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20 years of Digitalization

Digitalizer from Bern

Javier Rodriguez

As the name suggests, I have Spanish parents. Due to historical coincidences, I didn't grow up by the sea, but in idyllic and picturesque Bern. Let's just say that was a good thing.

At the Institute for Information Management at the University of Bern, I wrote my degree thesis on optimised business processes through business reengineering. Because I worked as a student trainee at IBM, I was able to illustrate the theory with practical case studies. The professor said the thesis was good, but of little value for science. He was probably right.

In the times of the new economy, almost all my fellow students went to Zurich. I didn't want to be a follower, but it came as it had to and I went to Zurich. The start-up scene in Zurich's technology sector was kind of cool. As a product manager for a CRM software company, I was responsible for implementing new features. Working with developers from the Eastern Europe taught me one thing above all; to write specifications in such a way that both developers and customers know what is agreed. The company was successful and was later sold by the owners.      

I like the Zurich dialect, it sounds like "cultivated slang" to me. But I ended up back in Bern. My two daughters were born there. I joined a Bernese consulting firm as a business engineer and gained experience as a consultant. Consulting is a good school for becoming self-employed at some point.

However, an event on the return flight of a business trip changed my medium-term plans. My most exciting client told me on the landing approach that my continued employment would have to be renegotiated. They were looking for someone to build up the Swiss IT organisation and take over all IT projects. This person should have similar skills and knowledge as me. However, due to the business relationship, they are not allowed to consider me. A problem that I successfully solved with my employer at the time.

12 years later I am a Consultant again, this time as a self-employed person.