Axel Springer’s CTO shares his cultural hacks with Berlin’s tech leaders

Over fifty people crowded into MHPLab’s kitchen, on a warm summer night in Berlin for the June edition of Austin Fraser’s Leaders in Tech event series. Cold drinks were in high demand as attendees perched on benches and office chairs, and stood in small groups near the hor d’oeuvres getting to know each other as they waited for the main event of the evening, a talk by Sebastian Waschnick, CTO at Axel Springer Ideas Engineering, on hacking company culture.
Leaders in Tech brings together CTOs, CIOs, VPs, heads of IT or other senior technology leaders to engage and learn more about current topics and trends. The talks cover a broad range of topics within the technical, management, and innovation spheres, and draw a diverse crowd of technology leaders. On this particular evening at MHPLab, the audience varied widely in age; many in the crowd were dressed down for the heat (or just in normal startup casual); and based on the chatter, the assembled attendees had come to technology from a variety of different starting points.
After everyone had arrived, grabbed some food and something to drink, the evening officially kicked off with a brief welcomes from Anjo Gaul, community manager for Austin Fraser and from the event host. Then it was time for Sebastian Waschnick’s talk, “You can’t manage culture: Cultural Hacks to try for yourself,” which you can watch here

During the talk, Waschi outlined what he’d discovered about company culture during his career, and how he’d put these lessons into practice at Axel Springer Ideas Engineering by using individual “hacks.” Many of his stories about the different hacks his team tried got members of the audience really excited and curious, they couldn’t help but call out questions. Waschi was happy to engage, and it made the session much more interactive. In fact, even after the talk and the Q&A session ended and people spread out, a circle formed around Waschi to keep the discussion going.
You can review Waschi’s slides by clicking here.
After Sebastian’s talk and the Q&A segment, Austin Fraser community manager Anjo Gaul revealed the surprise he’d teased earlier that day: he’d invited Brewer’s Tribute, a local Berlin brewery, to hold a craft beer tasting during the networking and discussion part of the evening, which spilled out onto the MHPLab’s patio along the river Spree.
One engineering lead told me that he’ll definitely be returning to the next Leaders in Tech gathering. Not only was the setting great, he also said that of all the meetups he’d been to lately, this one had the best food and refreshments. Other attendees had more cerebral (and professional) reasons to keep coming back, like Katja Paar, head of strategy & design at mediaworx. She said “I need to look at the world outside my job and office sometimes, to stay flexible and open-minded.” For her, what sets the Leaders in Tech events apart from other meetups is the “good atmosphere” and that she gets to meet fellow “professionals instead of job seekers”.

Some of the participants were just visiting Berlin, and had found out about Leaders in Tech by chance. Maciej Głowacki, head of growth at Polidea, lives in Warsaw, Poland, and had come to Berlin for a conference. While looking for other events at which to meet people working on technology in Berlin, he stumbled across Leaders In Tech. He decided to come to the meetup because he was interested in connecting with other tech leaders who are facing issues similar to the ones he’s struggling with. It was the right decision. Mac, as he prefers to be called, said “I liked the open and friendly atmosphere of the meeting, which was encouraging to start informal discussions and meet other participants. People were sharing their stories and advice on some best practices to others – you usually don’t get much of such merit-based discussions during meetups.”
As the sun set over the Spree, a surprising number of people were still lingering over their drinks and conversing on the patio. Even an hour after the main part of the event had ended, the attendees still had a lot to say to each other and connections to make — thanks to Austin Fraser and MHPLab!
 

Leaders in Tech | Baden-Württemberg: Clean Code

Leaders in Tech | Baden-Württemberg is back!
Wir hatten die Gelegenheit uns mit Sebastian Betzin zu unterhalten und konnten erfahren was uns beim ‘Clean Code | Wie erreichen sie Investitionssicherheit durch Softwarequalität’ Event erwartet.
Sebastian arbeitet seit 2001 als Chief Technology Officer bei der generic.de AG aus Karlsruhe, die auf die Entwicklung individueller Softwarelösungen mit Microsoft .NET spezialisiert ist. Er ist Experte für nachhaltige Softwareentwicklung und etablierte Clean Code Development als Unternehmensgrundsatz innerhalb der generic.de AG. Seit Beginn seiner beruflichen Laufbahn ist er als leidenschaftlicher Softwareentwickler mit unstillbarem technologischen Informationshunger aktiv. Aktuell beschäftigt er sich mit Azure Cloud Entwicklungen, Machine Learning und Blockchain Technologien.
 

Wer kann am meisten von deinem Vortrag profitieren?
Dieser Vortrag ist speziell für Entscheider entwickelt. Auf nicht technischer Ebene werden wirtschaftliche Zusammenhänge von innerer Softwarequalität und deren Auswirkungen aufgedeckt. Wer die Gründe erfahren möchte warum viele Softwareentwicklungsprojekte scheitern sollte diesen Einblick nicht verpassen.
Was sind, deiner Meinung nach, die drei interessantesten Fragen, auf die wir Antworten erwarten können?

Was ist Innere und Äußere Softwarequalität?
Was hat Bad Code für wirtschaftliche Auswirkungen auf mein Unternehmen?
Wie kann Clean Code Investitionssicherheit in Software herstellen?

Warum denkst du, dass dein Vortrag relevant für die Business Community ist?
Er hilft zu verstehen warum viele Software Projekte scheitern oder über  Zeit zu teuer werden.
Was ist deine Empfehlung für Unternehmen die darüber nachdenken in Clean Code zu investieren um langfristig eine höhere Softwarequalität zu erreichen?
Just do it!
 

