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Susanne Soumelidis
Susanne Soumelidis

Michael Rurländer is a project manager at Nagarro in Austria. As part of the preparation for a press conference with our customer ÖBB-Postbus, I took the chance to chat with him about his work, his projects, and the cooperation he establishes with his clients.

In addition, "Der Brutkasten" — Austria’s startup and innovation platform — shot a video interview with Michael directly on the site in the ÖBB-Postbus garage, which is only available in German.  Here you go!


Michael, what is it like to work at Nagarro?


Definitely vibrant! In my recent interview with "Der Brutkasten," I was able to talk about my job and why I work at Nagarro. It took me a little while to change my wording in the interview from "We at Nagarro" to "I at Nagarro." That says a lot. In fact, we have a particularly strong team spirit in the company. We not only work on very exciting projects but also design, shape, and initiate them together. Small steps that we start "on a greenfield site" often become solutions for thousands of users. I enjoy working with software, wearables, and virtual worlds. Sometimes, you almost feel like you're in an episode of Star Trek 😉.


Does that mean that you have already been enthusiastic about futuristic themes as a child?

Sure, who hasn't? Even when I was little, I always had bigger eyes for technical gadgets than for the extraterrestrials in Star Trek. I found it exciting to turn "old-fashioned" analog things into digital. In principle, the work order was already given to me at that time, which I am now implementing with great pleasure. Becoming a software developer was the best career choice I could make. The old, dusty nerd image of computer scientists is a thing of the past; it's just an extremely exciting time in this industry!


What was it like for you to be there when the solution you developed with the customer was presented to the press?

Unusual, but awesome! What was invented 30 years ago at Star Trek is now a pure reality in a bus garage in Austria. AR and Smart glasses are used for bus inspection at ÖBB-Postbus. Last year I was asked to work on this innovative project, and so I could contribute to its success. Since the introduction of the solution, renowned media in Austria report on it like Der Standard, Trend, ........ I was there from the ideation to the implementation—a great experience! To come back to the first question—this is one of the many reasons why I work at Nagarro.


You have already gained experience in different companies. What is important to you when choosing your employer? What is ultimately the factor?

After my first stay abroad, it was clear that I wanted to work internationally and interculturally. A modern environment is just as important to me as the fact that I am not blocked by too much bureaucracy. I also appreciate the opportunities for further development. Nagarro offers me all that. I started as a software developer; today, I'm a project manager working on projects that affect more than 20,000 people!


What projects are you currently working on?

Currently, I am working on 3 projects. One of them is the aforementioned innovation-project at ÖBB-Postbus, which will continue to grow. My role is to bridge the gap between the client, the local team, and our global colleagues. In practice, my tasks range from enabling the implementation and moderation of idea workshops & usability tests to ensuring the within the software development team in India.


The way of working is constantly changing. How important are such changes for companies, especially in your working area?

In my work, change is a constant companion. At Nagarro, agile working is part of the corporate DNA. There is a lot of initiatives in my everyday life. We work in different time zones and with international teams, which also change our daily schedule. Change is always a balancing act: You have to make adjustments from time to time, but that keeps it exciting!


The fear of job losses due to the advancing digitization can be heard. Are there any trends from your field of work that point in such a direction?

That's true. There's a lot of discussion about it. It is in the nature of the future that you don't know it and that leads to speculation—and sometimes to fear. I believe that people's creativity and personality will continue to be essential and indispensable. And in my field of work, good people are urgently needed everywhere!


For all who are interested in such innovative topics: What are the roles and skills currently being sought?

Software experts are welcome anyway, but people interested in technology and basic IT knowledge are also welcome. Nagarro even offers an internal training program within the company: You can train yourself further and acquire specialist knowledge in various domains such as testing, test automation, or software development. And the cool thing about it is that you can apply the acquired knowledge to real customer projects and thereby learn and grow. If you're interested, just have a look at the Nagarro career page!

 Thanks for the interesting chat, Michael!