Networking - a theme for Jesper
'I'm right where I want to be!' says Jesper Wilfing. Today he is running a technical consulting company together with a friend. In 2005 he graduated from the Bachelor’s programme in Software Engineering and Management. He has since deepened his experience and knowledge, which has made his life taking new turns.
'Networking and contacts are very important parts of personal development', says Jesper, 'you get new inspiration and many advices along the way'. Jesper made himself a valuable network of contacts as a student and he got his first job through one of the people in the network, a person who saw his potential.
'I was also able to create the company Conzeon together with my business partner, through some help from a contact. The owners of Conzeon had their base in Malmö, and they felt it was necessary to be present in Gothenburg. We decided to buy the company and did so in June 2012. Besides web, SharePoint and. NET, we are also working with other aspects of software development, such as architecture and requirements management. Following the purchase, a lot of effort has been spent on stabilizing and further developing the company.'
Jesper says that he has always had the idea of starting a company, but it has been difficult to find enough time. He has taken a course in entrepreneurship, which has been rewarding.
'You have a lot of freedom running your own business, but it is of course very time consuming. It feels more like devoting to an interesting hobby than "work", I feel a completely different drive and inspiration because everything I do is building and developing our own business!'
Problem solving and technology
Jesper says that he has always had an interest in problem solving and technology, and when the Internet started to grow he went with the flow.
'I was following at programme in natural science in high school, and after that I started an undergraduate education in the field of computer technology. It turned out that it wasn’t really my thing, with too much emphasis on hardware, and a method of training that felt far from what was being performed in the industry.'
Jesper chose a different track and spent some time working with web development and support of web applications at AstraZeneca. Working closely with other developers, Jesper developed a keen interest in the area. He found the programme in Software Engineering and Management through an ad, and was admitted in 2002.
Social skills and a strong sense of reality
'During the first year of the programme we were located at Hasselblad Center, for the second year we moved to the Patricia building at Lindholmen, where the environment was set to mimic conditions of working life.'
'Everything was brand new when I started. It was a very sociable environment and we hung out a lot in the group. Some people at the programme had a technical background but not everyone - and we supported each other in the different parts which probably made many people stay in the programme even though the level was sometimes challenging.'
'Ten years later I still have contact with people from that period of time in my life and we are still exchanging knowledge, it is both comforting and very rewarding! When I graduated I felt that it was confirmed that the study environment and the education had been business-like in design and content, it was much easier to get started on the first job.'
Jesper says that the latest technology was always available during the education, and many lecturers were brought in from the industry and there was not a lot of focus on literature. Each semester consisted of courses during the first half, and then a larger project during the second half. During the project work the students were supposed to apply what they had learnt during the first half of the semester. Each semester had a different theme, but you had still a lot of freedom within the theme.
'To work in project groups was a very good experience, we had an entrepreneurial view, focusing on what was needed to be done and then we used brainstorming to come up with a creative solution.'
'If I were to give one piece of advice to a new student in the programme, it would be to take the opportunity to try many different roles during the training! You will really benefit from it when you start working. Another advice is to not be afraid to steer projects to an area that you are passionate about. As a student you have the opportunity to work with those areas, because there is so much freedom in the various projects.'
Wagered on web
After graduating from the programme in Software Engineering and Management Jesper wanted to start a master’s education, and chose the program Entertainment Design and Technology.
'I intended to study while I was looking for a job, but I ended up finishing the entire programme. For my master thesis I was looking for a project oriented towards web and web development, since I am interested in those areas. Through my network I got a job at a company where I started to work with web applications, it was fun and has been really useful to me later!'
Before starting a business on his own, Jesper worked three years with web development and SharePoint as a consultant for LBI, former Framfab, with Volvo Cars global homepage. He was also involved in developing the first version of My Volvo - a service for Volvo owners.
Project to facilitate study planning
'At the moment it’s one hundred percent Conzeon. In the future we hope to have more time to work with our own ideas for new products. At that point we’ll also be able to employ more people in the company. However, we want to grow slowly and will wait for the right time.'
Jesper and his business partner are currently working on a Chalmers project in SharePoint, called “VIS” – tools for individual study planning. The system is meant to clarify the various degree requirements for graduation to the students, and enable them to view the status of the progress made in their education, one of the ways this will be done is by combining the study results with the study plan. The system will also make it easier for administrators and graduation officers.
Prospective or current students on the programme in Software Engineering and Management are very welcome to contact him for advice on both studies and work life, says Jesper, and he concludes by saying that he’s very happy that he found the programme.
'In hindsight, it was absolutely the right education for me and I recommend it to anyone who wants to work in this area!'
Text: Anna Ohlsson