 
Leaders in Tech

Leaders in Tech ist eine globale Community für CTOs, CIOs, Head of IT und andere führende Positionen in der Tech-Industrie. Gegründet in München konnten wir die Community bereits in Stuttgart, Karlsruhe, Berlin und Reading etablieren. Als nächsten Schritt möchten wir die Community in den USA ausbauen.
Wenn du eine Führungskraft im Tech-Sektor bist, kannst du dich hier mit “Leaders in Tech” aus etablierten und / oder innovativen Unternehmen austauschen, um Best Practices zu besprechen, technischen und methodische Fortschritt zu diskutieren oder einfach Menschen mit den gleichen Interessen und Herausforderungen treffen.
Zu finden sind wir bei (der) generic.de software technologies AG, Zeppelinstr. 15, 76185 Karlsruhe am Donnerstag, den 29. November um 18:30 Uhr bis ca. 21 Uhr.

Is the role of CTO broken?

Are the financial benefits of becoming a tech contractor upsetting the traditional career progression and creating a shortage at the top?
This challenging question has prompted numerous conversations within our Leaders in Tech communities.
When we ask this question of engineers  –  particularly those with more experience in smaller companies  – they imagine a sort of ‘super Tech Lead’: a very senior engineer who is going to lead the technical direction of an organisation.
So what exactly does a CTO do all day?
Answers to that question from current CTOs have included:

Working with commercial stakeholders (CEO, board, investors), to identify the commercial roadmap over ‘x’ months.
Working with product owners and business analysts to develop a realistic product roadmap that supports the commercial roadmap.
Identifying a tech roadmap aligned with product and commercial roadmaps.
Negotiating when you realise the commercial or product roadmaps are unrealistic because of technical constraints. Note: negotiate, not “tell others it can’t be done”. Negotiation skills are critical.
Figuring out how to structure teams, line reporting, process and cadence within the technical team.
Getting the balance between feature development, BAU and technical debt/bug quashing right for the commercial and product culture within the business.
Keeping up to date with changes in law that have impact on technical roadmaps.
Preparation and negotiation of budgets to be spent on tech staff – salary budgets often have to be treated differently to others.
Preparation and negotiation of budgets around technical operations such as hardware, service fees (data centre, cloud, etc.), software licensing, patent licensing where appropriate, etc.
Validating all of the above with senior management and board members, mostly using the language they are most fluent in: finance. You will spend a lot of time building spreadsheets and slide decks, and you’ll ideally need to do basic interpretation of a balance sheet to keep up.
Communicating the above with shareholders and future investors whilst giving yourself enough margin to not get fired if it doesn’t pan out.
Setting cultural tone for the technical team. All of the below contribute to that, but ultimately you are going to set the example. The kind of behaviour you choose to reward is what the team will eventually value.

Notice, there isn’t much engineering going on here. Depending on what’s going on within your company, it’s unlikely you’re going to be spending too much time working on product, and it’s worth expanding on that:
In very small companies, you are going to have to work on the product directly. In larger companies you won’t have time to work on the product directly.
Leaders in Tech | Berlin
Join us on Thursday 18th October for the next instalment of Leaders in Tech | Berlin, a community for CTOs, CIOs, VPs, Heads of IT and other senior technology leaders to get together and discuss current tech trends.

Jason Franklin-Stokes – interim CTO with 30 years of successfully creating, building and growing technology start-ups in Germany, France, UK and US – will be discussing why the CTO role is dead! (or at least dying out). Are businesses demanding faster time to markets and user centricity? Is this shifting a focus from Tech to Product. Why do companies need a CTO? Or even a head of IT? If the CPO is the role that everything rotates around then surely the CTO is dead?
If you are a senior level technology leader, this is an opportunity for you to meet with fellow technology leaders from established and/or innovative businesses. To share in best practises, discuss up and coming advances in technology/methodologies & generally connect with like minded individuals with similar interests/challenges.

Austin Fraser 2018 Berlin Tech Salary Benchmark

Austin Fraser 2018 Berlin Tech Salary Benchmark
Austin Fraser, Tech recruitment leader, release its salary benchmark for Tech sector jobs in Berlin, Germany.
Do you know how much you could be making?
We recognise that salary is an important factor when choosing a new role or considering how much your talent, skill and knowledge is worth. While the market is still quite guarded about openly sharing salary information, we’re pleased to release our benchmark salaries available on the market for Junior through to Lead positions, within DevOps, Frontend, PHP and Java/Node.
Use our Berlin salary information to benchmark yourself against your peers, help compare the job market, or even use as a tool to inform pay negotiations and discover your worth.

Technology is evolving quickly and there is a big demand for skilled Tech talent to help deliver the new digital landscape. Businesses need to act fast to stay competitive and companies need the right candidates to keep growing. Technology recruitment is our specialism. We understand the market inside out and can help support your job seeking journey from start to finish.

Austin Fraser secures top 20 ranking in Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200

Austin Fraser secures top 20 ranking in Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200
Celebrations are set to take place across all Austin Fraser offices, following our second consecutive placement in the Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200. 2018 sees us come in at 20th in the ninth annual Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 league table, which ranks Britain’s mid-market private companies with the fastest-growing international sales.
 
Growing our international presence
How have we achieved this? In the qualifying two year period, we’ve seen exponential international growth, with revenue rocketing up over 115%. Global locations have doubled in the past 18 months, too, opening offices in Berlin, Denver and Dallas. And we have more ambitious plans for Europe and the US in place.
 
