Jochen Adler, Frankfurt/Germany
I wanted to take some time today to introduce myself. Being a listener of the podcasts for three years now, irregularly but steadily, they've provided so much value that I now feel I owe the community. It's an honor to be part of this group. Forgive the lengthy posting.
Born and raised in Frankfurt/Germany, I spent my high school years playing the piano, writing songs and composing orchestral/dramatic music using an ATARI ST and some synthesizer modules. This also brought me in touch with movie-makers and several stage ensembles, so I certainly have an artistic spirit in everything I do. I also used my time on the computer to teach myself how to program -- the games that ware available on the ATARI didn't keep me motivated long enough, so I created my own.
After just a few weeks of college, I dropped out an joined a newly-founded start-up company as a software developer. I was employee #4 and the business grew to 25 employees in the three years that I contributed.
Intending to grow into managing customer relationships and projects, I then joined an IT consultancy that was US-founded but operating globally. Over a period of five years, I traveled extensively, delivering services to top-tier clients in Germany and other European countries. Projects ranged from customizations (e.g. implementing CRM packages in contact centers) to custom software developments to management consulting (e.g. EAI/SOA strategy for a CIO). I started as a technical lead but quickly grew into project management (incl. P&L) and permanent management responsibility.
The consulting business was then acquired by a software company facing declining license sales and seeking new revenue streams via value-added services. We implemented an ERP package for project accounting, and I assisted this effort by relocating the HQ on the US east coast, serving the initiative first as a business analyst representing the European countries, then as the global project manager. Our work was embedded in a multi-track program organization, with teamwork spanning several locations around the globe, the solution finally replacing several isolated systems in multiple countries.
Together with my wife, I then went on a six-months sabbatical. We drove coast-to-coast in North America, spending four months in Canada and the US, staying in national parks and nature reserves for a vast majority of the time. After a couple weeks in Hawaii, we moved on to New Zealand for another two months "out there".
Back in Germany in 2007, I joined one of the leading financial services providers in the world. Serving the internal IT organization, I am since involved with strategic projects supporting retail banking in Germany, focusing on self-service channels (mobile banking, online banking, call center) and branch systems. I was recently promoted and should be back in a managerial responsibility, quite possibly international/global, any time soon.
My wife and I are married for almost ten years and we have a wonderful daughter who is two-and-a-half now. We still live in Frankfurt.
The motto of the consultancy I worked for was: "We all have something to learn, and something to teach". Following this spirit, I would love to get in touch with as many of you as possible. I'm all for sharing experiences and can be much more specific if needed. Just send a message and we can take it from there.
Again, I'm honored to be part of this community.