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Note: The 30.09.2004 was my last day as an employee (so far), I am now working freelance (self-employed). My professional web site is A CV meant for professional use is to be found there.

[School] [Siemens-Nixdorf] [Informix] [SME GmbH / AG] [self-employed]

A brief chronological history of what I have worked where and why.

1980-1993: School

For an extended period of time, I went first to "Grundschule am Grünen Markt" and then to the "Gymnasium Erding" to get my piece of eduction.
I was released from school duties with a bavarian "Abitur" in the subjects of English, Economics/Law, Math and Ethics, three of those with considerate success, lets not talk about Mathematics, ok?

1993-1996: Apprenticeship Siemens-Nixdorf Informationssysteme AG

Since going to university seemed out of reach, I started an apprenticeship as "Fachberater Softwaretchniken" (translates to something like "software specialist" or "software consultant") with german computer-titan Siemens-Nixdorf.
SNI was the result of a merger between the bureaucratic and clueless computer division of german-economics-allstar Siemens and the brilliant but bancrupt Nixdorf Computer AG. The idea was to synergize the two to a well-organized and brilliant company, but the result was of course a clueless and bancrupt one. After much hassle, Siemens finally let go of most of the Nixdorf remains, which after all that time seem to be again experiencing success on the market as the newly formed Wincaster-Nixdorf AG (sp?).

After the apprenticeship ended in fall 96, I stayed with the "division for co-operative banking customers" (Genossenschaftsbanken) and finished my part of the OS/2 presentation manager C++ program I had started to participate during the apprenticeship.

After that was finished, there were various ideas to which direction we could turn to, but I liked none (Lotus Notes being the least) and decided it was time to change company anyway.

1996: Informix Software GmbH

The new year started started with a new job in tech support at database underdog company Informix. From day 1, I was stuffed with technical info in various training courses and hands-on sessions. For the first time in my job life, a situation where there were new things to learn every day, I enjoyed the training, developed a still lasting affection for Solaris, Informix Dynamic Server (Informix-Online and Informix-Universal Server as they were called back then) and Illustra, and tried to broaden my technical horizont as much as possible.
While the tech stuff was great, work in tech support never is much fun, especially when management is seemingly trying to make the job as hard and unpleasant as possible. There was a brief period in the summer, where under a new management we were allowed to work productively and in a creative way. The fun lasted for maybe 4 weeks, when the manager in charge had to quit, and with the old boss returned the old habits. The guy they made quit is now manager of Sun Education Germany, the most successful training division of Sun worldwide, so go figure.

In fall, it turned out that most of the german bookkeeping was loaded, so upper management hat to go, and with them about 150 of the 300 people that worked at Informix Ismaning at that time. I was one of them, and enjoyed the short but nice period of being already fired but still getting money.

December 1996-October 2004: Science Management & Engineering GmbH, then AG

Having various job offers, I was approached by a company only a few kilometers away that already had hired two of my former collegues. They offered a more diverse range of possible projects and technical topics at the same money, so I joined there.

Indeed diverse my work is there, from Solaris Admin to Java/Swing development, and since 1998 even management tasks like sales, pre-sales, recruiting, basically everything you consider management stuff in a 20-30 people company.

Having officially become a department manager in 2003 (head of development), in-house projects in software development still more and more gave way to on-site professional service-like assignments. After one and a half year of doing on-site consulting, with little opportunity to follow up my original tasks as department manager, I decided to take professional services one step further and turned freelance in October 2004.

October 2004: fulltime freelance

(c)opyright 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 Tom Eicher. All rights reserved.
last modified tom-14-Nov-2004