Why don't you regret joining Gira 20 years ago?
What I really enjoy about product development is the fact that each day brings a new set of tasks. Every product that is commissioned has new challenges, and that's what makes the whole thing interesting. It's also very exciting to see the products ending up in the catalogue at some stage. That's more motivating within the company than salaries or praise. It's also important to me to develop our department further. We employ people here who can provide for their families. This is how it should stay – but to do this, we have to remain competitive as a department. 20 years ago in hardware development, a lot of components were still wired and 'huge' in today's terms. Today, you could accidentally inhale a component part, they're so small. In firmware development, we used to use assembly language. Nowadays, operating systems with several million programme lines are used, and are supplemented by their own share of functions. Programming methods have also completely changed.
What role does Gira's size play?
What really distinguishes Gira from large corporations is its flat hierarchies. As an employee, I am able to have a serious impact on decisions, including throughout the various hierarchical levels. Personal initiative is welcome, and as a result, actually works. The trust that is placed in employees naturally results in increased motivation. And this motivation then gives rise to a constant stream of good new ideas, which are then integrated into the products.
What does your hobby – music – have to do with work?
I started playing the guitar when I was 9 years old and kept it up until I was 19. I then took a long break while I was studying, starting my career and dealing with two small children. But virtually every type of music still strikes a chord with me. So a few years ago, I started devoting more time to music-making again. Now, I can play the cajon, bongos and congas a little, am a bit stronger on the bass, and am really quite good on the guitar. It's a great way of balancing out my technology-heavy, day-to-day work.