Peter Rohrbach

Dr. Peter Rohrbach is a member of the board of cellent AG, a IT-Consulting and system house. In an interview he explains why his Company educates and why also older ones Employees are urgently needed in IT.

Before his appointment to the Executive Board in 2013, Rohrbach worked internationally as a division manager, CFO and COO for various companies, including 15 years in several international ones leading position in the Siemens group. His approach is to promote the well-established IT consulting company with its headquarters in Stuttgart. cellent benefits from Rohrbach's international experience as CFO and COO of various companies, including the Siemens group. customers appreciate his pragmatic approach and know-how in finance, operations and sales.

How many employees do you employ?

In total, we employ about 530 employees at a total of 11 locations, including 8 in Germany.

And how many are trainees?

We always form around 25 – 35 in total Boy people out. So on average a little more than 10 per year. 7-8 of them as part of a dual company Vocational Training, the others as part of a trainee program. These are usually university graduates from IT-related subjects.

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How many do you assume?

If it were after us, 100 percent. Anyone who wants to stay after a vocational training or a trainee program can do so.

However, we also find that after having completed the first few years of post-training experience, our skilled workers are being recruited - for example, through annual salaries that are higher than we can pay for 10.000 or 20.000 Euro, a salary leap up Of course, the first glance looks attractive.

In fact, such abandonment frightens many companies to invest in education at all. How do you deal with the problem?

Yes, we too realize that the loyalty of the company is decreasing, the labor market is becoming increasingly dynamic. We are trying to offer attractive conditions and build a good image in order to retain employees. Some apprentices also want to study, here we sometimes give something to it.

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In addition, we only train at the Aalen location, because here the loyalty of the employees to the region is high and the competition is less than, for example, in Stuttgart or Munich. In our view, there would be no training there at all Sinn, the employees would be gone immediately.

Is the creation of training places or trainee programs worthwhile for a company?

Yes, if the employees stay long enough: If skilled workers are with the company for at least three years after their training, they will pay for themselves Costs.

After four to five years, it really paid off for us as a company.

What skills, expertise and training should IT staff bring with them today?

Our trainees have a technical background, so we can use them very soon in projects because of their experience. The trainees are usually younger and usually do not have the corresponding previous experience - so they are slowly introduced to the project assignment.

But what is becoming more and more important are communication skills: being able to work alone in the quiet little room without being disturbed in the networked one Working world hardly any today. Because many IT projects today are developed agilely, keyword Scrum.

That means all Developer at home and abroad, not only the project managers, have to constantly communicate with each other and also with the customer. Developers need to understand what the Customer wants, the customer has to understand what the developers are doing. Communication skills are becoming increasingly important, even for developers, and the demands on IT staff are increasing.

Conversely, the skilled workers are also very demanding: because they know about the rapid technological change, they increasingly want to take on challenging projects in which they can continue their education.

Does it offer opportunities for career adversaries from other areas?

Only conditionally: It depends on the area: The level of detail for the process and IT understanding in Marketing and sales are certainly to be distinguished from the respective departments. The focus here is on business knowledge, understanding of the core business of your own company and customers, common sense and the ability to think in a structured way.

However, the more application knowledge is required, the more important is a well-founded IT-theoretical background. If, for example, you are familiar with the SAP Basis, you can quickly get involved in SAP HANA. Without this basic background knowledge, however, it is not enough to have read in a book.

Conversely, however, the more knowledge you have, the easier it is to get involved in new developments. This is also urgently needed in the current rapid change.

There is a trend to look for employees abroad - what about you?

We do that too, preferably in Eastern Europe, where there are excellently trained specialists. About 15 percent of our employees come from abroad. However, the German language is often a Problem: Experience has shown that many customers, even those in large corporations, prefer to express their wishes in German rather than in English. This must not be forgotten.

What about older IT employees? Supposedly you have no chance at 45 ...

This is generally nonsense and as always depends on the level of knowledge. The young people today learn Java and .Net, of which older semesters often have little knowledge.

The younger ones often do not even know what Fortran, Cobol, LISP, are. But in many large companies, Legacy IT systems are based on such programming languages. Especially banks, but also car manufacturers often have this problem.

And these black boxes can hardly wait or support one more. Therefore, often 60-year-olds with such knowledge are highly sought after specialists. In addition, we also specifically hire older IT staff, because their experience is priceless, whether it is project experience, business and methodological know-how or process knowledge.

Which way do you advise young people who want to work in IT because they are always listening to the fact that there is a deficit there?

Even if it is not necessarily pleasant for companies: Many young people first make a company training and then want to study. With this training they get the best of both worlds.

However, who also Fun developed on theory and system architectures should definitely be at a university or University to study. The chances are good because developers and ITAdviser are being sought in more and more areas today - just think of the growing proportion of IT in all possible areas such as vehicles, energy production and distribution, etc.

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