This post was originally published in 2013. The tips and techniques explained may be outdated.
If there is still a job out there that is strictly limited to men, being an electronic engineering technician is definitely not it. After all, there are just as many women as men who have a steady hand and a good eye for things, and, in my line of work, where we deal with small currents, that’s essential. It’s also why we’ve earned the German nickname “Dünnströmer.”
Ibrahim works with his colleague Martin.
I don’t think there’s an English equivalent for that, but you could translate it roughly as “the guys who work with the tiny currents.” So what exactly do we do with these tiny currents? Well, we electronic engineering technicians make devices and device components for an enormous range of applications and industries, playing a key role in the development of IT and communications technologies, medical technologies, and measuring and testing technologies, just to name a few. Once you take all that into account, I’m sure you would agree with me that there was no better place for me to get a job at than SMA. After all, this is where the world’s electronic and electrical engineering elite is trained, which should come as no surprise when you remember that we are the world’s market leader in inverters!
The Hexacopter was a trainee´s project
Innovative Projects by Trainees
Our workshop is the stuff of dreams when it comes to electronic engineering technicians. We have access to the best available soldering stations, oscilloscopes, and function generators, not to mention that we’re often allowed to choose our own projects. My first one? An RGB LED table lamp that lets you adjust the light’s intensity with adjustable parameters and the actual light color by messing around with the spectral colors red, green, and blue. In fact, you can even save your settings!
The list of projects that trainees have completed here is actually quite long: solar robots, hexacopters, alcohol sensors, electronic dice, etc.
Preparing exams with colleagues
IBUs and New Departments
Whenever we have any doubts regarding a new subject at our vocational school, we can write our instructor right away and they will set up an IBU appointment for all trainees to attend. These IBUs (IBU comes from the German for “internal lessons”) are a way for our instructor to provide additional support by going over the subject in question again so that we’re all on the same page and no one has to worry about having difficulties at school. Oh yes, I forgot to point out that SMA members always stand out at our school due to their excellent grades—we’re even allowed to get together and prepare for our finals during work hours!
During our training, we rotate through all the relevant departments at the company: from the one in charge of producing our small inverters to the one that is responsible for our large Sunny Central stations. Needless to say, and in case you were wondering, we always get work that is related to our job! One of the great things is that you’re not assigned to any one single department for too long, as we rotate between departments fairly often, which means there’s simply no way to get bored during your training! You get new tasks and challenges every single day, and all the departments are well prepared for us trainees. In fact, they make sure that every single trainee makes solid progress and is backed up by all the resources they need, while the people in charge of the training program at each department are always making sure that we learn something new every day.