Long term career goals of a mathematician

Nora Steinthaler

Key data

Job title: Test Engineer (of communication systems for aviation / air traffic control)
Companies:Frequentis AG
I work in: Vienna, Austria
I'm working here since: 2011 (+2008 internship)
Me on the web:Xing, linkedin

What I do:

Planning and implementation of qualification tests based on existing requirements for the communication system. Here I work directly in the company's integration laboratory, where we set up the communication systems that need to be tested.

Design and implementation of automated test procedureson the one hand to reduce repetitive testing and on the other hand to be able to carry out time-consuming test procedures without constant human input.

Acceptance test procedure with customers (Air traffic control), where the aim is to carry out an acceptance test according to customer criteria as a developer, independent project external but person with system know-how. As a tester, you know the systems in use at the time of acceptance better than the customer and can therefore include a transfer of know-how. On the other hand, you gain very valuable input on the working methods of the air traffic controllers and system technicians of the customers.

Why I love my job:

  • Teamwork
  • changing phases of internal work and customer contact
  • Chances to apply my creativity too

Important skills in my job:

  • Analytical thinking
  • creativity
  • Ability to describe facts precisely

My biggest success in my career so far

Actually, I am a person who lives from small successes. I thrive when I see my ideas go down well or bring some improvement. In terms of the somewhat greater successes, there are most likely those of the “first times” when, for example, I managed my first and also successful customer acceptance from A to Z.

That's how I got my job

The Frequentis company already knew me from 2008 to 2011 at FH JOANNEUM before my studies. In 2008 I worked there as an intern for over five months and had enough time to get used to it. This of course made it much easier for me to get started after completing my degree because I already knew where to go. Despite everything, I had to make an official application every time.

I learned that in my studies for professional life

The specialist knowledge gave me the opportunity to think much broader than was previously possible for me and to deal with more complex issues much faster, because in a FH degree you sometimes tackle very complex topics. Scientific thinking has never let go of me - also privately - much to the chagrin of some friends ... Above all, my working methods cannot be compared before and after my studies. Aside from the technical skills, I have learned to bite through on the one hand when it is really dry or the day / phase is long, on the other hand all the little things that ultimately matter: documenting, taking notes (correctly), collecting my own know-how Maintain, make connections - in terms of both human and content.

The job opportunities in my area

Test engineers at all levels from executing to planning / designing are always sought. Depending on the area, as a newcomer you can be exactly the right person or you may still need a few years of professional or area experience. The most important thing is that you are a good fit for the job as a type: it can be repetitive at times, but with time and experience, other fields of activity open up.

I am:

  • pragmatic
  • creative
  • flexible

Me about my job:

I work in Vienna and I like it here a lot. As a result of the internship, I ended up here and moved back to Graz after completing my studies, and in the meantime it has become my family's place of residence. Although I work in Austria, most of the working day is in English for me. It just has to be mastered fluently, otherwise it will be very tedious.

So far, my area of ​​activity has changed or relocated almost every year. So far, I've been able to experience a lot from purely in-house test phase support, to customer support and automated testing. In doing so, I have noticed time and again that I want to stay close to technology and not fit into a pure management line. That influences and changes, of course, how you set your long-term career goals and which “titles on your business card” you envision. Therefore, I think it is important, especially before your first job, not to set your career goals in stone, as you will only find out what would suit your (work) character better. You have to get to know this one first. I would like to look after a small group of people in terms of subject matter / content in the long term, regardless of their occupation, and yet work with them myself.