Strategic leadership
As many of you will have seen in the media, earlier this year, we announced a significantly expanded leadership team, with the aim to propel Austin Fraser’s organisation’s global growth. At the same time, the business has been developing deeper relationships across our specialist sectors across Technology, Automation, Aviation and Life Sciences industries
 
Strengthening our culture
International growth comes with its own set of challenges. So we were delighted to see other regional players like the Bullit Group and Westcoast in the league table.
We’re a people-led business to our core and have nurtured a culture that supports, fosters and rewards success. As a recruitment partner, our teams are genuinely motivated by a core desire to ensure both our clients’ and candidates’ success. We couldn’t be prouder of every team member for making this happen and look forward to celebrating and thanking everyone in person.

Understanding Developer Typology

Understanding Developer Typology
Ahead of the June Leaders in Tech: Baden-Württemberg held on 21st June 2018 we speak with 1&1’s Matthias Wittum, Head of the Source Center and Christian Rehn, Software Developer in 1&1’s Customer Selfcare Solutions about their highly developed frameworks and models which are specially designed to examine developer typology. Their frameworks and models are proven to support developer teams, strengthen communication and optimise design decisions.
 
Matthias Wittum explains that whilst working with Christian Rehn, they identified how different developers can be when it comes to reaching a design decision and how this has an impact on development teams. We know that developers are unique problem solvers who draw on different approaches, knowledge, cultures, experience and principles to produce software solutions. Developers naturally approach projects uniquely, and the outcome can play to a particular focus or strength. Of course within a development team this can lead to several solutions being found and so the challenge is often finding one team solution or design route.
 
There are enough personality tests out there, but no tests or frameworks based specifically on developers. We felt that some instruments were needed to enable better production efficiency and to help develop teams according to their orientation and typology, so we started filling the gap. That’s how the Design Types Model for instance, came to fruition. It sets out to define developers’ typology via a relatively straightforward base of questions for each developer to answer. The answers provided help classify their typology and then you can group them accordingly. Using this model makes it easier to gain an impression of whether the tasks, the way of working and the environment are a good fit.
 
Here are three Models which we have formulated to identify developer typology, aid better case arguments to reach design decisions more quickly and to help optimise development teams:

Design Types Model – sets out to identify why software design is individual and often leads to discussions with colleagues.
Design Cards – great interactive tool using a set of predefined cards used to aid technical discussions by using proven arguments.
Design Matrix – helps you to examine technical problems from all perspectives.

Read more about these interactive Models here.
 
Ever since the agile movement, technical decisions are increasingly discussed or reviewed within the team. Collective Code Ownership means that everyone is now jointly responsible for the software and as a result, it is important for developers to be able to argue precisely and comprehensively, to be able to put oneself into the motives of your colleagues. With our models, we want to support exactly this and strengthen communication in development teams.
 
Leaders in Tech
Thanks to those who joined us at our Leaders in Tech: Baden-Württemberg meetup held on 21st June 2018 when Matthias and Christian give a complete overview of the developer typology, as well as the Design Cards and the Design Matrix. As a start, to understand the concepts and the overall context.
 

3 Top Tips to Building a Successful Engineering Team

3 Top Tips to Building a Successful Engineering Team
 
We spoke with Florian Gamper, freelance CTO/CIO whose background is in Software Engineering from Enterprise Backend to Web and Mobile. Florian is a speaker at our June Leaders in Tech: Berlin meetup and over the years he has built numerous startups, Engineering Teams and Ventures for Companies like Dr. Oetker, BCG Digital Ventures and Columba. Resulting in projects like Coup (Electric Scooter Sharing for Bosch), Mein-Dach (Community Platform for Brass Monier) or backen.de (Oetker Digital).
 
As a Leader in Tech, we asked Florian what his 3 Top Tips are for Building a Successful Engineering Team
 
TIP 1 – Recruiting and interviewing your dream team
It starts with finding the talent. No longer do you have to wait for them to find you, now there’s a much more bi-directional process where you apply to them directly. This helps both sides engage in a deeper partnership. Be prepared to give your ideal candidate(s) an interesting story behind your company and an explanation as to how together, the projects can help take them to the next level.
Don’t ruin their first impression of your company! Before any interview takes place make sure the right people are in the room, and that you’re set up with a proper internet connection and good video chat system for remote interviews (not kidding … falling out of interviews all the time ruins your first expression … so ditch skype).
Finding and recruiting the right people to build a successful Engineering Team takes a lot of time. Don’t rush the process and if you have the funds to use freelancers for the intermediate, do it, it helps a lot. Never hire in doubt or rush.
 
Now it’s time to build your team.
 
TIP 2 – Cultivating the perfect environment
To create the perfect environment for an engineering team to thrive, the culture, supported from the top down, has to be right. To excel, you need to create a supporting culture with a welcoming and open mindset, which each member of the team needs to be a part of. To achieve this there are three simple rules: you have to build a culture that doesn‘t blame, gives fame, has no shame (it’s ok to admit a mistake) for the team to thrive. Set guidelines within which they have the freedom to experiment and thrive.
Glitches can appear if you don’t have the right processes in place to support your successful engineering team. To help track and record workflow you need to have stable processes in place such as CI/CD, Wiki, Tasks.
Listening, can help you spot the early signs that you’ve got the culture right. People will not only talk to each other about work, but also about their lives and hobbies. Bonds form and they’ll do some stuff together after work, ensure these are never siloed in the engineering team.
 
Never fear to lose the wrong people.

 
TIP 3 – The Future for Engineering Teams
Engineering Teams have to prepare to be more and more involved in production processes. Continuous deployment is a key to fast and steady delivery. In the near future teams will get more diverse in skills and topics as ML and other Cloud Technologies are going to be part of wider projects.
 
