Corina Preyss: “I love it when the aroma of a roast fills my apartment.”

29.03.2017, Melina Merkle

Corina is one of many cooks at BSI. At home she creates tasty dishes from fresh ingredients, while at BSI she makes customers happy by using clever code.

  • Completed studies in Zurich, Master in Computer Science ETHZ
  • Lives and works in Munich
  • Quick-fix dinner: Spaghetti Carbonara (she always has the ingredients at hand)
  • Daily ritual: coffee and a piece of chocolate for breakfast
  • Definitely wants to see Alaska someday
Favorite ingredient: Every variation of eggplant
Favorite food: Mont d‘Or au four
Favorite spice: Good pepper from the pepper mill.

Completed studies in Zurich, Master in Computer Science ETHZ Lives and works in Munich Quick-fix dinner: Spaghetti Carbonara (she always has the ingredients at hand) Daily ritual: coffee and a piece of chocolate for breakfast Definitely wants to see Alaska someday

The recipe

“I love to cook and I like trying things out. I get ideas from family recipes or cooking magazines. Then I sit down and make a shopping list. It is actually quite similar for customer projects: The customer has his requirements, his recipe so to speak, which we intensively discuss. The great challenge here is to understand the different working methods and requirements, and to recognize what is most important. In the end, I want to serve the customer the optimal solution, one which I can implement with the available ingredients and which suits his taste. I do the same while cooking: when I am in the store and the leeks look better than the spinach, or there is only curry powder instead of paste, then I adjust my plans accordingly. Because, ultimately, I want to serve a meal that tastes good – even if it no longer precisely matches the original recipe.”

Preparation

“Everything has been purchased – now it’s to time to prepare. I cut the vegetables, marinate the meat, get the appropriate spices ready and take out the pans. In a customer project, we elaborate concepts, then specify, discuss and review them with the customer, make adjustments and have the agreements approved. There are always changes, especially when agile project methodology is used. And, like cooking, flexibility is needed to adapt the recipe. Some adaptations are easy – an extra splash of wine if more liquid is needed; but if I only have dried chickpeas instead of some that have already been soaked, then I need to find alternatives.”

Cooking

“Now things get serious. The meat is fried, ingredient after ingredient added, and then seasoned. I am otherwise actually a very tidy person, but when it comes to cooking every surface is soon covered, the kitchen splattered and chaos reigns. There is simply never enough counter space in a kitchen. Coordination is needed and sometimes I have to stop and get organized before I can take the next step. As a reward, the aroma of sautéed onions, a savory roast or fresh-baked muffins spreads through the apartment.

With the customer project, we are now in the phase of programming, testing and feedback. In contrast to the kitchen, things proceed in a very orderly manner: I work closely together with my team and regularly exchange know-how with other BSI engineers. This gives me new inputs that enable me to implement the best solution for the customer. In the end, we always take a look at it together: Is it good? Is the code well-written? Could it be improved? That is like when I cook with my husband: What other ingredients could we use? Which spice is missing? What would complement the dish?”

Serving

“I like to invite friends over for dinner. First there is usually a small, nicely presented appetizer. And there is always a good glass of wine to go with it. It does not really matter whether the wine glasses are the proper ones. What matters to me is that the guests are in good mood. I then serve the main course in bowls and pots on the table so that everyone can serve him- or herself. When we serve customers, meaning, we deliver the system, my job is not yet completed. A lively exchange continues while the customer tests the system. This phase also includes explaining the functionalities and processes to the customer and assisting him in optimally working with the software. It is especially rewarding when the customer says: “Ah, that is how I imagined it.” That is like the reward I get when I cook for friends and they ask how I have made these tasty dishes.”