Testing staff working on a test system
Interview | Berghof Testing

Six questions to Patrick Gonser

January 7, 2022

The current position of Patrick Gonser is a premiere: He is the first team member of Berghof Testing doing dual course of study together with the test technology experts of the Berghof Group.The motorcycle fan tells us in an interview why he chose Berghof as his training partner, what fascinates him about his job at Berghof Testing and what he thinks particularly distinguishes the team. (In the picture: Testing staff working on a test system)

1. Your first contact with Berghof Testing was at a young age, through a school internship. How did that happen?

Back then, at secondary school, I didn't really have any idea what I would like to do later. The subject of computer science already fascinated me at that time. A friend of my mother's then gave me the tip to apply for a school internship at Berghof. I didn't know Berghof before, so I was all the more enthusiastic about everything I saw and learned during my internship at Berghof Testing.

With our test modules and test systems, we are often literally way ahead of our time, because we often work together with our customers on test solutions for components or assemblies that will only go into series production years later. For me as a computer science enthusiast it was at least as exciting back then and is still the constant further development and individual adaptation of our testing software, for me one of the great strengths of Berghof Testing.

So I kept in touch, kept improving my pocket money as a holiday jobber – and after graduating from secondary school, I added the two years to the technical diploma as an "information and communication technology assistant", which is roughly comparable to training as an IT specialist, to lay a good basis for a professional career in IT.

2. After school, you started working in software development at Berghof Testing. Was it already clear then that you wanted to complete a dual course of study?

Not at first. The original plan was for me to go to engineering school full-time. However, together with the division manager and the head of training at Berghof Testing, I realized that a dual study programme was the much better alternative for both sides: I always stay on top of the ball through the practical phases in the company – and also earn money from day one. A classic win-win situation!

3. Your studies at the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University (DHBW in Stuttgart) started in October 2020, in the middle of the corona pandemic. How were the first semesters as a student?

Of course, we all had a different vision of our studies – but like many employees, who suddenly worked exclusively in the home office from one day to the next, we had to come to terms with the situation that in our first semester we could only learn from home via video lecture. We also wrote the first exams at home. For our customers, the topic of remote is of course top notch – if we can access our facilities all over the world remotely and solve many problems on the “small business route” without any time delay or travel costs. However, my fellow students and I associate the topic of Remote Work with the sometimes very lonely learning in our own four walls – and we are therefore very pleased that we are now regularly sitting together in the lecture hall.

4. You said that in your opinion, the company's own testing software is one of Berghof Testing's great strengths. What makes this software so special?

First of all, it is an important special feature that Berghof Testing has developed its own testing software and also has the corresponding competencies in-house. This is not the case with many other providers of test systems, which outsource this important task to external partners. With us, however, all key competencies are bundled in-house. This guarantees short distances and perfectly coordinated solutions down to the last detail.

Berghof Testing has always attached great importance to the fact that its testing software should be intuitive to use. Our graphical user interface plays a decisive role in this: People understand instructions best when they receive these instructions through pictures - this is exactly what the well-known saying "Pictures say more than a thousand words" says. An important side effect: Our customers can neglect comprehension problems due to a lack of language skills.

Our testing software is growing step by step due to the increasingly complex testing tasks, but thanks to our graphical operating logic it remains easy to learn and control. And it also has many clever functions to prevent operating errors – such as the so-called “blind audit.” Our software automatically creates an image query here and arranges the right element at a different position again and again according to the principle of randomness. This means that the operator cannot simply remember the correct position, but must search specifically for the right image. This has proven itself very well in practice with our customers.

5. Surely you have also looked at other companies that offer a dual degree in computer science. What ultimately made you decide to choose Berghof Testing as your training partner?

I have already informed myself very comprehensively and also had discussions with other companies. But their training concepts just didn't convince me that much. At Berghof Testing, as a trainee or dual student, you are a real member of the team at an early age, and you have the responsibility and the freedom you need to develop yourself further. Here there is really communication at eye level.

6. Speaking of freedom: if you are constantly solving complex test tasks, you certainly need some compensation in your free time. Or is the computer really your favorite hobby, as the cliché of the computer science student suggests?

Programming is actually not just a profession for me, it fascinates me a lot. That’s why I like programming in my spare time, trying out new things out of interest. In the summer I also like to go on tour with my motorcycle. From our company headquarters we always have the Swabian Alb with its many winding and traffic-free roads in front of us. When working, there is real anticipation of beautiful tours in the evening or on weekends.