In order to be a good software developer, you should in my opinion, have real joy and passion for software development. To me, the source code that you write is a kind of work of art that you would like to work on over and over again in order to perfect it.
Andreas Schiffer, Head of Base Development
How did you get into Compart?
I applied for a job posting from Compart, in which they were looking for a software development manager with experience in development in C programming language. This appealed to me on one hand, because it fits my profile very well and on the other hand because the job sounded – and still sounds – very interesting. After having worked for almost 20 years in software development at a major international corporation, the move to a medium-sized company was in line with my goals. Before that, I didn't even know Compart, even though I worked very close by. It's a pity, really, because Compart is truly a great medium-sized company – both, as an employer, who has the best interests of its employees in mind and because of its very good reputation in the industry.
"What I personally like most about Compart is the technical focus and that we have set ourselves the goal of selling our customers genuinely good software."
"What I particularly like about Compart at all levels is that the collaboration takes place in a friendly atmosphere and that everyone appreciates and supports each other."
What makes working at Compart special for you?
With 170 employees, Compart is not exactly small, but you can still know all the employees – some only by name and face, others much better. With this company size, Compart can do a lot, but on the other hand, it is still possible to react quickly, for example to changes in the market and to new demands that customers have. I like the fact that given the size of the company the contribution of each individual is important and that everyone can have an influence – on the development of products, but also on processes and the way we deal with each other. The open door policy at Compart plays a major role in this: It is always possible, and appreciated, to go and talk to other employees, even in other departments. This includes always being free to go to your manager – or if necessary directly to the CEO – with any concerns. But, what I personally like most about Compart is that the focus is technical, and the company's goal is to sell our customers good software that helps them in their tasks. This runs through the entire company right up to the CEO, who is still a software developer at heart and shows a deep interest in technical details – although he naturally has many other tasks that take up his time.
What do you like about your team?
I can think of four different team levels on which I work:
First of all, of course, the Base Development Team, which I lead. Here I have to admit that I'm thrilled with the motivation with which the developers both drive product development forward and eliminate errors that occur. I also find the deep knowledge of the various print and file formats that my team has built up over many years remarkable. Then, I also consider the entire software development at Compart in Böblingen as my "team", which works well together across Scrum team boundaries to create valuable products together. Here, everyone contributes their individual strengths, abilities and roles.
The third team is the software development management team. Here the four of us work together to jointly meet the requirements of software development and coordinate the Scrum teams. I am very thankful for the cooperative and courteous way in which we, as the head of software development, tackle emerging issues together. And finally, the "team" is ultimately all of Compart, where everyone makes an important contribution to the functioning of the company and everyone gives their best. After all, it doesn't help if we develop good software, but no one advises our customers on how to use it best. Or, if the supporting functions such as the personnel department, the finance department, IT or even the Comparteria (our cafeteria) are not there. And that is where I have the feeling that we are all pulling in the same direction at Compart.
What management style do you live by at Compart?
In my area, it is important for me as a manager to know my employees well and not just to manage them. For example, every two weeks I have a one-on-one meeting with each employee, which sometimes deals with more personal issues that concern the respective employee. Furthermore, my office door is always open; my employees appreciate that. And I, in return, appreciate the proximity to my employees. Even though I cannot speak for all managers, I would say in summary that at Compart you will find a collaborative and relationship-oriented management style. It is important to me to be able to assess my employees, to know what I can expect of them and how I can support them. Of course, I demand certain tasks from the employees, but at the same time, I encourage them and enjoy their success.
Compart is always on the lookout for talent. What does a developer need to be successful at Compart?
In order to be a good software developer, in my opinion you should really enjoy software development, even have a passion for it. For me, the source code that you write is not just a means to an end, but a kind of work of art that you would like to work on over and over again to perfect it. At Compart you will find many developers with passion. The other qualification of a good software developer is the ability to work well in a team. Software development at Compart is usually not something that happens in a private room, but rather something, that takes place in teamwork. That is why it is important that software developers can integrate themselves into the Scrum team, bring their skills to bear in the team and communicate well with others.
"The perfect combination of passion, professional competence and soft skills is what makes a developer successful at Compart."
What are the biggest challenges facing development at Compart today and how does Compart react to them?
Compart is a major player in the area of "Output Management", which is often associated with printers and a lot of paper. As early as 30 years ago, the paperless office was prophesied as the "next development"; this has not yet come true. Nevertheless, it is good not to limit oneself to "output management". For this reason, Compart is investing heavily in new products such as DocBridge Impress, DocBridge Gear and DocBridge Conversion Hub, which significantly expand the portfolio and address both the area of new media in "Output Management" and "Input Management". Compart is thus ideally positioned to tackle the challenges of the future and to meet the future requirements of our customers.
What does Compart stand for and where will Compart be heading to in the future?
At Compart we have invested a great deal of time and effort in writing down our values in detail and making them tangible with examples and actions. And for us this is not just a list that can be nicely hung up on a wall and forgotten, but these values are lived every day. In summary, I would say that Compart stands for mutual appreciation and support in the common goal of selling our customers good software that helps them with their tasks. As far as the development of the company itself is concerned, I have no worries about the future, given the many motivated and well-trained employees and the flexible management structure, which is always ready to take new developments into account.
"I look forward to the future with great anticipation. In view of the many motivated and well-trained employees and the flexible management structure, which is always ready to take new developments into account, we will be able to achieve a great deal."
Andreas Schiffer, born 1972
Head of Base Development
Andreas studied computer science at the University of Stuttgart. Afterwards he started his career at a large IT company and gained many years of experience as a developer, team leader and manager. Andreas joined Compart in 2017 as Head of Base Development and has since then led a team of 21 software developers who develop Compart's base software. His employees are important to Andreas. His passion is to constantly challenge and encourage them.