Episode 229 – Be a Giver Not a Taker and Build Your Communication Skills with Nils Hofmeister
Phil’s guest on this episode of the IT Career Energizer podcast is Nils Hofmeister. He is an Engineering Director working at Xing. He started his career as a software engineer, working on virtual reality projects and computer games. And after spending some time on DevOps projects, he now focuses on helping cross-functional development teams to succeed.
In this episode, Phil and Nils Hofmeister discuss the challenges of managing remote working and how his team overcomes them. They speak about why it is best to work for organizations that encourage collaboration.
As well as the benefits of employing people that are more knowledgeable than you. Nils also talks about AI and how close it is to replicating what real life forms can do.
(4.02) TOP CAREER TIP
Karma works. Nils admits that may sound a little naive. But, he has found that taking the time to help others has really paid dividends for him. Most people do their best to return the favour.
But, if your organisation does not reward that behaviour, it can backfire and become a zero-sum game. You should always try to work somewhere that appreciates collaboration.
(7.16) WORST CAREER MOMENT
Unfortunately, when Nils became head of development, the first job he had to do was to lay off 20 members of his team. It was a bad situation, that, naturally, created issues.
Nils has never forgotten how awful it all was. So, now, he is very cautious about hiring. He does everything he can to reduce the chances of his having to lay people off again.
(8.36) CAREER HIGHLIGHT
Nils does not have a specific career highlight. For him, the large, complex projects he has worked on have been the ones that bring him the most satisfaction. Seeing something grow and evolve into something that is even better than was first conceived is very satisfying.
(9.56) THE FUTURE OF CAREERS IN I.T
Technology is driving every aspect of our lives. So, now is a great time to work in I.T. Whatever you are working on is likely to make a huge difference.
Nils is also looking forward to seeing what happens when AI comes closer to being able to do what real life forms can. A day that he believes is actually not that far away.
(11.54) THE REVEAL
What first attracted you to a career in I.T.? – As a kid, he always wanted to be able to create his own computer games. That led to him learning C++
What’s the best career advice you received? – Between stimulus and response there is a space. That space is our power to choose our response. In the podcast, Nils explains what this means and how he learned to put that advice into action.
What’s the worst career advice you received? – If you want to be a good leader you have to play that role.
What would you do if you started your career now? – Nils would network right from the start.
What are your current career objectives? – Right now, he is focused on bringing the two big projects he is working on to fruition.
What’s your number one non-technical skill? Being a good communicator, in particular, being able to adapt what he says to appeal to and make sense to the audience he is speaking to.
What do you do away from technology? – Nils is a keen collector of Star Wars LEGO sets and enjoys sports. He also describes riding his motorbike as being like meditation for him.
How do you keep your own career energized? – Nils networks a lot. At least once a year or so, he applies for new jobs and goes through the hiring process. He explains why he does this in the podcast.
(18.11) FINAL CAREER TIP
Work on your soft skills, especially on communication. It does not matter if you are a genius if you cannot explain things to others it will be far harder for you to get things done.
(4.15) – Nils – “Help out other people in your organisation. Because usually, at some point, they will return the favour”
(6.10) – Nils – “Don’t be afraid of hiring people who know more than you and letting them make decisions.”
(9.05) – Nils – “From the beginning connect with people from other companies and disciplines.”
(16.30) – Nils – “In the end, it’s about communication. If that doesn’t work, nothing gets done.”
ABOUT THE HOST – PHIL BURGESS
Phil Burgess is an independent IT consultant who has spent the last 20 years helping organisations to design, develop and implement software solutions. Phil has always had an interest in helping others to develop and advance their careers. And in 2017 Phil started the I.T. Career Energizer podcast to try to help as many people as possible to learn from the career advice and experiences of those that have been, and still are, on that same career journey.
CONTACT THE HOST – PHIL BURGESS
Phil can be contacted through the following Social Media platforms:
Join the I.T. Career Energizer Community in Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/groups/ITCareerEnergizer
ABOUT THE GUEST – NILS HOFMEISTER
Nils Hofmeister is an Engineering Director working at Xing. He started his career as a software engineer, working on virtual reality projects and computer games. And after spending some time on DevOps projects, he now focuses on helping cross-functional development teams to succeed.
CONTACT THE GUEST – NILS HOFMEISTER
Nils Hofmeister can be contacted through the following Social Media platforms: