Working as a Software Developer

Working as a Software Developer


Hi, I’m Dennis Windmeier and I’m a software developer
for “Zukunft Mobility” in Ingolstadt. “Zukunft Mobility” is a wholly-owned
subsidiary of ZF. It was founded in 2017
to serve as an efficient ancillary with the goal of quickly occupying
the market with new topics. Here, we develop innovative
functional concepts and prototypes for series production. As a core team member,
I accompany the development from the first product ideas
we came up with while drinking coffee with our colleagues,
to the finished prototype at the test site. We are expected to come up with
innovative and feasible series concepts. Unfortunately, we don’t exactly
have them on tap, which is why agile and free-working as well as flat hierarchies
are parts of our company culture. Our focus is on the product and our team – this is the only way
to develop innovative ideas. To specify and analyze initial concepts, we rely heavily on self-developed
simulation tools that replicate traffic, for example. This is the only way to find out whether
or not a concept really makes sense. As soon as we are satisfied
with the version of a function, we implement it and
test it in our simulation. Since we often are ahead of
what is state-of-the-art, we use virtual reality techniques to
make a function tangible from early on. We then integrate the validated
function into our prototypes. We basically want to show
what the function can offer with the hardware that is
currently available on the market. But we also want to give an outlook onto possible future developments
of such a function. In a country road scenario
with an oncoming vehicle, we want to demonstrate what a possible
new avoidance function might look like. There are currently no “crashable” targets with which we can carry out
such a scenario, so we feed a virtual environment
into the function and visualize the whole thing
with VR glasses. With this rapid prototyping method we can quickly change the scenario, the environmental parameters
or the algorithm. We then incorporate the gained knowledge into further development iterations
in the function and in this way further
expand the basic idea. It’s really exciting to work on
future mobility solutions. It makes me proud to tell my children
that I took part in developing that self-driving car
on the street. Autonomous driving does not only
take place in the car sector. There is a much greater need
in logistics, in the agricultural sector
and in passenger transport. That’s where ZF is well-positioned
and interesting as an employer. My tip for a successful career is
to maintain curiosity, because this is how the
ideas of the future are born.

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