 
Leaders in Tech: Berlin
Florian explores this topic deeper at the June instalment of our Leaders in Tech: Berlin meetup, where he shares advice on what he looks for in the ideal candidate and what good teams need in order to thrive. 

Leaders in Tech: Munich

Fünf Konsequenzen aus der DGSVO für Ihr Technologie-Unternehmen

Leaders in Tech ist eine Gruppe von Managern und Vordenkern, die sich regelmäßig zum Diskutieren aktueller Technologietrends sowie zum Wissensaustausch, zur persönlichen Weiterbildung und zum Networking trifft.
Unsere letzte Veranstaltung im Jahr 2017 findet am 6. Dezember in München in unserem neuen Büro am Lenbachplatz 1 statt. Im Mittelpunkt werden diesmal alle Aspekte der Sicherheit und des Datenschutzes stehen, einschließlich eines Überblicks über die kommende EU-Datenschutz-Grundverordnung (DSGVO), die am 25. Mai 2018 in Kraft tritt.
Diese Neuregelung dürfte umfassende Konsequenzen für Unternehmen jeder Größe haben. Torsten Rammelmann von der Solvectio GmbH wird uns am 6. Dezember genauer über die Veränderungen und ihre Auswirkungen informieren. Bis dahin haben wir schon einmal einige Punkte zusammengefasst, auf die wir bei Austin Fraser bei unseren Vorbereitungen für den 25. Mai gestoßen sind.
Fünf Konsequenzen aus der DGSVO für Ihr Technologie-Unternehmen
 
1. Zustimmung
Die jetzige Definition des Begriffs „eindeutig“ gilt auch bei der DGSVO weiterhin als Rechtsgrundlage für die Zustimmung zur Verarbeitung nicht sensibler Daten. Dennoch schreibt die neue Regelung vor, dass Unternehmen, die Benutzerdaten für einen bestimmten Zweck sammeln, diese Daten nicht ohne ausdrückliche Zustimmung des Benutzers übertragen oder für einen anderen Zweck mit anderen teilen dürfen. Dies könnte unternehmerische Innovationen auf Grundlage der vorhandenen Daten einschränken. Auch für die Verarbeitung sensibler Daten ist eine ausdrückliche Zustimmung erforderlich.
 
Eine Folge der neuen Gesetzgebung ist, dass Unternehmen die (eindeutige oder ausdrückliche) Zustimmung häufiger von Kunden einholen müssen. Eine Sorge ist, dass dies zu einer „Zustimmungsmüdigkeit“ führt, vergleichbar mit der „bedeutungslosen Einwilligung“, mit der man heutzutage Cookie-Hinweise auf Webseiten wegklickt. In der Implementierungsphase muss genau auf den praktischen Wert von Zustimmungsanforderungen für neue Technologien wie das Internet der Dinge (IoT) geachtet werden, das weder webbasiert ist noch sichtbare Benutzeroberflächen bietet.
2. Neue Verbindlichkeiten und Verpflichtungen für Datenverarbeiter
Eine wesentliche Änderung durch die neue Regelung ist, dass Datenverantwortliche und -verarbeiter bei Verstößen gegen die Verordnung gemeinsam haften.
Dieser Haftungsverbund erweitert die Verantwortung über die Unternehmen hinaus, die personenbezogene Daten sammeln und verwenden. Cloud-Anbieter, Rechenzentren und Verarbeiter werden künftig für die Daten haften, mit denen sie arbeiten. Da Datenverarbeiter kaum wissen können, ob die von Datenverantwortlichen gesammelten Daten der neuen Verordnung entsprechen, dürften die rechtlichen Implikationen dieser Anforderung den Vertragsabschluss zwischen Verantwortlichen und Verarbeitern schwierig und womöglich kostspielig gestalten. Das bedeutet, dass auf Kunden – insbesondere kleine und mittelständische Unternehmen – höhere Kosten zukommen. Verbraucher werden zudem mit einer komplexen Rechtslage konfrontiert, in der wenig Klarheit herrscht, wer bei Datenschutzverletzungen zur Rechenschaft zu ziehen ist. Nationale Datenschutzbehörden werden in enger Zusammenarbeit mit der Industrie Best-Practice-Modellverträge entwickeln müssen, damit vorgeschriebene Mithaftungsanforderungen möglichst einfach erfüllt werden können.
 
3. Einschränkungen beim „berechtigten Interesse“ als Rechtsgrundlage für die Datenverarbeitung
Viele Unternehmen verlassen sich derzeit auf den Rechtsbegriff des „berechtigten Interesses“ als Rechtsgrundlage für die legitime Verarbeitung von personenbezogenen Daten. Die neuen Regelungen beschränken nun aber die Fälle, in denen ein solches berechtigtes Interesse als Rechtsgrundlage für die Verarbeitung dienen kann. Unternehmen müssen sicherstellen, dass alle auf dieser Rechtsgrundlage verarbeiteten Daten die jetzt strikteren Anforderungen erfüllen und der Gesetzeslage im Mitgliedsstaat entsprechen. Das berechtigte Interesse ist eine wichtige Voraussetzung für die digitale Wirtschaft und stärkt die Unternehmensposition im Kampf gegen Cyber-Kriminalität und betrügerische Aktivitäten. Die Einschränkung dieser Begründung für die Datenverarbeitung könnte sich für viele Unternehmen als problematisch erweisen.
 
