Employee story

Meet Benjamin

#Diagnostics #SoftwareDeveloper #Power
Published: 2022.08.23
My name is Benjamin, I’m 32 years young and work as a software development engineer at Roche Diagnostics Automations Solution (RDA). At the moment our office is located in Kornwestheim but soon we will move to our new office in Ludwigsburg which is currently under construction. But before I tell you more about my job at Roche I want to tell you a little bit more about myself.

I was always curious and wanted to understand how things work. That’s why I chose to study molecular biotechnology at the Technical University of Munich. During my bachelor and master studies I learned quite a lot about how things are working at the molecular level. After I finished my masters I felt like I wasn’t quite done learning yet and I searched for a way I could learn more about how our technical world works while still making a first step into a professional career.

In 2015 I joined RDA as a dual student in the field of applied informatics. This meant that I switched between university and working at Roche. During that time I could not only learn a lot about informatics but also get to know the way of working at Roche. Because of this after I finished my studies I chose to stay at Roche and continue my professional career as a Software Development Engineer.

Our work, projects and initiatives 
Most people know the pharmaceutical division of Roche but there is also the other division of Roche - the diagnostic division. Within this division diagnostic equipment and reagents are developed and manufactured. My employer, Roche Diagnostics Automation Solution, is focusing on laboratory automation systems. Our products focus on the pre-analytic part of the laboratory workflow. A few examples of the capabilities of our systems would be  the validation of the sample quality, opening of the sample tube or splitting the sample into multiple smaller sample sizes. For a human the opening of a sample seems to be an easy task but for a fully automated machine it quite takes some know-how to reliably open the variety of different sample tubes. Other products of RDA focus on transporting the samples from one workflow target to the next. 

My first project at Roche was about rethinking the automated laboratory workflow. During this project we collaborated with colleagues from many other Roche sites, for example Sant Cugat. I still remember one of my first interactions with colleagues from Sant Cugat where we integrated and tested our latest developments. I was chosen by the team to lead this time the integration of our software component with the part of the system that was developed by the Team in Sant Cugat. Before the meeting I was really nervous but as soon as the meeting started and I got to know the colleagues from Sant Cugat the nervousness vanished. I quickly realized that there was no need to be nervous because the whole session was about supporting each other and collaborating. This was reflected by the behavior and working style of all involved people. During this session we identified some bugs and when I struggled I was always supported by more experienced people in my team. 

This is one of many examples why I like to work at Roche. In our daily work we encourage and support each other to tackle the obstacles ahead while still having time for quick chats or starting our meetings with the “Joke of the day”! I really enjoy the openness, courage, commitment and focus of our team which helps us to solve the tasks and challenges in our day to day business. 

"I quickly realized that there was no need to be nervous because the whole session was about supporting each other and collaborating."

Our impact
Another aspect why I decided to work for Roche was that I can see the value in my work to improve the lives of many people that are in need of a diagnosis to get the right medical treatment. I am proud to create the software solutions that support automating the workflow in laboratories to get the needed test results faster. I still remember sitting at the doctor to get a preventive blood screening. While the nurse took the blood sample we were talking about my work and how it was related to these samples. As a software development engineer I’m grateful that with my work I can make an impact to improve the health of people. When I reflect about the past two years, how all our lives were heavily impacted by the covid pandemic, I’m even more encouraged to work for Roche in developing the next generation of pre-analytic systems for an automated laboratory.

The place to work
At the beginning of 2020 when the covid pandemic hit, Roche acted quickly and offered the possibility to work fulltime remotely. This was again a confirmation for myself that Roche is a great place to work for me. For me the beginning of the pandemic was really stressful since my wife was pregnant at this time. The remote working supported me a lot during that time since I could continue working without worrying about the possible health implications to my wife and unborn child. When my daughter was born my life changed completely since now I had more responsibility than ever before in my life. Looking back I must say that I’m really grateful how my team and line manager supported me during these times. I never felt that I needed to make trade offs between being there for my family and continuing working at cutting edge automation systems.

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