Meet Jan, Software Developer at Roche

Man kitesurfing

Hi, my name is…

…Jan and I’m a software developer at Roche. I grew up in central Switzerland near the beautiful city of Lucerne, which is where I live nowadays. After finishing the high school, I attended ETH Zurich and graduated with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering in the field of robotics. That’s right, a mechanical engineer working as a software developer!

In my free time, I like to travel around the globe, be it to visit exciting cities in Japan, scuba diving in Mexico or kite surfing in Brazil. Also, I enjoy a relaxing evening with friends and a glass of good wine. I read a lot of books and of course as a Swiss person, I can’t resist going skiing and snowboarding during the cold winter season.

My typical day at work is…

… very diverse. In my team, people with very different backgrounds are working together to engineer a state-of-the-art in-vitro diagnostic analyzers. I’m responsible for writing control software that handles the robotic sequences running on the device. This is where my mechanical engineering background comes into play, helping a lot in understanding different aspects of a problem and coming up with diverse ideas for how to solve it. Working at a company in the medical field, there are regulatory issues and verifications to deal with too.

What I love about writing code close to hardware is that it is directly observable. It is really fun to see how your code directly controls the different sensors and motors of a very complex device, resulting in a working sequence.

The location I am working at is…

…Rotkreuz in central Switzerland next to Zug, between my home city Lucerne and Zurich. There are many lakes and mountains in close proximity, providing an astonishing view of nature and helping me to relax after work. Roche is one of the biggest employers in the area, with many new and comfortable buildings offering very modern facilities such as several restaurants and cafeterias. Also, the location is easily accessible by public transport as well as by car.

My work helps Roche to …

…develop innovative and high-quality diagnostic devices, and remain the world leader in diagnostics. We provide instruments that are capable of running a broad menu of tests with superb performance in terms of accuracy, speed and safety. Many of my activities directly relate to making the daily work of the laboratory personnel easier by reducing the operational complexity of the diagnostic device system and the time needed for servicing. Together, these two factors make for faster and more accurate diagnostic results for patients.

Roche as an employer is…

… caring towards its people. There are many opportunities to improve your knowledge by extending your current expertise or entering into a new field of your choice, with the help of training and courses and a personal development plan. At Roche, many teams are composed of people with diverse cultural backgrounds, providing a great opportunity to broaden one’s horizons and gain insights into how to approach solutions differently. Flexible working hours allow you to tailor your working time to your personal taste and preferences. Roche grants additional days off, mostly around bank holidays, which is great for extended weekend trips. There are many other benefits, ranging from discounts for various stores to membership of the Roche internal club for cultural events.

What is it about Roche that keeps you here instead of going to a traditional IT company?

Roche is an innovative company, which you can really experience in your daily work. The company welcomes new ideas and supports constructive changes in existing workflows and processes. Many of the development tools are best-in-class, helping to create exciting and complex devices. With Roche being a global company, there are many opportunities to visit other sites in different countries to exchange knowledge and gain insights into the same field but from a different point of view.

To learn more about IT at Roche click here.

How would you describe working at Roche in three words?

Challenging, diverse and exciting!

Tags: Career Blog, Switzerland, Rotkreuz, Diagnostics, Information Technology