Seven questions to our Senior Engineer / Technical Lead, Vanessa

Vanessa Aehlen (Senior Engineer / Technical Lead, Cologne Office)

written by Daniza Weiß

Vanessa has been working for Avenga for almost three years by now and today she is giving us exciting insights into her role as Senior Engineer / Technical Lead. Furthermore she tells us, why neither a hotel nor Airbnb would be an option for her, which Corona skill she has acquired and what she appreciates most about Avenga. Here is the newest edition of “7 questions to …”.

 

What are you currently working on?

 

Currently we are working on 3 websites for a big insurance company as a holistic project – anything from frontend to backend including the infrastructure. We have developed two out of three websites from scratch and have added new features to the third website. Our Avenga team works really closely with our clients’ team. In total we are approximately 17 people.

I am the Technical Lead of this specific project, meaning that I am the first contact person for any technical-related questions. Furthermore I deliver technical coaching and conduct workshops.

 

What does the collaboration within your project team look like in the current home office situation?

 

We have a daily meeting with our whole project team via Google Hangouts, which makes our communication so much easier, because we are located in Frankfurt, Cologne, Bergisch Gladbach etc.. During the meeting we talk about our tasks – who is doing task XYZ, what happened yesterday and if anyone needs anything. On top of that we have regular appointments during which we discuss technical matters. Apart from those meetings we implemented a few chat channels for our project team that are being used very frequently.

 

What do you like most about Avenga?

 

I really like our culture. Before COVID events – such as Friday@5 or our breakfast on Tuesdays – took place on a regular basis in our office. That way we were able to interact with colleagues from different teams – the ones that we usually do not talk to on a regular basis. In times of COVID we have to adapt and find new ways to preserve our culture. Nowadays we meet up online for coffee breaks for instance which is a lot of fun and keeps up the team spirit. 

What I also appreciate about Avenga is our “(virtual) open door philosophy”. We can always ask for help whenever we are facing a challenge. If someone made a mistake, everyone would always help to find a solution and ways to improve.

In general I really enjoy the fact that I work with amazing colleagues and managers on exciting projects that challenge me over and over again. Another aspect that I would like to point out, is that whenever one might need a change of scenery, we find a way together to make that possible. 

 

If you had not become an Engineer, then…

 

…I would have become an artist. I did not start my career as a developer right away. I initially started as a digital media designer, because I wanted to do “something creative”. After my education I got a job that made me try out “programming” and brought me to where I am today. I try to balance my less creative job with artistic activities such as painting and designing in my freetime. At the end of last year I discovered photography for myself – one could say that this was my Corona skill.

 

Three things you do not want to miss in your life…

 

First and foremost my husband and my two cats. Second I really miss my social life, meaning activities like meeting friends or having an after hour beer with colleagues for example. And third I would name “creative work” which embodies a perfect balance to my job as mentioned before.

 

What are you currently reading?

 

“If It Bleeds” – one of many books by Stephen King that I have read already. This book is a collection of four previously unpublished novellas and so far I have only finished the first one.

 

Hotel or Airbnb?

 

Neither hotel nor Airbnb. I would always prefer a camper van or camping over a hotel or Airbnb, because I am very attached to nature due to the fact that I was raised in a village. My parents own a camper van and I kind of grew up being on tour with it, which was always super fun. That being said – I like to spend my time outside.

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