MATSE (Mathematical Technical Software Engineer) apprentices are independently developing an innovative freight exchange with blockchain technology.
This year, INFORM has continued its concept of practical and project-oriented training. This concept includes the involvement of trainees in the work on current customer projects. In addition, once a year, INFORM offers the apprentices the opportunity to independently manage a project over the period of three months and to develop a suitable product as a team. Experienced software developers and consultants from INFORM have undertaken the role of a fictitious customer. This year, the apprentices specializing in Mathematical Technical Software Engineering have developed an innovative freight exchange platform. It offers a common stage for freight carriers and shippers in transport logistics, on which transport orders are assigned, processed and charged automatically.
Modern technologies are used as a component for each project. For this project, blockchain technology was used. The technology is utilized in online payment transactions as a basis for cryptocurrencies such as bitcoins. For the development of the freight exchange, the apprentices used the blockchain technology to program the automated payment between carrier and shipper.
“Our apprentices, and we as a company, equally benefit from our strategy of practical and project-oriented training,” says Dr. Leonie Petry, Head of Human Resources and Organization Development at INFORM. “From the start of their training, our apprentices obtain relevant experience in project work as well as in mastering modern technologies. It is important to us, that from the beginning, they can play a part in customer-oriented projects that add direct value. Furthermore, in certain projects, they learn how to interact with customers and their wishes and how to develop creative and practical solutions for the customer as a team. This way, at the end of their training, our apprentices are very familiar with the challenges of our daily work. That is why we strive to offer them a vocational future after their training period. Around 96 percent of all our apprentices have stayed with our company after their training.”
Five apprentices worked together on the development of the freight exchange platform. “The complete project ran like a real customer project. We received a corresponding order for the development of a freight exchange from our instructors, who acted as fictional customers. The freight exchange should contain an automated payment processing system,” Alexander Kurtz explains, MATSE apprentice at INFORM. “In particular, we have intensively dealt with the blockchain technology for this project.” Afterwards, the apprentices started the development work together and presented their progress and ideas at regular intervals. After three months, they were able to deliver the finished freight exchange platform to their “customers”. “Our freight exchange serves as a platform that can be equally accessed by forwarders and shippers. To carry out a transport, a user needs to first set up an order with details regarding the start, destination, payment, type of products and delivery date. This order is then visible to all platform users, so they can apply for it. The customer then assigns the transport contract to one of the applicants, who will carry out the order. When delivering the goods to the destination, a QR code must be scanned. Then, the system automatically processes the payment via an internal currency,” Kurtz explains further. Currently, the freight exchange is still a model project. But according to Kurtz, “There is definitely interest in this software from customers. Therefore, our development work could be the basis or a prototype for a real customer project in the future.”