Julia Hoffmann
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with Gerhard Höll

Many paths lead to the goal if you want to become a Business Intelligence Developer. There is no defined route, much more important is the fun and enthusiasm for this job. Gerhard has always been interested in the BI environment and enjoyed working in it the most. In his studies in Business Informatics, he got to know the whole range of BI, from Business Intelligence to Data Warehousing and Data Analytics. In his role as Recruiting Support, he can give you important tips about his job that can increase your chances of landing your dream job.

Are there any main tasks that arise on a daily basis?

That depends on the project. As a developer, not really, apart from the coordination rounds within the development team.  I am currently involved in a project in which I have contact with the business side, DWH operations and the developers of the source system. In this project, the entire spectrum of data warehouse development is covered – from requirements gathering to development and operation. We look at making sure the data warehouse is running smoothly and that up-to-date data is being delivered daily for users to work with. When you come in after your morning coffee, the first task that comes up is to see if the load runs have gone correctly. It is important that the business users can work with the BI and DWH system.

What influence do you have on the customer’s work?

Efficiency and benefit should always be at the priority to make sure that the customer gets the most value from what we do. You can avert or recommend various things that can harm or benefit the system. In this way you can influence customers in their decisions. In the area of evaluations and graphical presentations, you also have influence on the use of the various presentation options. The goal is always to recognize facts and contexts more quickly through the evaluations in order to gain new insights.

What do you enjoy the most?

The best part of my job is dealing with issues together with my colleagues and finding solutions together. You are involved in exchanges and coordination on a wide variety of topics. Both at the customer’s site and with colleagues at virtual7.  It is always a welcome change to work together with other people and not just to develop in a quiet room. Of course, that also has to be done, but the variety and interaction is crucial for me here.

Which skills are essential for a job at virtual7?

The requirements are first of all of a technological nature, of course. Since we work with Oracle products, you should be familiar with Oracle technologies. These include: The Oracle Database, SQL and PL/SQL, Oracle Data Integrator and Oracle Analytics Server. You will also need to be familiar with the methods to create data warehouse architectures and models, dashboards and analytics. Since we are always working with different people and teams, soft skills are just as important, if not a bit more important. Communication is especially important here. You have to be able to ask the right questions. Likewise, being able to present and explain complicated issues in a simple way. The knowledge level and perspectives of individuals on different aspects can vary greatly, so you need to have an understanding and background knowledge of the project and the subject area. It is not always easy to get everyone involved on the same page. Apart from that, you need to be a team player and be able to organize yourself in your team. As a developer you always need a good grasp and analytical thinking, as well as convincing presentation skills.

Is Oracle a must have to work for us?

Our clients make it a point to see in resumes that you have experience with Oracle. So hard facts: X/Y years of Oracle experience. Everything that is Oracle-specific about the tools can be learned quickly. Methodological knowledge in the data warehouse and BI environment are much more important in our projects. You should know modeling approaches and how to represent certain facts and justify them. It is important to be honest about your experience, this will bring you and us much further than a pimped CV.

Good to know that…
  • virtual7 likes to celebrate successes together.
  • the job is not just a consulting assignment, but a safe place to work for several years.
  • you mainly work at the customer’s and can also do a lot at virtual7.
  • team building is huge internally, be it at the conference, chat ‘n’ chills or meet-ups.
  • you can be yourself and (almost) everything is informal.