Rowing Team

Questions to Harald Mezensky, Senior Developer

Name

Harald Mezensky

Position at COPS

Senior Developer

At the company since

2009

Age

39

Hobbys

Sports, music, travel, motorcycling

What connects me to corima is …

… the (almost) daily confrontation with the challenge of developing or optimizing solutions that make the customer’s work easier. It is exciting to see how corima has constantly evolved from its birth to its current state.  

In ten years…

… some jobs will probably no longer exist in the form we know them today due to computer-assisted automation. However, the job of the software developer will probably still occupy an important part due to complexity and creativity.

corimamagazine: Hello Harald, you are a Senior Software Developer at COPS and work in the development of corima. Did you always want to become a developer, or how did it come about?

Harald Mezensky (hme): The decision to study business informatics and thus to pursue a career as a developer came quite spontaneously after my civilian service. Before that, I attended a civil engineering HTL (note: HTL – short for „Höhere Technische Lehranstalt“, which is a vocational high school with a technical focus. The HTL is a form of education that is specific to Austria and unique in Europe), which is a completely different track, and I didn’t have a master plan for what to do after the Matura (note: in Germany, this is the same as the Abitur). But I liked to tinker with websites even before I graduated, which then led me in this direction.

corimamagazine:

Does developer mean that you can program everything related to the software corima, or is there an area/focus that you concentrate on?

 

hme: At COPS, we are initially divided into three teams, with each team having a different focus and supporting different applications. One team, for example, primarily develops the framework that provides the basis for all corima applications and where, among other things, modules such as filterable tables, input fields, etc. are made available across applications.

In my team we support applications such as cash management, liquidity planning, master data management etc. There is one developer responsible for each application, but support can usually be provided by several, if not all, members of the respective team.

In my specific case, the focus is mainly on cash management. I cover all areas there, i.e. from database access and provision of the associated SQL scripts to server-side service programming and the design and development of the GUI. This concerns both the desktop-side implementation and the web development.

 

Thanks to good internal communication, questions and gaps in knowledge can always be clarified quickly and unbureaucratically.“

 

corimamagazin:  Do you have a specific approach to the developments you are working on? How do you know what the results of your work should look like?

hme:  Normally, it is an advantage for a developer to know at least the rough subject-related background of a requirement. For this purpose, the specialist department, in particular the colleague who formulated the requirement, is always available to us. Thanks to good internal communication, questions and gaps in knowledge can always be clarified quickly and unbureaucratically.

In the best case, the requirement is already documented in such detail, e.g. with the help of screenshots or, in the event of an error, log files, so that few questions remain open for development. Sometimes you must improvise when it comes to user interface implementations and rely on your own sensibilities with regard to look-and-feel.

To avoid misinterpretations, suboptimal usability implementations or inadvertent errors, the implementation is first checked by a tester and then by the colleague who made the request.

 

corimamagazin:  How should we imagine the process from the need for further development to its implementation in corima?

 

hme: In most cases, the specialist department first consults with the customer and then enters the requirements into our internal system in the form of a task. Based on the available information, development estimates the effort required to implement the task, which can then be used for planning.

The planning period at our company is two weeks, referred to as a sprint in accordance with the agile „Scrum“ process model we use. Depending on the availability of the individual developers, so many tasks are assigned while planning that, taking into account a buffer, everything planned can theoretically be implemented. In the best case, the buffer should cover the time spent on unplanned efforts within the sprint.

After implementation, the task is tested again by us with a focus on the technical implementation on our local computers and then released for verification.

For this purpose, the release team – or in some cases an automated process – installs the current state of corima on one of our test systems. As soon as the tester and the technical contact consider the task to be complete and implemented according to the requirements, the task is released to be installed on the customer’s test system during the next delivery.

 

Basically, these enhancements are delivered to all customers who install the corresponding version.“

 

corimamagazin: What does this mean for all corima customers when such a development is completed and tested?

hme: In principle, these enhancements are delivered to all customers who install the corresponding version. How this will affect the respective customer in the concrete case, however, depends entirely on the type of change. Bug fixes or optimizations, such as performance improvements, naturally benefit all customers. But sometimes all customers can benefit from other enhancements as well. This concerns mainly global changes to the framework but also useful functions in applications.

If it is a new application, it may be bound to a license and is only visible and usable for customers who have purchased this license. A new module or function in an existing application may be rights-dependent and therefore only accessible to certain users. Some functions are rather customer specific and then usually must be activated by setting a specific configuration.

 

corimamagazin:  Are there only customer-related developments or are there also fundamental requirements that you and your colleagues implement?

 

hme: In most cases, new features are developments that are intended to meet the needs of a customer. However, it also often happens that changes are „commissioned“ internally. A classic case would be a program error discovered by a colleague in the course of software testing or while using our software.

But also, improvements of existing features or usability and sometimes helpful new features can be „triggered“ internally independent of customer feedback. Recently, we even introduced a separate phase in which we focus almost exclusively on internal improvements. This phase will then be recurring to maximize the quality of our software. (Editor’s note: see interview with Robert Lukas on 27.05.2021: https://www.corima.solutions/en/2021/05/27/fragen-an-robert-lukas-head-of-software-engineering/)

 

AI will certainly play an important role in this area.“

 

corimamagazin: One can read in your introductory questionnaire, „In 10 years, some jobs will probably no longer exist as we know them today due to computer-assisted automation. However, the software developer’s job will probably still occupy an important part due to complexity and creativity.“ In your opinion, will the computer-assisted automation you mentioned be AI-driven in the future, or will developers still need to „lend a hand“?

hme: AI will certainly play an important role in this area. But classic software will also take away work in many areas that is currently still done manually. In both cases, software developers play an important role, because the basis for AI-based software must ultimately be programmed as well 😉

 

corimamagazin: If this development actually occurs, where do you see yourself? Further development of AI topics or continuing to work classically in software programming?

 

hme: Although I find the topic area around AI with all its possibilities very interesting, I personally see myself more in the classic software development. But who knows in which direction this will develop in the future…

 

corimamagazin: Last question😊: We have the same hobbies. I always have a time problem when putting them together. Do you feel the same way or do you have a tip on how to reconcile everything reasonably?

 

hme: Since I usually overfill my own schedule far too much and then often get into „private stress“, I know this all too well and therefore find it difficult to give a good tip. Except maybe that sometimes you have to force yourself to prioritize and can’t be everywhere. I have now recently cancelled my long-standing weekly soccer appointment with a heavy heart in favor of other sports, but otherwise rather rarely manage to hold myself to this tip 😀.

 

corimamagazin: Well, let’s be surprised when we manage to jam some songs together. Thank you for this very exciting interview.

Corimamagazine

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