My journey started with the question of my supervisor asking me whether I would like to take part in the Expert Convention on the 18th and 19th of February. Although I was able to read a lot about it on the internet, I still could not visualize what this convention’s purpose was.
A Journey Needs to Be Planned
The planing phase begins. The Expert Convention will take place in Berlin. Now, how do I get to Berlin? I need to be there by 12 o’clock. Should I set off at night to be there on time?
While I am occupied with this thought, a colleague gets in touch with me. She is trying to get all the invited colleagues together for a flight from Frankfurt to Berlin. I hear some names that I know, and I am sure that it will definitely be exciting.
Well, the flight is booked. Departure in Frankfurt at 07:45AM and boarding at 07:15AM. Lufthansa recommends being there 30 minutes earlier. Now, how do I get to the airport? Do I drive and leave the car at the airport’s car park or do I take the train? The train is not really reliable, and I decide to take the car so the day can start smoothly.
Wait! My colleagues surely ask themselves the same questions, so I get in touch with them to give them a lift.
The Preparations Start
It is Friday afternoon and I print all the received emails so I can always check in case there are questions. The bags are packed and I am ready for the last weekend before my journey starts. I get to thinking: I do not know what will await me, seeing that there is no clear connection between me and my colleagues. Overall, though, I am in a good mood and looking forward to a trip to Berlin.
Next Stop: Berlin
03:50AM: The alarm goes off. I get dressed and head off towards Mainz to meet my colleagues. 05:15AM: Meeting the colleagues in Mainz. We drive together to the airport in Frankfurt. The three of us start talking about some exciting stuff. We arrive at the airport way too early. We sit down together and wait for the boarding. We never run out of topics to talk about, though.
07:15AM: We finally board the plane. In the meantime I asked myself whether or not I would have been faster had I taken the InterCity express.
07:45AM: We depart. Less than 45 minutes later we arrive at Berlin-Tegel, without traffic jam!
09:10AM: We take a taxi to the hotel. According to Google Maps, the route should take 40 mins. The driver makes it in 30.
I arrive at the hotel and already meet the first colleagues. The reception is well prepared and the hotel staff is in a good mood. Everything has been planned perfectly and proceeds smoothly.
The Tension Rises
The hotel room is ready. I freshen up quickly and get to the registration at the Expert Convention.
10:00AM: 2 hours left until it officially starts. We walk out of the hotel and I recognize the TV tower’s antenna. The TV tower seems to be close by. As if! It is still quite a walk away. On our way, we pass the “Hackeschen Höfen” and the market. That is nice, too.
Knowledge and Further Training- here I come
After my eight-hours journey the convention finally starts. Subsequently, the first presentations and speeches are held. Can I stay attentive and follow the talks despite incoming fatigue? Of course! The presentations are well done and exciting, so listening is not a problem.
I finally understand the whole purpose of this convention. Various exhibiting companies of testing instruments and even the FSD (the FSD process the data of manufacturers for the general inspection) are there. You can ask everything you want: What does the future look like for testing instruments? Regarding general inspection, what should we experts for vehicle inspection pay close attention to if we not only want to examine the hardware of a vehicle but also the software? Talking to known companies first-hand reveals their wishes, but also their problems like acquiring data of the vehicle manufacturer.
This helps to better understand various processes in the development.
The first day ends with a final presentation at 7:30PM after a long evening. Afterwards, me and my colleagues discuss everything over dinner.
In the second part, you will get to know everything I have learned about the future of the general inspection.