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Employee Story

Ralf Leipner
@ Trivadis

Ralf Leipner, principal consultant architecture management and trainer, financed his studies with a martial arts studio. In his home office, he sometimes has a soldering iron ready on his desk.

 

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It is said about us East Germans that we like to complain. And there might well be something to it. However, I dare say I'm quite the opposite. I'm more of a doer than a complainer. I financed my business studies in Berlin partly with a martial arts studio that I ran together with two friends. A little later, I earned some extra money as a freelancer with IT jobs. It was always important to me to learn new things – and as I said – DO them. For this purpose, I didn't always take the conventional path. For example, business studies alone was too monotonous for me, so I also took Korean and Portuguese.

In addition, I specialised in IT topics in my main subject, which was also not exactly the classic path back then – today one would probably call it business informatics – and had my first major projects as a freelancer after the third semester. One of them was to digitalise the operational accounting sheets at the Berlin broadcasting station of the ARD – and that with the few basics on cost accounting, statistics and databases that the foundational business studies had to offer. This challenged and developed my autodidactic skills – with success. I enjoyed programming increasingly, was asked to work on more and more new projects, until I finally moved to Switzerland due to my love for my current wife.

The interview, which was supposed to last an hour, developed into a lively, four-hour conversation about the IT industry – and a new job for me.

At that time, no one was looking for a business economist, but IT expertise with an understanding of business was definitely in demand. So, I went through a number of exciting positions at well-known companies such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, was a freelancer for IBM, worked for 13 years at Swisscom and finally also at PostFinance. Along the way, I moved more and more in the direction of architecture and occupied management positions in this field. At some point, however, my potential as a doer was no longer being exploited, so I looked around further. And suddenly a door opened at Trivadis, whose consultants I had worked with from time to time over the years. The interview, which was supposed to last an hour, developed into a lively, four-hour conversation about the IT industry – and a new job for me.

That was six years ago. It feels like 20 – and not in a negative sense. I have just learned and seen so much during this time. Learn I did, on the one hand, from the unbelievable cracks at Trivadis, on the other hand, through all the training courses I was allowed to attend and, last but not least, from our customers. I've never heard the sentence: "You're not allowed to do that" here, especially if you wanted to further educate yourself. And in terms of projects, well, from solution and enterprise architectures to business intelligence and classic software projects to strategic IT consulting – I’ve left nothing out. In addition, I am a trainer and give Scrum and enterprise and solution architecture courses. You could say I've almost always done exactly what I wanted to do at a given time.

I've never heard the sentence: "You're not allowed to do that" here, especially if you wanted to further educate yourself.

Currently, in my home office, I sometimes have a soldering iron on my desk. I regularly tinker with my home automation system and occasionally have to connect a few sensors. To unwind, I also like to read, often fantasy novels, or work the punching bag – as much as my not-so-sporty age still allows me to. Lately, I've also been spending a lot of time outdoors. If I fall into an unproductive phase during the day, I put on my headphones, turn on some loud music or a (specialist) audio book and walk through the nearby forest – and then I go back to "doing” things – you know.

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