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How we train students at DEJ Technology

In the world of software development, the bridge between academic education and practical application is essential. At DEJ Technology, the entire team and especially the founders work to bring these worlds together by providing intensive academic support to students during their Bachelor's and Master's theses.

Today we speak with Jonas, CEO of DEJ Technology, who has extensive experience in mentoring students from his time as a researcher at university. Jonas will give us insights into how DEJ mentors and supports students to help them make the transition from theory to practical application.

A passion becomes a calling

Jonas discovered his enthusiasm for the academic supervision of students during his time at university, where he supervised over 15 theses. "It's fascinating to support students during such a formative phase. Whether it's the first big project in a Bachelor's programme or a final project in a Master's programme, it's always a significant milestone," explains Jonas. This passion led him to continue mentoring young academics even after founding DEJ Technology.

More than just academic support

For DEJ Technology, academic supervision of students is much more than a duty; it is an integral part of the training programme. "Although we don't have any trainees, we are actively involved in the training and development of future specialists by supervising theses," says Jonas.

The success stories of Atefeh, Bisrat and Philipp, who were all supervised and mentored by DEJ Technology employees through their Master's theses and are now permanent members of the company, emphasise the importance of this personal and professional support. Philipp, for example, who submitted his thesis long before the deadline, impressed with a creative solution in his defence.

Atefeh began her career at DEJ Technology with an internship and quickly showed that she is very ambitious and determined. Her master's thesis, which she wrote under Jonas' supervision, was so successful that she was subsequently offered a permanent position at the company.

Bisrat, on the other hand, preferred to study and write at night at the university because he found the peace and quiet he needed there. These individual approaches to overcoming the challenges of a thesis show how diverse the paths that lead to successful results can be.

Promoting personal and professional development

Academic support offers DEJ Technology the opportunity to support students not only professionally, but also personally. We help them to overcome challenges and promote their ability to develop independent solutions. "It is always impressive to see the high level of creativity and commitment shown by the students. It's also incredibly fulfilling to see how they develop personally," reflects Jonas.

Jonas emphasises that the support process is also a constant learning opportunity for him. By engaging with new technological approaches and solutions, he always keeps his finger on the pulse of the times. "It's inspiring to work with young people who often come up with fresh and innovative ideas," he says.

A key aspect of mentoring is to help students develop their own timetable for their project. "We encourage all students to create their own timetable at the beginning. This promotes an understanding of the scope and challenges of their projects, even if the plan may change over time," explains Jonas. It is important that students learn that such a plan is often quickly outdated, but still provides valuable insight into potential hurdles.

The regular meetings are voluntary and we recommend attending every fortnight to keep track of progress and offer support where needed. The aim is not to strictly regulate the time, but to support the students on their journey, especially as many often do not know exactly what to expect. Towards the end of the project, it is ideal if students can keep four to eight weeks free exclusively for writing their thesis.

Challenges in the supervision of theses

Especially for engineers who like to develop solutions, it can be a challenge to understand that not only the technical solution, but also the written presentation is crucial. "It's not just about building technically flawless solutions, but also about formulating the results in a comprehensible and understandable way," explains Jonas. A clear common thread, from the problem definition to the methodology to the results and their critical assessment, is essential.

This requirement reflects an important professional skill: as a developer, you need to be able to explain your work to non-experts. Making complex content understandable is not only important for your final thesis, but also for your later career, where you need to win over colleagues, customers and other stakeholders and convince them of your solutions.

Resilience and flexibility in the research process

Another key aspect that Jonas emphasises during academic support for students is the need to develop resilience and flexibility. "Many students are quickly disappointed when their first approach doesn't work. But this is a normal part of the learning process. It's important to understand that it's okay to look for another way or adapt your work accordingly," explains Jonas.

An outstanding example of this type of adaptability is Jan H., a student who encountered a challenge during his final thesis. The original solution proposed by Jonas and his supervising professor did not work because the underlying assumption was flawed. However, Jan was not discouraged by this. Instead, he developed his own solution within two weeks, which not only worked, but also went far beyond what was originally expected. "Jan's ability to redefine the problem and develop a suitable solution was impressive and showed his maturity and deep understanding of the subject," reflects Jonas.

The art of the thesis

Jonas compares writing a thesis to building a sandcastle: "It all starts with a pile of sand that gradually takes shape. Sometimes you have to take sand away and add it somewhere else until the final work is created."

Interestingly, the structure of writing a Master's thesis is not as linear as it might seem at first glance. "When you read a Master's thesis, you read it like a book: introduction, problem statement, methodology. But it is actually usually written in a different order: starting with the problem statement, followed by the solution, then the methodology, the results, the discussion and the outlook. The introduction is often written at the very end," explains Jonas. Many students do not realise this non-linear nature of the writing process. They try to write the paper in the order in which it will be read, which can lead to unnecessary stress and confusion.

A formative example of someone who has mastered this process is Jonas' doctoral supervisor, who has already supervised over a hundred theses and written numerous books and specialist articles. "He has a clear overview of how things should be structured and knows exactly how to organise a thesis efficiently and logically. You don't normally have that kind of experience as a student, and that's where the importance of a good mentor comes in," adds Jonas.

A mentor who stays

The greatest gift for Jonas is seeing the students grow into independent, successful individuals. "The best part is congratulating them on their graduation and seeing how proud they are of what they have achieved. It reminds me of my own journey and how proud I was of my achievements," Jonas concludes. He recalls that he himself had difficulties presenting his work when he was a student. But instead of getting discouraged, he discovered his passion for presenting and teaching.

This experience motivated him to delve deeper into the subject and improve his skills in this area. This personal growth is another reason why he values the role of mentor and is passionate about the development of his students.

At DEJ Technology, academic thesis supervision is more than an exercise; it is an investment in the future of technology and a profound human experience. Jonas' commitment shows how bringing theory and practice together not only shapes careers, but also fosters lifelong passions and vocations.

What the students say:

"Being mentored by DEJ Technology during my Master's thesis was an incredibly rewarding experience that helped me in many ways. As someone who is rather shy by nature, I was often taken out of my comfort zone. I had to approach others independently to find support for my work. This process boosted my self-confidence because I learned to act independently instead of just following instructions. I particularly appreciated the independence during the mentoring. It was not a one-sided assignment of tasks, but a creative exchange in which I was encouraged to develop my own ideas and work out solutions. This type of collaboration showed me how valuable it is to bring my own contributions to the research process. However, the most important aspect of my experience was learning to appreciate negative outcomes. Not everything went according to plan and the outcome was not exactly what we had hoped for. However, this experience has taught me that both positive and negative results have their value. They help to advance science by providing a basis for future research and showing what mistakes should be avoided. These lessons have been immeasurably valuable for my professional and personal development."

I completed my Master's thesis in collaboration with DEJ Technology, with Jonas being one of my supervisors on the corporate side. Jonas provided invaluable help throughout the process. He offered critical insights and helpful feedback on every aspect of my work and helped me to look at the problem from different perspectives. He spent a lot of time reading each part of the work and always attended our meetings to give me feedback to improve the work. He generously shared his extensive experience with me.

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