4. Neue Einschränkungen beim Profiling für Produkte und Dienstleistungen
Viele Unternehmen nutzen das Profiling und automatisierte, profilbasierte Entscheidungen, um kosteneffiziente, personalisierte Dienste in Echtzeit bereitzustellen, von denen Kunden profitieren. Die neue Verordnung begrenzt den Einsatz des Profiling, wenn dies zu „Rechtswirkungen“ führen könnte. Dies könnte bedeuten, dass z. B. Finanzdienstleister kein vollständig automatisiertes Profiling ohne irgendeine Form von Überprüfung durch einen Bearbeiter mehr verwenden dürfen. Das automatisierte Profiling wird unter bestimmten Umständen jedoch zulässig sein, z. B. bei der Betrugserkennung, bei öffentlichen Dienstleistungen oder wenn es das nationale Recht vorsieht.
Diese neuen Regelungen können für viele FinTech-Unternehmen problematisch sein, da das Erbringen gewisser personalisierter Finanz- und Versicherungsleistungen für Kunden hierdurch erschwert wird. Auch könnte es schwieriger für Unternehmen werden, insbesondere die betrügerischen Aktivitäten zu erkennen und zu verhindern, gegen die ein manuelles Vorgehen praktisch nicht machbar ist.
 
5. Innovation und weitere Verarbeitung
In einer digitalen Wirtschaft hängt Innovation von der Fähigkeit ab, vorhandene Daten zu verwenden und die Welt unterschiedlich zu betrachten. Die neue Verordnung sieht engere Grenzen für die weitere Verarbeitung vor, was Innovationen in vielen Unternehmen erschweren dürfte.
Es gibt viele unterschiedliche Interpretationen über die genaue Bedeutung dieses Artikels und wie er die Möglichkeiten von Unternehmen beeinflusst, neue, innovative Dienstleistungen basierend auf vorhandenen Daten zu entwickeln. Doch angesichts der empfindlichen Bußgelder, die Unternehmen bei einem Verstoß gegen die Verordnung drohen, ist die rechtliche Absicherung entscheidend, um nicht an Innovationskraft einzubüßen.
Sie wollen mehr über die DSGVO und die Folgen für Ihr Unternehmen erfahren? Hier können Sie sich für die letzte Veranstaltung von Leaders in Tech am 6. Dezember anmelden.
 
Ablauf des Abends:
19:00 Beginn
19:00 – 19:30 Networking und Glühwein
19:30 – 19:45 Security-Tests – eine Präsentation von Jürgen Unterreitmayer
19:45 – 20:00 Überblick über die DSGVO – Torsten Rammelmann
20:00 – 20:15 Live Hacker Demo
20:15 – 20:30 Fragen und Diskussion
20:30 – 21:00 Networking
21:00 Ende
Was für ein gutes Jahr für Leaders in Tech! Unsere wachsende Community in München zählt jetzt über 450 Mitglieder. Gemeinsam haben wir über Entwicklungen beim IoT, agile Strategien und die digitale Revolution gesprochen, erstklassigen Rednern gelauscht, uns einen Gin gegönnt, auf der Dachterrasse gegrillt und das Oktoberfest gefeiert. Unser Erfolg in München hat zu weiteren Leaders in Tech Events in Berlin, Stuttgart und im britischen Reading geführt – und für die Zukunft ist noch mehr geplant. Das nächste Leaders in Tech Meetup in Ihrer Nähe und unsere Community finden Sie hier.
 

Five ways the GDPR will impact your tech business

 
Leaders in Tech is a group of managers and thought leaders who regularly get together to discuss current tech trends, share knowledge, learn new things and network. Our final Munich event of 2017 will be held on Wednesday 6th December in our brand new office at Lenbachplatz 1.
 
The topic this time will be all things security and data protection, including an overview of the upcoming GDPR, which will come into force on 25th May 2018.
 
This change in regulation could have any number of implications for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Tortsen Rammelmann from Solvectio GmbH will give us a more in-depth insight into the changes and their respective ramifications on 6th December, but for now, we have put together a summary of the issues we have become aware of at Austin Fraser, as we ourselves prepare for 25th May.
 
Five ways the GDPR will impact your tech business
1. Consent
The Regulation has maintained the current definition of ‚unambiguous‘ as the legal basis for consent for processing non-sensitive data. However; the new rules mean that businesses that gather users‘ data for a specific purpose will not be allowed to transfer or share this data for a different purpose without the user’s explicit consent. This could inhibit the ability of businesses to innovate with existing data. Explicit consent will also be required for the processing of sensitive data.

A consequence of the new legislation is that businesses will need to seek consent (unambiguous or explicit) more often from customers. A concern about this is that it could lead to ‚consent fatigue‘ and the kind of ‚meaningless consent‘ people provide when they click away cookie reminders on websites. The implementation phase will need to look closely at how practical consent requirements will be for emerging technologies such as the internet of things (IoT), which are not web-based and have no obvious user interfaces.
 
2. New liabilities and obligations for data processors
A significant change in the new rules is that data controllers and processors will be jointly liable for any breach of the Regulation.

Joint liability will extend responsibility beyond the companies that collect and use personal data. Cloud-providers, data centres and processors will now be liable for data held on their services. Given that data processors will have little visibility over whether the data collected by data controllers are compliant with the new Regulation, managing the legal implications of this requirement within contracts between controllers and processors will be difficult and potentially costly. This means that customers, particularly SMEs, will be faced with higher costs. Consumers will also be faced with a complex legal environment with less clarity around who is liable in the case of data breaches. National data protection authorities will need to work closely with industry to develop best practice model contracts to help streamline compliance with joint liability requirements as much as possible.
 
