Be a Giver Not a Taker and Build Your Communication Skills with Nils Hofmeister

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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.

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.

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Nils Hofmeister

Resources

Xing – Check out Nils on the Xing website!

Nils – Check out Nil’s website!

2 Top Career Tips

1) 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.
2) 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.

Show Notes

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.

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.

The Future

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.

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 is the best career advice you’ve ever 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 is the worst career advice you’ve ever received?

If you want to be a good leader you have to play that role.

If you had to begin your career again in today’s world, what would you do?

Nils would network right from the start.

What career objectives are you currently focusing on?

Right now, he is focused on bringing the two big projects he is working on to fruition.

What’s the number one non-technical skill that has helped you in your career so far?

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 to keep your own career energized?

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.

What do you do in your spare time away from technology?

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.

Contact The Guest

Contact Nils Hofmeister through the following social media platforms:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Nilgrim

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nilshofmeister/

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