Matthias Otterbach: “I love culture”

Matthias is presently applying years of experience gathered from customer projects in the development of the new release of BSI CRM. He is enthusiastic about the implementation as a web application, the visualizations and the new global search. In his private life, he loves “culture.” He reveals exactly what this means to him in this interview. 

  • Born in: Hamburg
  • Birthday: November 21, 1985
  • Astrological sign: Scorpio
  • Nationality: German
  • Diploma: Master of Science (TUM) in Informatics
  • Lives in: Waldshut-Tiengen
  • Works in: Baden
  • Current project: BSI CRM, Scout UI Team

You recently started working on the new “Indigo” release of our standard product BSI CRM.
How does this compare to working on customer projects?  

Each software developer on the team contributes his experience from the cus-tomer projects he’s been involved in. This enables us to improve the standard product for all customers.

I have primarily worked on the development of the software’s new user interface. In the process, I further developed the Eclipse Scout open source framework. I also implemented new features in BSI CRM and fixed bugs. It’s nice to help co-develop the latest release of BSI CRM – which is, so to speak, the heart of BSI. 

What do you like most about the new release?

I find our new user interface looks great – it’s really been cleaned up and is contemporary. I also like the implementation as a web application using HTML5 and Java Script instead of Swing for the rich client. It means that the software functions on various end devices with no adaptation needed. The web application, of course, is just the interface, Java still exists in the background. For the developer involved in customer projects, hardly anything has changed, despite the new user interface, since the visualization is cleverly solved through Eclipse Scout.

BSI CRM Indigo also delivers many interesting features. What I find especially help- ful is that I can now search through all entities at once and then visualize the results using various graphics. 

Favorite country: All and none. If I was forced to choose, then probably my native country.
Favorite software: Eclipse and Virtual Box
Favorite beverage: Spezi in Bavaria and also Mischmasch

Speaking of visualization: On the photo wall with all BSI employees you say: “I love culture.”
What does culture mean to you? 

It’s a play on words. On the one hand, I find other cultures fascinating: other traditions, customs and countries. It’s interesting to get to know new perspectives and to discover both differences and commonalities. On the other hand, I also mean high culture, like opera or theater.

Matthias was an exchange student in the US during high school. He was there again this year and visited friends and many national parks.

In your free time, you are active in the student exchange organization “Youth for Understanding” ( Is your interest in different cultures the reason for your voluntary commitment?

To a large degree. However, this interest only really arose when I lived in the Unit-ed States for a year. I like the idea and also want to make it possible for others to experience staying abroad.

And last but not least, I get to meet interesting people in this way and the volunteer work is simply fun – just like at BSI. I also get to know interesting people here and can be part of exciting projects.

Why do you recommend staying abroad?

Because it’s a one-time opportunity to intensively get to know another culture. Deep insight can be gained especially by living with a host family and attending school.

I personally benefited a great deal from this. I met interesting people and made good acquaintances. I still have regular contact with my host family. I even visited them a few weeks ago. Thanks to my stay abroad, I became much more open towards other cultures and issues. Since then, I can imagine visiting nearly every country.

If BSI had offices throughout the world and you could work for a year at any location you like, which would you choose?

That’s a very difficult question. I would probably be enthusiastic about almost any location. Everywhere is interesting, and I still don’t know enough, neither about near nor far-away countries. But really, I find Japan attractive, because everything feels really different there and because I’ve never been there.

Photos of Matthias' last visit to the USA.
Photos of Matthias' last visit to the USA.
Photos of Matthias' last visit to the USA.
Photos of Matthias' last visit to the USA.