3. Restrictions on the use of ‚legitimate interest‘ as legal basis to process data 
Many companies currently rely on the legal concept of ‚legitimate interest‘ as a legal basis to lawfully process personal data. The new rules restrict the instances where legitimate interest can be used as a legal basis for processing. Companies will have to ensure that any data processed under this legal base is compliant with the now more restricted requirements and reflect member state law. Legitimate interest is a key enabler of the digital economy and underpins a company’s ability to combat cybercrime and fraudulent activity. Restrictions on its use as a basis for data processing could prove problematic for many businesses.
 
4. New restrictions on the use of profiling to support products and services
Many companies rely on profiling and automated decision making based on profiles, to develop cost-effective real-time personalised services that benefit customers. The new Regulation will limit the use of profiling in circumstances where its use may lead to ‚legal effects‘ and could mean that companies offering financial services, for example, are unable to use fully automated profiling, without some form of human review. Automated profiling will be allowed in certain circumstances such as fraud detection and public services, or where provided for in national law.

The new rules could be problematic for many FinTech companies as it will make it more difficult for companies to offer some personalised financial and insurance services to consumers. It could also make it harder for companies to detect and prevent fraudulent activity, which cannot feasibly be done manually.
 
5. Innovation and further processing
In a digital economy, innovation depends upon the ability to use existing data to see and understand the world differently. The new Regulation imposes stricter limits on such further processing which will make it more difficult for many organisations to drive innovation.

There are differences of interpretation about the precise meaning of this Article and how it impacts the ability of companies to develop new innovative services based on existing data. However, given the severity of fines that could be imposed if companies are found to be in breach of the Regulation, legal certainty will be essential for unlocking innovation.
 
If you would like to find out more about GDPR and the impacts on your business then join us for the final Leaders in Tech event of the year on the 6th December by signing up here.
Here is what you can expect from the night:

19:00 Arrive

19:00 – 19:30 Networking and Glühwein

19:30 – 19:45 Security Testing – A presentation by Jürgen Unterreitmayer

19:45 – 20:00 GDPR an Overview – Torsten Rammelmann

20:00 – 20:15 Live Hacker Demo

20:15 – 20:30 Q&A, Discussion

20:30 – 21:00 Networking

What a fantastic year it has been for Leaders in Tech. Our thriving community in Munich now has over 450 members, together we’ve discussed developments in IoT, Agile, and the Digital Revolution, with some fantastic speakers whilst gin tasting, BBQing on the roof terrace, and celebrating Oktoberfest. Off the back of our success in Munich we have now also launched Leaders in Tech in Berlin, Stuttgart and Reading, UK, and have plans to further expand.
Find your nearest Leaders in Tech Meetup and join the community here.
 
 

Philipp Klug, front-end consultant in Berlin

Philipp Klug Recruitment Consultant bei Austin Fraser in Berlin

Philipp Klug Recruitment Consultant bei Austin Fraser in Berlin

Nicht jeder kann sich vorstellen, was eine Karriere in der Personalberatung wirklich bedeutet. Und so ging es auch Philipp direkt nach seinem Studium. Fast zwei Jahre später hat er sich in seiner Rolle gut etabliert. Dank unserer ‘Global Opportunities’ bekam er die Möglichkeit, mit nach Berlin umzuziehen, wo er sich als wichtiges Teil des Teams beweisen konnte. Wir haben uns mit Philipp ausgetauscht, um mehr über seine AF Reise bis dato zu erfahren…
Hallo Philipp, kannst du uns mal ein wenig davon erzählen, wie du damals zu Austin Fraser gekommen bist?
Nach dem Studium, wusste ich nicht so wirklich wohin für mich die Reise gehen soll. Werde ich Pilot? Werde ich Astronaut? Ich war mehr oder weniger für alles offen. Ich habe meinen CV hochgeladen und wurde daraufhin von Talent Acquisition bei Austin Fraser angerufen. Was ich vorher in Erfahrung bringen konnte, auf Youtube oder der Austin Fraser Homepage klang alles super und ich konnte mir da ein ganz gutes Bild machen. Ich hätte dann an meinem ersten Tag nicht wärmer empfangen werden können von meinem Team.
Angefangen hast du im Büro in München. Wie hat es dich dann nach Berlin verschlagen?
Anfang dieses Jahres hieß es dann, dass wir ein Büro in Berlin eröffnen und man hat gefragt, wer Lust hätte, mit hoch zu gehen! Ich meinte nur, ja cool, lass das machen. Und so kam das recht spontan zustande. Ich fand einfach, dass es eine spannende Option war ein Start-Up innerhalb eines etablierten Unternehmens aufzubauen. Es macht riesig Spaß, war aber natürlich am Anfang auch sehr herausfordernd. Der Umzug selbst war unkompliziert. Ich habe mit einem weiteren Kollegen an einem Wochenende Wohnungen angeschaut, direkt eine gefunden und dann konnte es schon losgehen. Seit 6 Monaten sind wir nun hier vor Ort.
Was gefällt dir am Besten an Berlin?
Es macht so viel Spaß, eine neue Stadt zu erkunden; eine Bootstour auf der Spree, die besten Burgerrestaurants ausprobieren. Meine Lieblingsviertel sind aber mittlerweile Prenzlauer Berg und Charlottenburg. Ich liebe es, wie vielfältig Berlin ist, die Leute, die Kulturen und die unendlichen Freizeitmöglichkeiten.
Was denkst du, macht Austin Fraser so besonders?
Für mich ist jedenfalls ein wichtiger USP von Austin Fraser, dass wir Leute einstellen, die ihre eigene Persönlichkeit haben und eine menschliche Komponente mitbringen, die ein gewisses Alleinstellungsmerkmal bei Kunden gibt. Ein weiterer Punkt ist meiner Meinung nach das organische Wachstum. Klar ist die Vorgabe möglichst nach oben zu wachsen, aber nicht mit allen Mitteln. Wir haben vor allem Leute im Management, die wissen was sie tun und die sich ihre Position verdient haben. Auch unser Direktor Jacob hat hier als Trainee angefangen. Und der dritte Punkt ist denke ich, dass wir uns selbst treu bleiben und nicht abheben. Zusammengefasst sind es wohl einfach die Leute die Austin Fraser so besonders machen. 

