From Intern to Director, what does it take?
When I started working as an intern at 720°, there was a great idea and a lot of motivation to build something amazing. However, like an artist in front of a blank canvas, I was faced with the reality that no one had yet written a single line of code or set up any server to develop on. So there were a few decisions to make: what infrastructure will we run our service on? What should the system architecture look like? What kind of database will we use? Which programming language to choose? Where and what should I start to prototype?
After a lot of reading, a few spontaneous as well as thought-through decisions, trial and error, we slowly got a few pieces of the puzzle working. Many exciting sleepless nights later we ended up with a prototype of our solution that I was actually proud of. The next step was to go live with the product and to learn more about how our customers would make use of the system. That’s when I realised that no matter how much you read and how thought-through your service is, you might be amazed by how little you really know about your own system until you actually have your customers using it. We had a lot to learn and improve over the following weeks and it became soon clear that we would need more man-power to keep the pace up. So I started looking for promising candidates to join the development team and after conducting a few technical interviews I soon found myself heading a small software development team at 720°.
With my new role at the company came a lot of new tasks and responsibilities. I needed to learn how to manage a team without micro-managing every step. After all, the system was ‘my baby’ and I had to learn to let go. My team was very passionate and excited about getting the opportunity to get hands-on experience in the field of IoT and Big Data. They sucked up everything there was to learn like a sponge and it was inspiring to see everyone so motivated. With a professional team by my side, I was able to devote more of my time to thinking about the big picture, defining our goals and planning ahead. With my change of focus and the need for someone to take care of the product development processes in general, I decided to take on the next big challenge: directing the product development. As the Director of Product Development, my task is the general management of the product development. That means I am coordinating the development in all stages, from ideation and planning to prototyping, implementing, testing and maintaining.
Working at 720° has been one of the most exciting and valuable experiences for me and I can’t wait to see how 720° and my role in the team will develop in the future.