My name is Uwe Friedrichsen. I travel the world of IT for many years. In 1981, I fell in love with programming. Consequently, I studied computer sciences and have been working in IT ever since.

Professional career

In my professional career, I worked in many roles in and around IT, like development, architecture, requirements engineering, quality assurance, operations, support, project and line management. Often my role was not clearly defined. I just did what was needed to achieve a successful result. In many cases, a big part of it was what I call “architectural work”. Still, usually I did not call it this way to avoid entanglement with the typical preconceptions regarding the role of an architect in IT.

I started sharing my accumulated insights and ideas in 2005, writing articles. Since 2009, I additionally share my ideas as a public speaker. At the resources page, I collected some of my publicly available articles, slide decks, talk recordings, etc. (still work in progress)

Currently, I work as CTO at codecentric. Additionally, I support selected clients in different roles. If you are interested in my services, feel free to contact me.

Career stages

Here are my career stages as you would find them on a regular CV. Personally, I do not think those lists tell a lot about a person. Still, they might add a few shards to the picture.

  • 2008 - today – codecentric AG, working as CTO, unit lead, architect, consultant, pre-sales consultant, developer (even if I currently write code a lot less often than I would like to)
  • 2012 - 2013 – CenterDevice GmbH, working as lead architect and developer (CenterDevice is a spin-off of codecentric, I worked for during my time at codecentric)
  • 2002 - 2008 – Softlab GmbH / Cirquent GmbH, working as architect, project manager, consultant, developer, pre-sales consultant, unit lead
  • 2001 - 2002 – Heyde AG, working as architect, project manager, consultant, pre-sales consultant
  • 1996 - 2001 – Alldata SDV GmbH, working as architect, project manager, consultant, developer, pre-sales consultant
  • 1994 - 1996 – GFTA mbH, working as developer, architect, SRE lead (it was not exactly SRE and the term did not exist back then, but the job of the team was a lot like what we call “SRE” today)
  • 1993 - 1994 – Assoware GmbH, working as developer and consultant
  • 1985 - 1992 – University of Karlsruhe, Germany (today Karlsruhe Institute of Technology), Computer Science, Diploma
  • 1982 - 1993 – Several freelance software development projects

Complementing activities

  • 2005 - today – Writer, speaker, trainer, member of several conference advisory boards
  • 2013 - today – Member iSAQB
  • 2014 - 2019 – Assessor iSAQB CSPA-A examination
  • 2018 - today – Editor “IT Spektrum” (German IT journal)

Skills and traits

Over time, I understood I am quite strong in some particular topics, okay in some other ones and struggle with some topics. This is an (non-comprehensive) list, adding some more shards to the picture.

Strengths

  • Systems thinker. I do not have a formal education in systems thinking (even if I read a lot about it in the meantime), but I always was more interested in the connections between things than most other people I have met. As a consequence, I cannot but see the forces, the influences, the feedback loops, wherever I look.
  • “Dot connector”. This is a useful side effect of my systems thinking trait. I am good at uncovering relations, forces and influences between IT topics and sometimes also non-IT topics which helps me to anticipate evolutions in IT.
  • Strong model builder. I am good at building models of complex situations that help reasoning about complex challenges without losing sight of the overarching problem and make better and faster decisions.
  • Translator between domains (especially IT and non-IT) and floors (from engine room to C-level). From all I have seen in my career, surprisingly this seems to be a quite rare skill.
  • Quick in grasping complex situations. After having read the aforementioned traits this should not be of any surprise.
  • Bias towards action. I prefer working towards a solution over endlessly analyzing and debating it. I use my systems thinking and model building skills to analyze a situation holistically just long enough to derive a sensible local action. Then I prefer to execute it and learn. Complex problems need a probe-sense-act approach anyway.

Okay-ish

  • Company politics. I know them. I accept that they are a part of human nature. I can play them to a certain degree. But I dislike them. And I loathe self-absorbed power games and worse, as you find them in virtually every bigger company. And it makes me sad seeing most people falling for those games.
  • Empathy. I strongly believe in empathy. Still, being a very rational thinker, it sometimes is not easy for me to be empathic with people who I think are on the wrong track for the wrong reasons. But I am working on it.

Struggling

  • Change agent. I am not a particularly patient person. This makes it hard for me to deal with late-majority or laggard types of people. Figuratively speaking, I am good at showing doors, explaining what lies behind and why it makes sense to go through the door. But I am not the person who motivates people to go through that door or even pushes them through if they do not want to.

Of course, quite some skills and traits are missing. And most likely, there are more topics, I struggle with based on the perception of other people. But that is something, other people would know better than I do.

Bottom line

Of course, all this still hardly represents 5% of who I am (and I am always surprised that quite some people think they can judge the basic suitability of an applicant based on a CV). My blog posts provide some deeper insights in my professional thinking. And maybe at some point we will chat about some other topics over a nice cup of coffee or whatever your favorite drink for a relaxed conversation is.

Overall, I simply try to be a mostly nice person and make the world around me a little bit less messed-up place. I know that I sometimes fail being that person, but I am working on it.