Wie könnte man das Austin Fraser Leben noch verbessern?
Sonnenliegen auf der Dachterrasse in München (lacht). Nein im Ernst, eigentlich nicht. Das Schöne ist, wir wissen ja wir sind nicht perfekt. Aber wir arbeiten tatsächlich kontinuierlich daran uns ständig zu verbessern. Mehr kann man nicht erwarten. Es ist echt schwierig etwas zum Verbessern zu finden, wenn man so total überzeugt ist.
Und als Abschluss vervollständige bitte diesen Satz: Arbeiten bei Austin Fraser ist:
Puhhh….. Auf jeden Fall spannend, herausfordernd, fördernd und fordernd und ja, eigentlich hauptsächlich viel Spaß!

Hana Tanimura - Google Creative Lab

Glug Profiles: Hana Tanimura, Senior Designer at Google Creative Lab

Glug Profiles: Hana Tanimura, Senior Designer at Google Creative Lab

As the recruitment partner of Glug
, we’ve collaborated with them to bring you the first instalment in a series of Glug Profiles. Here’s an opportunity for you to get an insight into Glug’s speakers. We speak to Hana Tanimura, Senior Designer at Google Creative Lab exploring the challenges she faces in her role and sharing the advice she has for others starting off their careers in the creative industry.
 
Hey Hana, why don’t you start by telling us a little about your role at Google?
 
I am a Senior Designer at Google Creative Lab in London, and I’ve been working here for about 4 and a half years now, in a small group of 28 people. Our role is to work across all of Google’s products and platforms and to imagine new ways to bring those products to life in unexpected ways.
 
On the one hand, we work with Google’s marketing teams to service the company’s existing products – from Chrome, to Search, to Youtube, etc. While on the other hand we also work on “innovation” projects, which could come out of the Lab, or in partnership with engineers, production partners, etc. But everything we do is with the hope of inspiring people to create great things with our technology and remind the world what it is it loves about Google.
 
Have you seen a huge evolution in the tech over this time at Google?
 
Yes, definitely. As a designer, I think I joined at a really interesting time. Google is a tech company first and foremost, and it wasn’t until about 6 or so years ago that it started taking visual design very seriously across the board. Most recently this new focus on design has affected the Google brand, with our new logo – and it has been interesting to see how the rebrand goes on to affect everything we do, including our products. Material Design has been a huge leap forward for us too. Smart technology and great design is an incredibly powerful combination… and I don’t think anyone in this industry underestimates the power of design anymore.

It must be challenging to cater for everyone’s needs when you have a product that is completely accessible to everyone?
 
Each of Google’s products is designed to be accessible to as many people as possible because the company’s philosophy is to make things for everyone. And, as you rightly mentioned, this can pose a lot of design challenges. When you have a small audience to cater for, it’s much easier to establish a clear understanding of that group’s needs, interests, behaviours, and preferences. When you’re designing something that’s intended for “everyone” – it’s a lot more difficult. But what this does is force us to be more disciplined about breaking complex things down into simple ones. Whenever we start a new project in the Lab, we try to articulate the core idea in 2 basic ways: in a sentence, and as a poster. If the poster is not so simple that a stranger would understand what it’s about just from walking by it, then it’s not simple enough. Until we’ve cracked that simplicity, we don’t start building.

I bet that really makes you think outside the box and explore things very creatively. How would you define creativity?
 
Good question! I would argue that there isn’t one, single definition of creativity. But for me personally, creativity has two layers. It starts with curiosity: a desire to learn and know about things outside of your current knowledge. And then the next layer is application: taking that knowledge, and expressing it in some way that you feel will carry a message and communicate to other people… My definition sounds complicated. [Laughs] It would not be allowed on a Google poster!

You get the opportunity to explore a range of different design disciplines in Creative Lab. Is job variety something that is really important to you?
 
Yes, variety is one of the most important things for me personally. It’s something that drew me to Google in the first place, and it’s definitely something that will keep me here for a long time.

There’s an expression that describes people as being “T-shaped”. It’s meant to describe people who have a core discipline, and expertise that run deep in that area – like design in my case for example. That core discipline forms the vertical axis of the letter “T”. And then, on the horizontal axis, you stretch out wide and touch loads of different subject areas, interests and skills. But those knowledge buckets are less profound than your core one. I don’t know a single creative person that this description doesn’t apply to, and who isn’t interested by other areas… So the challenge then becomes: how do you find a job that not only allows for, but also encourages you to explore those curiosities.

How highly do you value networking?
 
I think that, next to being a good person, working hard and having talent – it’s the most important thing you can do. And I think this is as true for people who are just starting out as it is for people who have been working for some years already.
 
It’s easy to get sucked into your own little world and allow the work you do to take up more importance than it should. But if you’re regularly exposing yourself to the wider industry, you’re able to see the things that you’re working on in a larger context. So yes – I think networking is important in terms of jobs, but also in terms of just… keeping perspective.

What advice do you have for people starting their careers in the creative industries?
 
Go to lots of events, learn as much as you can, and expose yourself to as many different companies who are doing interesting stuff as you can. Soak it all up, reflect on it all – but always hold on to who you are. Remember what gets you excited, what you care about, what you think is actually important, and find a way to make sure you never neglect that.
 
