Six questions to Slawa Ehlers

May 5, 2020

Already during his studies, Slawa Ehlers always wondered why so many of his fellow students were drawn to major corporations. Because he always saw his professional future as part of a manageable team in which everyone supports each other mutually and lead projects to completion together. Just being a small cog in the wheel and in the worst case always working on the same tightly-defined areas – that wasn’t for him. That’s why he deliberately chose the business unit Berghof Testing of our subsidiary Berghof Automation GmbH. In an interview, the young software developer, born in Kazakhstan, explains why this choice was the right one for him.

1. You’ve only been at Berghof Testing for just a few months. How well do you feel integrated into the team already – and are there things that made your start at the company easier?

Even though I haven't been here that long, I already feel very well integrated. There is truly an open culture here without strict hierarchies, which promotes a constant exchange and communication between each other. We work on all projects together in agile teams and every single persons’ opinion is important. There is no difference between the “old timers” and us new employees, which was a positive surprise for me. That’s also why I feel so welcome and comfortable at Berghof Testing.

2. You studied mechatronics in the discipline of automation technology. This gave you the tools you need to develop and maintain systems that automatically control and regulate technical processes. Why is this knowledge so important today for designing and realizing testing technology systems?

Because a high degree of automation is one of the points where we can especially impress our customers as a provider of testing technology systems. After all, such intelligent systems like our “Smart Component Tester (SCoT)” for optically checking components via a 3D scan not only make it possible to lower production costs, but also reduce the error and scrap rates. That is why we here at Berghof Testing have several colleagues in the team who have completed similar studies – and are therefore, from my point of view, well-equipped for the future, where this topic will only become more and more important.

3. This specialized knowledge of technical processes automation is in demand in many fields. Why did you choose testing technology? What exactly about this field fascinates you?

For me, it was actually clear relatively early on in my studies that I should professionally go into testing technology. I first came into more intensive contact with this field during my practical semester and my thesis also dealt with the topic. I'm especially fascinated by the broad range of testing technology: We develop automated testing systems for very different products. This not only gives us deep insights into different industries, but also in the technical characteristics of the various components and assemblies. That makes the work quite varied and exciting.

4. Why did you end up choosing Berghof?

There were several decisive aspects. I studied at the University of Reutlingen – and Berghof has been a committed industrial partner of this university for many years. That’s how I first became aware of the Berghof Group. As I then became more familiar with Berghof and in particular with Berghof Testing and also heard a few things at the university, one thing convinced me above all else: the pioneering spirit that consistently runs through all business divisions and the entire company history. What also appealed to me: We received initial insights into the programming with “LabVIEW” at the university and the high level of functionality and diversity as well as the ease of use immediately excited me. The fact that Berghof Testing heavily relies on “LabVIEW” and is even a “Silver Alliance Partner” of National Instruments made me like the company even more.

 5. So you definitely had big expectations and hopes when you started working at Berghof Testing in early 2019. Hand on heart: How have your expectations been met?

Honestly: I haven't regretted the decision to work at Berghof for a second. What I especially like is the openness and willingness to help – everyone goes through thick and thin together here and make it more than easy for someone to find their way quickly. It certainly also helps that we have a very well-balance mix of experienced and young colleagues. I think I know a well-known phrase that fits here too: Variety is the spice of life!

6. Speaking of variety: Does technology play a dominant role in your private life too, as is the cliché about engineers? Or what are your favorite leisure time activities?

Of course I also enjoy tinkering with technical solutions in my private life. But I consciously step on the brakes here. Because, for me, it was always important during my studies too to turn it all off in the truest sense of the word and clear my head. That’s why I usually leave my computer off in my free time and prefer to meet up with friends and to play sports.