Audi Software Development Center: Work agile. Live for teamwork. Move the future.
We create digital experiences
The Audi Software Development Center not only revolves around the development of web applications and smartphone apps - but also around the people we do this for. As part of the NEXT:IT strategy at Audi, we set new standards for agile software engineering. When you join our team, you will find the creative freedom, the right pairing partners and everything you need for customer-oriented software development.
Agile methods, strong mindset, one mission: Software Enabled Car Company
If you want to develop innovative software products and enjoy the freedom to choose the architecture, platforms or technologies yourself, you have come to the right place. Take a closer look at the SDC team's work environment here:
Motivated colleagues, open mindset, flexible methodology
work in pairing teams, XP, mob programming
Efficient working in line with LEAN/ MVP methods, DevOps
Individual freedom to make decisions within the team, personal growth
The right software and platform for every project
Flexibility in everyday life, thanks to a large number of additional services
More than the sum of its parts: the team
At the Audi Software Development Center, software developers, product managers and UX designers work as a vibrant and balanced team to ensure efficient and customer-focused software development. We combine the power of a small team with the resources of a large corporation. Find out what you can expect as a new team member here:
Enabler, gatekeeper, organizer: Product managers transform the specialist department's product vision into concrete needs (user stories) for a new software product, while taking the customer perspective into account. They make sure that the developers always know what to do next so that they can then code freely.
Product designer, market researcher, problem solver: UX designers integrate the user's perspective into the user story. They use tools from fields of user research and design to achieve the highest possible solution and customer focus in product development.
Navigator, coder, team player: Junior and senior software developers do not simply write code, they actively contribute to the design of the products. The creative and decisive freedom they enjoy in the process determines how Audi's digital services will be perceived in the future.
Office Leads Alex and Patrick
Our office leads Alex and Patrick exemplify the SDC mindset. It is their job to create an environment that allows all employees to develop to their maximum potential. They see themselves as the team' s supporters and protectors. As such, they keep everything unnecessary away from their employees so they can focus on their work. Through pairing, Alex and Patrick not only combine their strengths and increase quality, but also guarantee that someone is always there for the team.
The tech start-up of Audi IT
Alex and Patrick, in the traditional sense you would be called the bosses of the SDC. You both call yourself 'Office Leads'. How do you describe your role in the SDC?
Patrick: We distance ourselves very clearly from the classic leadership model of the 'old economy'. Our main concern is to help the team to continuously develop and optimize and to remove obstacles. In addition, like the teams, we act in this role as a pair, which allows us to combine our strengths and thereby achieve a very high quality of our work.
Alex: That also means a change in the company. So far there has been a link between department management, personnel management and project management. We don't have that here. We are there for the team. We support when there is a problem that colleagues cannot solve. But we stay largely out of project decisions.
Your employees appreciate that you shield them from all distractions.
Alex: Our product owners tell us that we are working at a very high pace. We therefore take great care to ensure that our employees are able to solve the upcoming challenges themselves. If you can do that, you can keep a cool head even with high demands and make good decisions without being stressed. We ensure the employees' ability to act, so to speak. It also means that we constantly evaluate ourselves.
Part of it seems to be pairing. Was that a new experience for you?
Patrick: I had already learned to appreciate pairing in my previous job in Silicon Valley and have not wanted to work in a classical setting since then. The advantages are unbeatable and the profit for the team, a lot of freedom and fun in the daily work, is clearly noticeable. One of us is always available and can help immediately. You don't have to wait days for an appointment with one of us.
Describe your carreers before the SDC, please. Patrick, you mentioned Silicon Valley.
Patrick: Before my time in the USA, I worked in a variety of classic roles in IT for many years. At that time I was already accompanying my teams with an alternative spirit. The time in Silicon Valley made me even more aware of how tech companies are becoming relevant players in disruptive digitization. Before returning to Germany it was very difficult for me to imagine that I would find my way back in a more classic structure. But when I saw the movement that is taking place at Audi in the SDC and throughout the Volkswagen Group, it was immediately clear to me that I would like to help shape it.
Alex: I've been with the company for three and a half years now. Before that I was in software engineering and helped build a startup. The growing together of classic industry and online services at Audi appealed to me. I've always loved the brand. An initiative has been developed at Audi to develop software internally again. That was the starting point of a development that eventually led to the Software Development Center.
How is the SDC embedded in the classic corporate structure?
Alex: The SDC is not an island, but connected to important areas. On the one hand there is Audi IT with NEXT: IT which offers the overall structure and a very progressive mindset. So we are a piece of the puzzle of the overall strategy. The Volkswagen Group also has SDCs in other locations, such as Berlin, Wolfsburg, Lisbon and in a few other cities. The developer community in the group is growing rapidly.
Are the entire project and your way of working your idea?
Alex: The procedure has long been standard in the tech industry. There is no need to reinvent everything. Our basic methodology is XP, so extreme programming. That was invented by Kent Beck. One of the foundations of XP is pair programming, where two engineers work on one task together. Two screens, two keyboards, two brains, one machine. That has many advantages. One of them is that it promotes learning. One of the two programmers always knows a subject better than the other. A kind of coaching takes place continuously. One of the two writes the code and the other thinks ahead and talks to the other. Through intensive communication, we experience an enormous transfer of knowledge. XP is based on values like communication, courage and respect, not so much on processes. Ultimately, a methodology is always a tool and you choose it based on what you want to achieve.
Patrick: What is important to us is what happens in the minds of the talent. What mindset do they have? What drives them? How good are they in self-organizing a team and making smart decisions? How well do they combine the strengths of the individual talents? If there are the right answers to these questions, the methodology becomes just a tool.
I like to say about our team that we always stay 'beta'. If at some point we notice that the current method no longer works, then we may try something different. We love trying new things and experimenting. What is ultimately relevant is the mindset of the talents that shape the mindset of the team.
Is Audi an attractive employer for IT professionals?
Alex: Traditionally, our greatest competence is building the most beautiful and technically most advanced automobiles. That makes our company very attractive for engineers. The trend towards IT, connectivity and online services will significantly shape the industry in the coming years. We want to show that Audi is also an extremely attractive employer for IT professionals such as software developers, UX designers and product managers.