After completing high school and studying Electrical Engineering, Niko Sekler worked in the software development section at Klöckner DESMA Elastomertechnik GmbH in Fridingen an der Donau, about 60 km from Lake Constance. He tells us here in a short interview why he chose this profession, who supported him on his career path and what makes the job special to him.
What profession did your parents imagine for you, Niko?
My father is a technical draftsman or product designer and actually always had something in the technical field in mind for me. My mother is
more in the commercial field, but they both agreed very soon that technology was a lot better for me than anything commercial (laughs).
What used to be your favorite subject at school?
Physics was my best subject when I did my „Abitur“, I think. I liked physics very much and found it quite easy to get into the topics and to understand the mathematics behind physics. I have always been a very logical person. Maths I did not enjoy, not because I didn’t understand it,
rather the opposite. But I found that the subject was not taught in a very interesting way at school. To me, physics was somewhere the compromise to mathematical logic and also always something that was presented to us students in an interesting way.
Why did you choose this profession?
I actually only decided doing software development during my studies. When I started studying, I didn’t even know what software development and programming were. I actually imagined the study of electrical engineering to be something completely different. Of course, the content of the course is also based on classical electrical engineering, but during
the course of my studies I discovered quite quickly how much I personally liked software development. And fortunately, after finishing my studies, with my job here at DESMA, I also got the opportunity to further develop and contribute in this area
What do you particularly like about your work?
Software development represents many of my own strengths. Programming is based on pure logic and creativity. It offers an infinite number of solutions to a single problem. One is not limited in the
approach to a solution at all, so to speak. As already mentioned, I personally like logic and creativity, a lot which is why I enjoy this work.
Did you know a person who strongly encouraged you? How did they help you?
I think it’s always important to have people who steer you in the right direction. My physics teacher back at high school was such a person and definitely also the reason why I enjoyed physics. I think he played an important part at high school preparing many students at the time for their finals, and also a very pleasant person on a personal level. Definitely
strict, but in a fair way, which probably did a lot of students good. And after graduation, I was fortunate here at DESMA to join a department where several employees graduated with the same degree I did. For me as a newcomer, I think it was very important that I could orientate myself to these people. This helped me to come where I am.
Why should young people pursue a career/training in the job?
Electrical engineering and software development or programming are not the typical targeted career fields for people at my age. Many are put off by computer science or programming, which I can understand for the most part. At a first glance, it is very complicated and difficult to learn.
However, once you have dealt with it a bit and are familiar with certain basic principles, the learning process becomes much easier. It is still a very demanding and creative profession, which could suit many people who have something to do with logic and creativity.
What was the best decision in your professional career?
The best decision was definitely that I chose rather the ‘software side’ of electrical engineering. Electrical engineering is a rather broad field of
study. One can work in hardware design as well as in pure software development, which is where my personal strengths lie.
What are the challenges in your job?
In this professional field, it is very common to be ‘stuck’ for hours on a single problem. Errors in the software are often very difficult to find and when they are found, they are often completely trivial. Often one makes
these errors oneself by trying to solve one problem and three other problems arise in the process.
What was the hardest job you ever did?
I think it was during a summer job a few years ago. I must have been about 16 or 17. For two weeks I was allowed to scrape markings from the floor of a factory building and to clean these places or to apply new markings. Of course, I didn’t expect to be given a pleasant job during a
vacation job, but I also didn’t expect it to be so strenuous after all. This work was definitely not fun, but I think it contributes a lot to the fact that I appreciate my current working environment a lot.
Is there anything you’ve amazed other people with lately?
There’s definitely something to mention: I was always a very slim and thin person who found it difficult to gain weight. Many find this probably great, but to me it was not ideal. So, just under 8 months ago, I decided to put on some meaningful body weight. During that time, together with
exercising a lot, I have been displaying eating habits that many would have probably called disordered. I estimate that I ate twice as much as a normal adult during that time, which was of course an interesting and rapid change for my whole family (laughs).