6 questions, 7 answers

„In my Bachelor’s thesis I automated the grouping of workflows“

Dominik Schneider entered DLR through the dual studies programme straight after graduating from secondary school
Dominik Schneider entered DLR through the dual studies programme straight after graduating from secondary school

Name: Dominik Schneider
Field of study: Computer Science
Now: Institute for Software Technology

Dominik Schneider joined DLR in 2017 as a dual student after studying computer science. He is now a member of the technical team at the Institute for Software Technology in Cologne in the Intelligent and Distributed Systems department. In this interview, he tells us about his day-to-day work.


Dominik, what do you look forward to when coming to work in the morning?

What I look forward to most is interacting with my colleagues – either in official meetings or through informal chats in the break room. You can learn so much about other fields and subjects inside and outside of the department.

These exchanges are not just a source of useful tips and suggestions for solving the problems I’m currently working on, they are also a chance for me to help other people with my ideas. Since computer science is a fast-moving field, frequent exchanges are of tremendous help in keeping up with rapid developments.

What are you researching or working on?

During my dual studies, I worked on the open-source project RCE (Remote Component Environment) in the Distributed Systems group.

RCE software is used to integrate individual tools such as engine or flow simulations into workflows. These workflows enable the exchange of data between individual components and therefore facilitate the mapping of the design of highly complex systems such as aircraft or satellites.

These workflows are the central component of my work. They can consist of several hundred components depending on the use case, which makes their development and maintenance no easy feat.

At the end of the day, you go home with the feeling that your work has made life easier for users

In my Bachelor’s thesis I automated the grouping of workflows. This allows users to quickly obtain an overview of a workflow. The difficulty lies in the automation: how can you identify related components without involving user expertise?

I was able to demonstrate that it is certainly possible to identify useful groupings, but that the results largely depend on the chosen algorithm and other parameters. Therefore, in addition to providing insights, my work has also raised new questions that need to be addressed in the future.

What does your typical working day involve?

It typically starts in my office in the Cologne-Porz site. Because of the ongoing pandemic my colleagues and I presently work from home. I always have a quick look at my inbox and calendar first. Then I usually attend meetings about ongoing work such as test phases or features under development. Depending on what you are working on at any given moment, your tasks as a developer with various integrated development environments (IDEs) and programming languages such as Java or Python also include reading and writing papers.

Dominik Schneider


Where and how is your work being used?

The great thing about my work, whether I’m focusing on research or practical application, is that the results always feed into the development of the RCE. The software is used not only at our own institute, but also by well-known companies outside DLR.

What are the highlights of your work?

I am most pleased when a developed feature is approved for release after a test phase. At the end of the day, I go home with the feeling that my work has made life easier for users.

As a newcomer, I was always able to rely on my colleagues


What special skills can you make good use of in your job?

Although working in computer science requires a high level of logical understanding, being  creative is just as important. Solving problems isn’t always possible with conventional methods; sometimes a brand-new approach is needed. It must also be possible to incorporate your work into the rest of the project, often within a set time frame – the same applies to work on research topics. My creativity helps me look at problems from different angles and eventually find a suitable solution.

Leave us a final thought.

I started as a dual student at DLR immediately after graduating from secondary school. As a newcomer, I was always able to rely on my colleagues and have learned a great deal over the past three years. Thank you for such a wonderful time. I’m very much looking forward to continuing to work with you in the future.



DLR Institute for Software Technology

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