first, there are two of us at the computer when we take on complex tasks. One person writes code, while the other observes the process. Some clients explicitly ask us to use this new method, since it allows us to achieve high software quality in a particularly effective manner. At the same time, pair programming is also very educational.”

Annekatrin Fetzer, IT consultant, software development

What was so special about this project for you?

On account of our agile working method with sprints in a three-week rhythm, we were in constant contact with the client and had to react flexibly to changes in the project. At the end of each sprint, one member of our ten-person team presented the results to the client on site. I found these on-site meetings especially exciting, since we received instant feedback and found out whether the client liked new developments and whether the usability requirements were being met. Because I like working on both the back and front ends and value good design, user experience interests me in particular.

Starting out as an IT consultant

At our offices in Oldenburg, nearly 100 employees work on projects involving Java and mobile technologies. We need experienced IT consultants, graduates and young professionals alike. Entry-level IT consultants help us develop mobile applications for our clients and support us in the continuing development and maintenance of our client applications, for example. With increasing experience, they also have prospects in business consulting, technology consulting, project management and test management.

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What is it like to write code as a young professional? How do you gain new knowledge?

Pair programming, as it is known, is particularly helpful. At first, there are two of us at the computer when we take on complex tasks. One person writes code, while the other observes the process. Some clients explicitly ask us to use this new method, since it allows us to achieve high software quality in a particularly effective manner. At the same time, pair programming is also very educational. It speeds up the orientation process, and working with experienced colleagues as part of a team improves your own writing style.

All told, everyone at Lufthansa Industry Solutions is happy to share their knowledge. In our team, we have an activity we call “Share your experience”, for example. Everyone can use the time to take ten minutes to present new, programming-related information. By doing so, Lufthansa Industry Solutions is creating a framework that allows us to take a closer look at new things and try them out. That is particularly important, because the IT world changes quickly. It is the only way to stay up to date. Plus it gives us something to impress our clients with, even though we sometimes have to do a lot of convincing when we use technologies that are not yet very common.

About Annekatrin Fetzer

Annekatrin Fetzer has been working as an IT consultant with a focus on software development at Lufthansa Industry Solutions in Oldenburg since January 2017. Prior to that, she programmed software at an SME for a year after successfully earning her bachelor’s degree in business informatics in Oldenburg.

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