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Robert - Manager Product Development

Software development is people business

When EUROSOFTWARE (GK Software in the Czech Republic) started its operations in Pilsen in 1997, the company was looking for software developers who were proficient in Java development, experienced in retail business and interested in working for a German company. “I met none of these requirements,” says Robert, today Manager in Product Development. A graduate of the University of West Bohemia, Robert was highly educated in all kinds of software development topics and languages, but not in the – at that time - new and innovative Java software language. In a couple of projects Robert had gained experience in business and industry, but not in the retail sector. Having already left his job in a German software company, Robert was not looking to repeat that experience. It was EUROSOFTWARE’s first developer, a friend of his from university, who changed Robert’s mind and convinced him to start establishing a software development center for the Germany-based GK Software. In a small team, working all day long, he soon brought his Java and retail expertise up to speed and successfully managed the first projects. “In Pilsen the team is very friendly. We are ambitious, stick together and help each other,” says the father of two children.

In every part we search for the structure of the future, but the future is a mixture of customer requirements and technical possibilities.

Translations & Translators – from customer requirements to codes – Nowadays, with the growth of EUROSOFTWARE, developers design complex solutions for large retail companies. The most difficult challenge is to design a software structure which is scalable and flexible to fulfill hundreds of requirements now, and another hundred in a couple of months. “In every part we search for the structure of the future,” says Robert, “but the future is a mixture of customer requirements and technical possibilities.” It is a long way from the customer requirements somewhere in world, down to the single software developer who is doing designing, coding and testing. Large software companies are effective and cost-efficient due to their industrialized working methods based on a high level of labor division. “I am a translator,” says Robert, originally from Pilsen. “The whole process of software development is a long translation process from the customer needs into processes and codes. And translations happen between people. Software development is a people business.” Although technology and processes have international standards, people are different and the managing translator has to bring everything together.

Agile development means more communication

“Over the years, I have seen German developers as very systematic in general and Czech developers as very creative. Both sides are complementary and are a good combination.” A common factor among software developers is the need for soft skills in addition to technical expertise. Translating business processes into codes means communication. The more the developer works in a flexible and agile way, the more he has to communicate with his colleagues or even sometimes with customers. It means interacting with people. “Persons and people are decisive,” says Robert. A long time has elapsed since he joined EUROSOFTWARE in 1998. Robert, who is also a member of the GK-Mammoth-Club, says: “Personal relationships got me into the company and they are making me stay.”

 

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