Company Anniversary – Tamim Ziai Reminisces over 10 Years with DAASI International

Foto: Tamim ZiaiAfter we celebrated the company anniversary of one of our team members at the beginning of this year, Tamim Ziai also celebrated his company anniversary with DAASI International in October. In line with Corona instructions, congratulations were offered via Jitsi and the jubilarian was sung about. Now Tamim has taken some time to talk about his past decade at DAASI International.

Dear Tamim, you can already look back on a whole decade with DAASI International. What comes to mind while you do?

T: First of all I am fascinated, I must say. At the beginning, we were just a small five-man group. We often improvised when faced with a new challenge. Of course, we have become much more professional over the years, we have defined our processes and also use modern methods such as SCRUM for project management.

As one of the team members who have been with the company the very longest, you have seen it through for a good part of its journey. What kind of developments have you witnessed?

T: As already mentioned, the team has tremendously grown in numbers. Further processes and planning tools are being added continuously – and I am always surprised at how quickly we put them into practice and live them at DAASI International. However, I also hope that we don’t get too caught up in processes and then lose what makes DAASI International so unique.

What do you like about working at DAASI International and why?

T: Before joining DAASI International, I worked for a very large company, where it was difficult for me to relate to my company, with constant company buyouts and an overall exponentially growing team. At a small company like DAASI International, it’s easy to get involved with new ideas, you also have a broader scope of responsibilities, so you don’t get  tunnel vision.
In big companies you are just a number at some point, but that is not the case here at DAASI International. Here I am valued as a person and not because of my potential to generate profit for the company.

Which of the many projects you have worked on is your personal highlight?

A research project right at the beginning was one of the most exciting for me and is still somewhat on my mind to this day. The research project was called “Relations in Space”, it was about drawing conclusions about the age of gravestones in Jewish cemeteries from their physical characteristics, such as the shape of an otherwise unreadable gravestone.
In this kind of research project, you work with different people from different disciplines and you get to try things for yourself and get really creative that way. Even today, when I walk through a cemetery, I take a closer look at the gravestones, especially in Jewish cemeteries. This project has also created a completely different sensibility for the topic.

What was your responsibility in the project?

I was mainly responsible for making it technically possible for the collected data to get into an LDAP server and also be usable, i.e. easily found and retrieved. This also included developing a continuous synchronisation with an XML database.
I would like to do more research projects like this again, they have unfortunately become pretty rare over the years, even though Peter (Gietz) is constantly trying to find new ones.
By the way, there’s a great Jewish cemetery in Haigerloch, I love going there. It’s not that far from Tübingen.

Speaking of Tübingen: you’ve seen quite a bit of the world in your career, but now you seem to have setteled down in Tübingen. What do you like about this town?

T: After graduating from university in France, I came to Tübingen as a young person. Right from the start I liked the short routes to work, I could reach everything either by bike or on foot.
DAASI International is also very centrally located, so there’s always something going on. At many other companies you sit somewhere in an industrial area and, apart from the canteen, see nothing but your own office during the day.
Now that most people work from home, it’s a real shame that we only see each other on rare occasions.

What advice would you give to future colleagues or young professionals for their professional future?

T: Salary should never be your first priority. Value personal fulfilment, especially when choosing a career. Personal development is much more fulfilling than a full bank account.
Learn to really unwind at the end of the working day. I use my bike to get to work, but at my age, unwinding comes almost automatically anyway (laughs).

Is there anything else you would like to say?

T: I would also like to emphasise how nice I find it to have found not only colleagues but really friends at DAASI International, which I do not take for granted.

Thank you Tamim, for your time and your answers. DAASI International considers itself very lucky to have had you in the team for so long. We look forward to the future with you and keep our fingers crossed that maybe a research project or another will find its way onto your desk again soon.

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