People Story

Where the office is a paradise for T&M experts

Coffee and colleagues – can the recipe for happiness be that simple? Christoph Rangl thinks so. More often than not, an early morning chat with his fellow team member Tobias Störch turns into a caffeine-fueled discussion on the latest technologies. Or an upcoming project.

Surrounded by all kinds of equipment – signal generators, spectrum analyzers, power supplies, power sensors, HF filters, prototypes, circuit diagrams – the hardware engineers are in their element. These are ideal conditions for tackling projects. They first encountered Rohde & Schwarz instruments back in their university days – gaining early familiarity with the equipment that now enriches their everyday work. When they talk about their working environment, their excitement is evident. Tobias: "Every day we get to work with the high-end measurement equipment made right here."

Hardware development at R&S

Coordination is key

"Without my colleagues, my work wouldn't be half as much fun," says Tobias. Christoph heartily agrees, noting the enormous value of the excellent team coordination over the course of a project. They all rely on everybody playing a role in the team's overall success by each contributing their own part to the project as a whole. Input is important to the colleagues. In weekly status sessions they exchange views and evaluate ideas before implementing them. In this team, many things are routine: trying ideas out, failing quickly, making a fresh start, never losing sight of the goal, choosing the right path and ultimately tracking down the ONE solution.

Staying power to get the big picture

"Naturally the occasional sugar boost is a must in dry spells or when things don't quite work out," says Tobias with a smile. Stamina is a must. Complex projects can sometimes go on for many months when it comes to developing the hardware. From the initial idea to the first shipment to the customer, the colleagues at Rohde & Schwarz are involved. Christoph and Tobias love to watch as the products they develop are assembled at the company's own plants and are then actually put into operation by customers. They maintain close contact to the production units, making frequent phone calls or on-site visits to go over technical details. The mix of theory and practice at work is a big motivator for them. Both are indispensable in hardware development: "If you haven't looked at the issue from a theoretical standpoint at the start, there's no way of telling in practice whether the result is correct," explains Christoph. He's been with the company quite a while. After joining Rohde & Schwarz as an apprentice and later qualifying as a master tradesman, he is now firmly established as an engineer.

"A fresh pair of eyes on our projects is always welcome." (Christoph Rangl)

"We get to work with high-end measuring equipment every day!" (Tobias Störch)

Versatility – in the team and the methods

Tobias joined Rohde & Schwarz two years ago. What does he recall from his early days here? "I was part of the team right from the start," he says. Christoph nods: "We're happy whenever a new face arrives. This is a real help, because we can always use a fresh and unbiased look at the issues we're dealing with." The four-member team takes a balanced approach. It's important to them to benefit and learn from one another. The team combines years of development experience with curiosity, flexibility and a structured approach. When they are not working at their computers, they engage in frequent technical consultations and discussions – often during the team's daily visit to the canteen. In the lab they also resort to pencil and paper, bringing together the digital and analog worlds. It's important to them to keep their work interesting and varied, and keep pushing ahead independently with the topics they are working on.

Ideas that bring happiness

Our company's claim is "Make ideas real". The two hardware engineers can fully identify with this: Their creative ideas become part of the product development process. The resulting products – from security scanners at the airport to smartphones – can be found in the everyday lives of many people. Without hardware developers, their lives would be much less safe and convenient. Can the two hardware engineers recall some of their happiest moments? "When I held my first prototype in my hand," says Tobias. That makes sense to Christoph. His big memory: "The first time an entirely new module went into operation." Two hardware developers reminiscing – over a cup of coffee, of course.