Meet our new department managers Stian and Magnus. Both have a lot of experience as electronic engineers and project leaders. In their new job it’s not all about technology, but also about leading people.
– We have just finished a series of leader development training courses. Interpersonal relations and understanding different personality types are things we have worked on. This has been very rewarding, Magnus Sundal tells, newly appointed department manager for our Høvik department.
According to Stian and Magnus, the role as department manager in Data Respons R&D Services is increasingly focused on the employees’ motivation, development and personal needs.
– As managers we have a need to know what motivates and drives our coworkers, Stian Husdal explains, newly appointed department manager for our Vestlandet department.
– This knowledge helps us to arrange work so that each individual gets the best conditions to perform well. Focusing on the human development side is quite new and very exciting.
– For us it’s fantastic to get paid to care for and show concern for our colleagues. The long and good conversations are part of work, and the human side is a dimension that offers a lot of learning for us both.
For both Stian and Magnus, creating a good work-environment is highly prioritized. As a developer you should enjoy your work. At any point you should be able to go in to your manager’s office and have a good talk about wishes, needs and visions for your job and career. There are typically big differences between individuals, and not least, at which stage in life they currently are.
– We recruit a lot of graduates directly from universities, Magnus tells.
– A lot of them live in housing collectives in the city center, and have completely different needs than a senior or specialist developer with a family, cabin and a boat. To get everyone to thrive is our task as department managers.
Stian and Magnus don’t deny that there is fierce competition to get talented engineers. Therefore they make great effort, both to recruit new coworkers, and to keep and develop existing coworkers further.
Generally, the most important thing for all employees is to get an opportunity to work with technologically exciting projects, that both challenges them professionally and trains their problem solving skills. These kind of projects are luckily plentiful at Data Respons R&D Services.
– Most of our projects are technically challenging, Magnus explains.
– We rarely work with old technologies, even if we have to understand old systems when we work with retrofitting and backwards compatibility. Very often you get the opportunity to be involved in new development from the ground up.
– It’s something I always point out when I recruit new coworkers. You will not be performing maintenance and get stuck in the same project year in and year out. When we have developed the product and finished the project for the client, it’s the client that takes over responsibility for the continued maintenance.
– It’s easy to get the developers engaged when you can give them challenging projects. In a way, programming and designing electronics is quite creative tasks. You have to have the ability to see how the task can be solved. A skilled engineer can always see multiple solutions, for then to select the most optimal one.
Data Respons R&D’s ambition is to always be on the forefront of the newest technology development. We wish to set the standard for technology development in Norway and in the Nordics. Concretely, this means that we work a lot with physical products that are connected to a digital infrastructure, for example cloud services, web pages or apps.
Additionally, there is an increasing focus on security, and to help our clients to follow standards and best-practice in this field. And, not least, also to be able to give advice to our customers about how, in the process of going from prototype to mass-production, to facilitate for the approvals, certifications and testing needed to get the product to market. Among other things, the Bergen department have just procured new lab equipment for testing if the products that are being designed satisfies the certification requirements for EMC emissions.
Furthermore, the two department managers also tells that there is much interest for machine learning and artificial intelligence with the clients, and that these technologies will come to play a part in many future projects.
Magnus and Stian are happy that the Norwegian startup community is growing. They meet a lot of new businesses that typically need experienced engineers to develop an idea or a prototype for a commercial product.
– The startups we see today, have higher demands for technology than before, Stian explains.
– They need skilled engineers to realize their visions. Often, they have their own competency that makes it possible to build a prototype or a proof-of-concept. After that, we can take responsibility for developing the next version of the product that satisfies the demands for certification and production on a bigger scale. Our developers feel that working with these customers is very exciting, and it is a good supplement to our bigger, well established clients, that we typically have been working with for many years.
Both Stian and Magnus started their careers as developers. Do they miss fiddling with circuit boards and processors? No, not really. But, they say in unison that it can be hard to not interfere when a developer is working with a task in which one have been an expert.
– As a leader I’m allowed to be a part of all projects, Stian tells.
– I need to understand what’s happening in the projects I’m responsible for on the technical side. In this way, I can still satisfy my technical curiosity.
– I don’t miss working hands-on with technology. I think it’s very giving to rather facilitate the developers, and to make sure that they thrive and can do their job as efficient as possible. There are so many challenges in being responsible for making our organization work well, and I’m constantly finding new ways to optimize.