Hitchhiker's Guide to Software Architecture and Everything Else - by Michael Stal

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Now for Something Completely Different- SIEMENS

Many of you may know that I am working for Siemens for almost 16 years now. I got employed back in 1991 by the Siemens R&D unit in Munich where I started my career as a software engineer and researcher. Some of you may also be aware of the fact that there was a high frequency of news about my company in the last months. Unfortunately, most of the news were rather on the negative spectrum. And even worse, as Douglas Adams once said, there is only one thing that can travel faster than light: bad news! My friends and relatives keep constantly asking all the time what is going on at Siemens.

To be honest, I am really unhappy with this kind of questions. Thus, It is time to shed some light on the many achievements and historical facts Siemens has provided over more than 160 years since it was founded in 1847 by the inventors Werner von Siemens and Johann Georg Halske. People seem to ignore all these great achievements which by far outnumber all the negative reports you may have heard recently. Some of the early innovations made by Werner von Siemens himself include a special telegraph, the trolley bus, or a dynamic transducer. But this is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of Siemens innovations. Thus, Siemens always has been a great place for research and engineering from day 1.

Werner von Siemens happened to be not only a great inventor but also a very kind person. He was the first entrepeneur to introduce a system of different social insurances for his employees.

Siemens constantly grew until today where we have reached a number of about 480000 employees working in almost all parts of the globe and creating a large range of high quality products such diverse as trains, plants, automation systems, medical systems, communication systems, automotive or lighting solutions as well as IT solutions. Did you know that scientists like Gustav Hertz or Walter Schottky were employed by Siemens?

What makes Siemens an excellent place for software engineers is the mixture of advanced and innovative products that require more and more IT centric constituents and a very creative setting biased towards innovations which is the reason why the company considers itself a global network of innovations. As the Siemens groups require a whole bunch of different software technologies and tools, I consider it a great opportunity to be part of the Corporate Research and Technology division of Siemens. Here, I am able to cooperate with colleagues from all Siemens-relevant applications domains. And as you might guess Software Architecture is one of the fundamental disciplines in such a context. All the books I co-authored and research results I achieved on architectural topics would't have been possible without such a creative and supportive environment where I am able to closely connect with people such as Frank Buschmann or cooperate with smart experts such as Doug Schmidt, Markus Völter and the like.

Why did I write this rather emotional posting? Because I consider it very unfair that in the last months public attention continously focused on only some illbehaving persons within the company ignoring all the aforementioned achievements. Siemens has already started to consequently investigate this behavior and establish a system of very rigid control mechanisms. On one hand, it is important to reveal any wrong doing within a company. But on the other hand, its is wrong to judge a book by his cover (as Franknfurter mentions in the Rocky Horror Picture Show). Of course, I am biased as I am a Siemens employee myself but that doesn't change my personal attitude and opinion.

I am very proud to be part of the Siemens family where I keep working on great products and software architectures.

For more information visit the following Siemens site.


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