Whether working in his team or with customers – Thomas Prünie has a great variety of tasks in his role as an IT consultant at Lufthansa Industry Solutions. Along with the development of web and mobile applications, they include quality assurance and project management.
Which business unit do you work in at Lufthansa Industry Solutions? What are you working on in your current project?
I work as an IT consultant in Oldenburg, in the Mobility and Transport business units. Together with colleagues from the Oldenburg and Berlin offices, I am currently working on an agile project for the redevelopment of outdated management software for public transport companies. Within this project, we are successively replacing a desktop application with a modern web-based application.
What does your role as an IT consultant involve?
In my current project I am initially working as a back-end developer, but I usually work as a front-end developer now, which I personally find more interesting. In that role you can see the results of your work directly on the screen, and test it to see if everything is working properly. But I also direct a team of our colleagues in Tirana, the capital of Albania, who are also working on the project.
Along with those activities, I create concepts for the development of mobile applications for the Mobility business unit, create their UI designs, and am responsible for providing estimates of the work involved in implementation in this area. Then I develop the UI designs in coordination with the customer, alone or as part of a team, depending on the size of the project. When you look at the result on a smartphone, it is always interesting to see how the design looks and how the application can be used. It’s important that you not only look at things from the developer’s perspective, but also put yourself in the user’s shoes in order to achieve an optimum result. That’s why we provide customers with preview screens or click dummies during the project phase. On the one hand, to get their approval before implementation and, on the other, to see how the applications are used by customers acting as the users. That results in feedback regarding possible improvements to the design and use of the application.
I enjoy the broad range of tasks: I have the opportunity to work on different things, whether in development, implementing mobile applications and web applications, or in project management, creating concepts and estimating the work required.
“I can only offer the customer optimum advice for the implementation of their ideas if I have broad knowledge of the various technologies.”Thomas Prünie, IT consultant
What is your working day like?
Because we are working on an agile project, we start the day with a 15-minute meeting. In the scrum process that is called a “daily.” Team members use the meeting to report on current progress. Everyone gives a brief summary of the things they achieved the previous day and what they plan to do that day, and to report any issues. Because we work in different locations, we often hold our meetings online. When there are complex questions, a part of the team travels to Berlin to examine the questions in more detail and develop solutions in workshops. Then we pass those solutions on to our other colleagues in Oldenburg.
What I particularly like is that I don’t spend eight hours nonstop sitting at my laptop writing software. Instead I regularly speak to colleagues from other projects at our location about a variety of topics. That gives me a comprehensive picture of the current projects at our location. It also allows me to learn about technologies, IT architecture or frameworks that might be relevant to my current work or future projects. There is a lot of discussion here at Lufthansa Industry Solutions. That is particularly the case because a number of new colleagues have joined us recently. The Oldenburg location has grown significantly; around 125 employees currently work here. But they aren’t all on site all the time. Many work at client locations.
Business Analyst (m/f/diverse)
At our Oldenburg location, we have approximately 120 members of staff working on Java and mobile development projects. We don’t just need experienced IT consultants, but also university graduates and young professionals. For example, entry-level IT consultants help us to develop mobile applications for our clients and support us in the continuing development and maintenance of our client applications. As your experience increases, you will also have good prospects in business consulting, technology consulting, project management and test management.
What did you do before you worked for Lufthansa Industry Solutions?
I started my studies at the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg in 2010. I originally wanted to study economics and business administration, but instead decided on business informatics because I was interested in getting insights into information technology. At the welcome event I learned that informatics accounted for more of the course content than business studies. I initially thought I would finish the semester and then change to economics and business administration. But the programming course you have to complete at the start of the program made me realize that I really enjoy programming. That’s why I continued the degree program, and completed both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees here in Oldenburg. I started working at Lufthansa Industry Solutions immediately afterwards.
Why did you choose to work for Lufthansa Industry Solutions?
The original reason was that I enjoyed living in Oldenburg during my studies. That was why I wanted to start my career here. I looked for companies based here that offered diverse development opportunities and varied projects for demanding customers. It was also important to me to find a job where you don’t necessarily work in the same place every day, but also with colleagues in other locations, and sometimes travel there. I soon came across Lufthansa Industry Solutions, which offered all those things.
After I started working here I discovered that the company offers a lot beyond the job itself, for example sporting activities like the Everstener Brunnenlauf in Oldenburg. That helps you get to know your colleagues better and develop personal contacts with them. It also promotes team spirit, while helping you keep physically fit. In July we took part in the Tough Mudder obstacle race at Lüneburger Heide. Our aim was to tackle all the obstacles together and cross the finish line as a team. There is a very strong feeling of togetherness at Lufthansa Industry Solutions.
What does it take to work as an IT consultant?
You could compare it to other jobs. If a tradesperson doesn’t have the right tools, or does not know how to use them properly, then they can’t do their job properly. The same is true of IT consultants: I can only offer the customer optimum advice for the implementation of their ideas if I have broad knowledge of the various technologies. But, along with technical knowledge, you also need a certain level of social skills. On the one hand, the problems to be solved or ideas to be implemented are frequently so complex that it requires more than one person to tackle them. That is why you often work in teams and engage in constant discussion with colleagues. On the other hand, you are in regular contact with customers, so you need a confident manner. I even think the social component is more important than specialist technical knowledge, because those skills can usually be learned very quickly.
About Thomas Prünie
Thomas Prünie completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business informatics at the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg. After graduation he remained faithful to his new hometown and started his career as an IT consultant at Lufthansa Industry Solutions.