I’m not convinced that young creatives are encouraged, or given the opportunity to use their skills to make a positive impact in the world as often as they should be. I’d urge people to do it – to ask themselves what they can do, with all their intelligence and their talents, to make a difference. We’re more powerful and can have a much bigger impact than we might imagine.

Do you have any advice for building up resilience for when things don’t go to plan?
 
I wish there was a simple trick for that. But I think you just need to want to be good more than it hurts to be told that you’re not. It comes from within, you have to want to get better. People will tell you that you’re not good enough in a million ways along the way. Sometimes explicitly, sometimes subtly. Whenever this happens, you have to apply a little critical thinking and consider how much of it you want to take on.
 
Rarely someone has told me that something I made was shit, without there being at least some truth to what they were saying. So I never disregard criticism. Critique in creative can be hard to hear because we pour so much of ourselves into the work. But if you can learn that the stuff you make doesn’t define you, then it’s a lot easier, and you’re a lot more likely to grow and improve.
 
Finally, do you pursue any personal projects outside of work?
 
 As you will see in my talk, my main preoccupation outside of what I do as a designer is diversity. I’m driven to try to encourage people in positions of influence to incorporate diversity as part of their business, because they really believe in it, and not because they have a quota to meet. A “diverse” candidate could be someone who doesn’t have formal training, they could be a minority person of colour or just someone who had an unusual upbringing in some way… Hiring people with different backgrounds, who’ve had different life experiences, leads to better, more creative, more unique work.
Click here to find out more about Hana and her work with Google Creative Lab from her talk at Glug London or read the original article here.
 
We sponsor Glug because it’s a great environment for people to connect with one another and learn from others. Make sure you come and see us at an event if you’re after your next venture! We have plenty of digital and creative recruitment industry knowledge and experience to share.
Interview by: April Edgar
Hana Tanimura speaking at Glug London
 
 

Agile SAP

Can the Agile methodology actually work in SAP?

Can the Agile methodology actually work in SAP?
It’s an age-old debate in the technology space, Agile vs Waterfall. We’ve all heard the arguments as to why each approach does or doesn’t work, particularly when it comes to the SAP sector, but is it time to embrace a more Agile approach in a bid to improve project success.
 
As someone who has been recruiting SAP and Agile professionals across the UK for more than 15 years and can see the value of both methodologies, I’ve noticed it’s a subject that continues to come up in my discussions across the SAP market.
 
I look around at my clients and very rarely does a project get delivered, on time, let alone on budget. In fact, did you know latest statistics show that projects above £10 million are successful only 10 per cent of the time, 52 per cent are challenged and 38 per cent fail!
Is Waterfall failing us? Are we ready to start accepting inevitable change or are we trying to ignore it?

SAP has traditionally run projects on Waterfall methodologies as we know, generally hybrid versions of Prince2 and there are strong historical reasons for this. During the time of R/3 in the early 90s, Waterfall-based software engineering frameworks were mostly taught to software professionals and subsequently adopted as ‘best practice’. This soon became the dominant way to implement configuration-driven package software.
 
This position was further entrenched by the release of SAP’s standardised approach ASAP (Accelerated SAP) in the late ’90s, which was adopted as the standard reference framework for SAP.

 
This started to change slowly after Agile became popularised in 2001 with the manifesto for Agile Software Development , created by frustrated software professionals.

Agile methods, until recently, were seen to be more applicable to bespoke software product development than ERP implementations.Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is business process management software that allows an organization to use a system of integrated applications to manage the business and automate many back office functions related to technology, services and human resources.

However, in the past 15 years or so, a small group of software development professionals found themselves in SAP projects and successfully implemented aspects of Agile techniques such as Xtreme Programming (XP) and Scrum in their SAP projects mostly ‘under the radar’ or hidden within a Waterfall framework, and it worked.

More positive openness towards Agile methods emerged when SAP AG itself started adopting Agile development around 2010, releasing Agile extensions to ASAP 8 as an integral part of SAP Solution Manager.

The feeling across a number of clients we have spoken to said that “There is definitely an element of concern that Agile adoption (at team and business levels) would be costly and take too much time,

“There is still a perception that Agile methods (jokingly referred to as ‘Agile Fragile’) is undisciplined, unplanned and inherently ungovernable because no one delivers any documentation and/or reports.

“This is far from the truth because in reality, Agile demands a lot of discipline, communication and collaboration from both the project management, business and the project team and in addition emphasises strong focus on quality and technical excellence.”

These statements led me to wonder, do we need to educate C-Suite stakeholders? Do companies and PMO managers need to start planning for a change into Agile?

Let’s look at the release of SAP HANA products. The ASAP Methodology in 2015 was transcended and replaced by the new SAP Activate methodology that now has Agile development at its core.

Is Agile SAP here to stay? And if so, as it seems to be, are many businesses putting their proverbial head in the sand?

Implementing and understanding Agile, just like anything else, is not a guilt-free salvation to your problems. Projects are by definition, disruptive, temporary and noisy. Organisations need to realise and acknowledge that whatever transition method they choose there will be disruption.
 
Agile transformation requires a serious mind-set change and strong focus and commitment. You need to adapt, adopt, use the right tool for the right job,
 
It seems to me, that as a sector, we need to look at the case job-by-job, rather than bringing forward the thinking ‘it’s the way we’ve done it before, and it’s the way we’ll do it again’.

Would you agree? I am open to hear your thoughts.

Shane Sale
is a specialist Principal consultant who also manages, the ‘Agile UK Networking group’, and the ‘SAP UK Networking Group’ Why not drop him a line at either 01189520156 or [email protected]