PTA Summer Seminar also held virtually in 2021

After 2020, the internal PTA summer seminar had to take place virtually again this year due to the pandemic situation. However, this did not dampen the popularity and participation of the twice-yearly training event. On 18 June, numerous participants brought themselves up to date on the latest developments in digitalisation, programming and IT and process consulting and presented groundbreaking approaches to solutions. And the chances are good that the seminar will be able to return to its usual attendance mode in the winter. Infection permitting, PTA GmbH, headquartered in Mannheim, is planning for all employees to meet for the second round of training this year at the Maritim Hotel in Stuttgart.

“For the second year in a row, we had to hold our internal summer seminar training series virtually due to the Corona pandemic. We have all embraced and utilised agile, mobile and digital collaboration tools and for many of us, the new form of collaboration is now taken for granted,” says the management of management consultancy PTA GmbH, explaining the new virtual edition of the training seminar. “Nevertheless, we are looking forward enormously to all of us being able to meet and exchange ideas in person again in the winter, specifications permitting.”

Even if virtually, the PTA experts also used this training round to deal in depth with the latest digitisation trends and developments in IT and process consulting and to engage in a lively exchange of ideas. As usual, after a short welcome round via Microsoft Teams, the participants started in parallel online sessions. The topics that could be chosen from there were again diverse and wide-ranging this year.

State of the Art from the ARENA

This was the title of the project that the team around Dimitrios Chalepakis, Simon Reis and Frank Dietrich presented in more detail in their session on the billing software of a transmission system operator. The experts explained modern approaches using microapps in a monorepository based on the TypeScript-based front-end web application framework angular and showed how a microservice architecture can be realised in the backend with JAVA. But that was by no means the end of the team’s latin. The PTA programmers explained to the participants how to manage an automated database migration in a JAVA environment with Flyway or how to achieve a secure single sign-on with Keycloak. The approaches are promising and the team is implementing a very innovative and also trend-setting architecture with ARENA.

In the second web session, the team led by Gerhard Ahrens, Gunter Dubrau and Matthias Hoffmann explored the question of whether prototypes in software development should simply be thrown away or left to evolve. The various methodological and technological approaches reflected the broad spectrum of tasks covered by the PTA.

In the third topic slot, Ekaterina Borovinskaya discussed valuable trends, tips and tricks that have proven their worth in test automation. In her presentation, the speaker raised awareness of the fact that the increasing complexity of software systems and thus the growing need for testing are often under enormous time and cost pressure, which means that many project managers often cannot avoid automated software tests. In order to achieve high software quality, it is indispensable to keep as many of the intended test cases for regression tests as possible up to date in order to achieve high test coverage on the one hand and to quickly detect side effects of programme or object changes on the other. The IT consultant used the example of a current PTA project to show which methods have proven themselves in practice.

Virtual café lounge and Tuscan delights

As always, the organisers attached great importance to the social component, which is why the virtual supporting programme of the 2021 PTA Summer Seminar was again accompanied by coffee and lounge sessions. Since the final get-together, which participants usually celebrate over a meal together, was unfortunately cancelled again this year, the management had a special treat in store: a gift basket full of Tuscan delicacies for all colleagues. Everybody agreed: face-to-face events may be cancelled, but the culinary delights never are.

Outlook of the management concluded the seminar

At the end of the virtual seminar series, the PTA management board around Matthias Wossidlo, Dr. Tim Walleyo, Dennis Haßlöcher, Tim Köhler, Kerstin Frey and Robert Fischer gave, as always, a detailed overview of the current state of the entire PTA group. Special attention was paid to the topic of sustainability and the announcement that the entire PTA Group would like to operate in a CO2-neutral manner by 2025. Only recently, the group of companies realised a tree donation with the Bergwaldprojekt e.V. and is reforesting a 4000 square metre native forest area.