Pascal Montag is a software architect - and has been with MB.OS, the future Mercedes-Benz operating system, since the beginning. As a team leader, he loves to empower his colleagues to excel. In his interview, he reveals why his work is as much fun as a hackathon, and what excited him about Mercedes-Benz from the start.
Pascal, what makes MB.OS so special for you?
MB.OS is so special because it brings vehicle electronics and software together in a new way. Software is becoming the main aspect in the development of our next vehicle generations. With MB.OS, we are creating a platform on which the mobility of the future will be based, with which we're changing the automotive industry for good. The opportunity to work on such a disruptive project is marvellous.
What are your tasks?
As a software architect, I co-develop a common framework for MB.OS. This involves questions such as: Which programming languages do we use? And with which interfaces do we integrate the applications from different areas into the overall system? Our development teams are based around the world, in hubs such as Seattle, Silicon Valley, Bangalore and Tel Aviv. All the threads come together at our campus in Sindelfingen. Therefore, our daily work is international as well as intercultural, and totally exciting for that reason alone.
At the same time, you are the team leader for 14 developers and SW architects. How do you work with your team?
It's important to me to give everyone in my team the opportunity to develop individually and extensively. Innovations are most likely to emerge when we have freedom of action. At MB.OS we live an agile working culture. This includes approaches such as the scrum and swarm. And of course we are always open to new tools and processes. When we work on a software prototype as a team, it often feels like a hackathon. Everyone is fully on board (laughs). There's a lot of team spirit.
And how did you come to Mercedes-Benz?
I studied computer science with a focus on mathematics at the Technical University of Ilmenau, Germany. Daimler made a presentation during an event at the university, and we got talking. That was in 2002. Software development was not an essential field in the automotive industry at that time. I was quickly fascinated by the opportunities and careers Mercedes-Benz offers. I did an internship in vehicle development in Ulm and then I wrote my master`s thesis at Mercedes-Benz. Later I joined the company as a doctorate student.
What are you most looking forward to in the coming months?
To continue to build and develop our team, so that we pick up even more speed in the development of MB.OS (laughs). And of course I'm looking forward to the point when our operating system enters its first model series. That will be exciting - like almost everything here.
With MB.OS, software will become the main aspect in the development of our next vehicle generations.
After studying computer science with a focus on mathematics at the Technical University of Ilmenau, Germany, Dr Pascal Montag (41) joined Mercedes-Benz in the Code Assessments department. Later he helped to set up a software analysis team at the development location in Bangalore, India. When he is not making sure that everything runs smoothly in the development of MB.OS, the family man likes to spend time with his wife and two sons - preferably in the mountains.