For this blog series, we sent two of our Senior Consultants, Claire Dutton and Maxwell Petch, to the WeAreDevelopers World Congress event in Berlin. After a 2-year break courtesy of Covid-19, we couldn’t wait to join 250+ speakers and 8000+ Developers to discuss trends and opportunities in modern software development.
We set out to learn each person’s take on what’s happening in their field, which tools they find most useful, how they level up their skills, and where all of this can be applied to building better technology products.
Meeting Eike Pierstorff - Technical Product Manager for User Insights
Eike wasn’t speaking on behalf of his employer but was happy to share his perspective. He’s spent several decades in Web Analytics, working with cookies and tracking technologies almost since their inception.
A colleague invited Eike to speak at the event because of his informed views on privacy and infrastructure. He doesn’t consider himself a public speaker, so he’s honoured by his inclusion alongside creators of technologies like C++, CSS, and StackExchange. This event may be the first of many where Eike shares his expertise over the coming years.
Current Industry Challenges
Casting a critical eye on the current state of industry affairs, Eike says that the challenges faced by the tech market mirror the early 00s, with startups failing due to poor business planning or incomplete products. This reminded Eike of his early tech career when investor backing was the standard way to fuel growth. He believes the sector should stop spending money to make money and instead strive for greater fiscal self-sufficiency.
Eike acknowledged a gender imbalance in the industry. He discussed how women traditionally held the earliest tech jobs like data entry and switchboard operators, but after men got involved, careers in the sector were seen as far more respectable. He believes that greater awareness of this history may help encourage women into the sector but also pointed out that he’s probably not best placed to provide answers as a man.
Eike’s Advice to Tech Newcomers
For anyone new to the tech scene, Eike says valuing yourself is key to not making the same early-career mistakes he did. Spending his early years coding pro-bono earned him a reputation as a freelancer who could be underpaid. While money isn’t his biggest motivator, he believes everyone should be paid for their contribution.
The best career advice Eike received was to make time for planning. He calls being highly organised a virtue, as an hour of thinking can save a whole day of programming. Empathy is worth more to him in a potential hire than technical experience because people-focused skills are much harder to teach. Similarly, he says a solid team player is a greater company asset than a genius who’s hard to work with.
A big thanks to Eike for taking the time to speak with us at the WeAreDeveloper’s Event and sharing his insights and advice!
Want to hear more from Eike? Connect with him on Linkedin.
13 July 2022