Meet Agata Bres, Software Project Lead at Roche

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Agata Breś. I come from the beautiful Masuria area of Poland, which is famous for its 2,000 lakes. I lived there until graduating with a bachelor’s degree in computer science. I subsequently earned a master’s degree in software engineering in Germany. I started my professional career at Siemens Healthcare in Bavaria, where I had a pleasure of assisting in the development of a software product used in the treatment of cancer patients. This experience gave me the opportunity to improve both my personal and professional skills. In February 2012, after spending seven years at Siemens, I decided to move to Switzerland to start a new chapter in my life. I began to work for Roche Diagnostics.

In my free time I love to travel to remote venues where I can scuba dive and admire the beauty of underwater nature. In the winter  I take my snowboard and travel to places where I can enjoy deep snow rides. I also admire good photographs of places around world and draw inspiration when planning  my next holiday destination.

Where did you study?

I earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Wyzsza Szkola Biznesu – National Louis University in Nowy Sacz, Poland. While a student there, I participated in a 6-month Socrates Erasmus exchange program at Hof University, Germany. In 2006 I received my master’s degree in software engineering from Hof University.

What is your current Roche location?

I work for Roche Diagnostics in Rotkreuz, central Switzerland.

What can you tell us about this location?

Rotkreuz is about 30 minutes from the beautiful cities of Lucerne and Zurich, and it’s also close to mountain peaks such as the Rigi or Pilatus that offer great opportunities for hiking and skiing. What makes Rotkreuz even more attractive is its proximity to the Lake of Zug: it takes only five minutes by bicycle to get there from work. The Roche site in Rotkreuz is very modern as most of the buildings are new. Most of my colleagues particularly enjoy coffee breaks in one of our comfortable lounges. For those who like to exercise over lunchtime there are lots of nice places for jogging and biking.

Why did you decide to join Roche?I learned of a vacancy at Roche Diagnostics International that matched my professional experience and at the same time sounded like an interesting challenge. I had always worked for companies producing medical devices for the healthcare market. As Roche is one of the leaders in diagnostics devices I thought that working there would be a great opportunity for me to further my professional development. And the beautiful Alpine landscape made the decision that much easier!

What is your current job?

As a Software Project Lead, I am involved in developing a software product for the cobas 8000 modular analyzer. My primary responsibility is to create, update and follow a software project plan that serves as basis for product development. I lead a group of twelve people in two countries, Switzerland and Spain. The members of my team represent eight nationalities so our work environment is very diverse; this really helps us develop new ideas and perspectives. Most of my daily work involves supporting my team by providing them with detailed descriptions of customer requirements. I also serve as an interface between software engineers, management and customers.

What makes it such a great job?

Developing software for medical devices is very challenging. There are usually several dependencies with respect to external interfaces or other products. Moreover, such work is performed in a highly regulated environment. This is a great challenge and makes my job extremely interesting. Additionally, I work in a multinational team. I think our diversity makes us a lot more open to new ideas and creative solutions.

Can you select at least three Roche attributes and explain in detail what they mean to you?

  • Empowerment - People working at Roche are from different parts of the world. This diversity gives me the opportunity to better understand different cultures and perspectives, and the different ways people communicate and contribute to a project. It helps me improve my soft skills, which are essential in leading international teams.

  • Respect - At Roche, employees notice very quickly that their opinions matter. There is no such thing as being neglected or unseen. This motivates Roche employees to develop new ideas, drive change and actively contribute to the company's success.
  • Innovation - Top companies choose to cooperate with Roche mainly because of the high quality of our diagnostics products. I am proud to play a role in further developing these already cutting-edge, very competitive and recognizable products.

Please complete the following sentence:

Roche is a great place to work because of its empowerment: I am responsible for my own development and I find encouragement here to pursue my ideas.

How would you describe the people at Roche?

Individuals working at Roche are highly skilled and open-minded. They are ambitious and energetic. They are not afraid to introduce new ideas in order to improve on a product.

What advice would you give job seekers interested in joining us?

If you look forward to working in a diverse environment where employees’ opinions matter and you are ready to contribute to the development of cutting-edge diagnostics devices, then Roche Diagnostics is the right place for you.

Explore here how IT at Roche has an impact on patients' lives.

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