Chief Development Architect
At SAP, we build breakthroughs, together.
The SAP culture is one of open doors. Being able to address any colleague and be confident in finding help. Sometimes help comes directly, sometimes it is a few steps away (“can’t help you, but call”). I try to live this by providing the same help I would wish to receive from others, and to share experiences and openly participate in discussions to contribute with my knowledge.
Kathrin Nos joined SAP on January 1st 2000 and is now a Chief Development Architect. We spoke to her about her SAP journey over the past 21 years.
I am German and have almost always lived in Germany (I spent a semester in Paris, France). I grew up in a region in northern Germany and moved southwards to attend the relatively small university of Duisburg (now merged with Essen, forming the University of Duisburg-Essen) and then to work at SAP.
I met my husband at university and now we both work at SAP. We are both physicists and hence pursued a typical itinerary of the late ‘90s that brought many people with physics degrees to a career at SAP. After all, SAP’s founder Klaus Tschira, as well as our former CEO Henning Kagermann, were physicists, too.
I started my SAP career as a developer in Globalization Services (at that time called International Development). In this organization, country-specific functionality is incorporated into SAP’s standard software to fulfil legal requirements, mostly concerning taxes, but also other regulations. That is an organization where many nations collaborate, both at headquarters in Walldorf and across other locations.
Later, I moved to the technology development, still as a developer, and took up topics around security. As a career, I found out that architecture fascinates me – working on concepts that lay the groundwork for the development. Fast forward to 2021 and I am in my third year as Chief Development Architect and work for SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) ABAP Platform on topics of software engineering, namely continuous integration and delivery – how to bring our software to customers more quickly and with excellent quality.
In my role as an architect, I am very much in a “translating” position. Our stakeholders – be it internal or external – state their requirements and these need to be converted into concepts. Based on these concepts, developers pick up the task and work on implementing the solutions.
This requires a lot of alignment. To understand what the requirements are and to talk to developers to understand how these requirements could be solved. Going back to the stakeholders to discuss whether the resulting concepts will fit their requirements. Sometimes, this also requires convincing the one or the other side before being able to get an agreement. Sometimes you will first hear a repeated “no” so being persistent, listening to concerns, including new information into concepts, getting back into alignments, etc. is part of my daily work.
Success to me means to bring together all input, information, and opinion into a solution with which all participating parties can agree – and which helps our customers. Sometimes, this is like a huge jigsaw puzzle – only with an additional exercise: You first have to find all parts of the puzzle before being able to start assembling them! Finding these parts, sorting them, bringing an order into the chaos, and finally converting this into a logical, consistent overall picture is what I consider success.
In my 21 years at SAP, I have worked on various projects and met many new people. In my opinion, bringing people with various backgrounds together increases the chance of a successful project – after all, different views and experiences increase the probability that the right questions are asked, or they can be asked to the right people belonging to someone’s personal network.
The SAP culture is one of open doors. Being able to address any colleague and be confident in finding help. Sometimes help comes directly, sometimes it is a few steps away (“can’t help you, but call ”). I try to live this by providing the same help I would wish to receive from others, and to share experiences and openly participate in discussions to contribute with my knowledge.
Every time I experience this feeling of mutual collaboration, of sharing knowledge and experience, of working together to reach a common goal, I feel and enjoy this culture.
Outside of the work environment my husband and I enjoy hiking and board games. We play both privately and in public board game events that happen in our hometown Nußloch. I have even written several articles about board games, some of them have been published in the regional newspapers, others online or in special interest magazines.
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