The "Milk & Sugar" is probably the hottest electro club in in Ingolstadt. Never heard of it? No wonder, because apart from Bastian, his wife and their friends and colleagues, hardly anyone else has heard of it either. The exclusive party location is in the basement of the couple's home, but because of Corona, there hasn't been a real party there for a long time. "Things are bound to get better," Bastian is convinced. "We just need to be patient until the pandemic has lost something of its horror".
Patience and persistence are qualities that Bastian has demonstrated throughout his career. All the way to EDAG aeromotive in Ingolstadt, where the 36-year-old has been working as a software developer and virtual and augmented reality specialist since July 2019. A special branch of EDAG, which transfers innovative automotive technologies to the aerospace industry and defence technology for customers from the aerospace sector.
At EDAG aeromotive, there is no harm in being well versed in military matters. As Bastian is. For twelve years, he served as a regular soldier in the German Armed Forces, most recently as an IT project manager and administrator with the Anti-Aircraft Defence Group 26 in Husum. Twelve years? What makes a young man commit himself for such a long time?
"After leaving school at 16, I wanted to do an apprenticeship as a communication electronics technician. The armed forces offered good opportunities - provided you signed up for at least eight years," says Bastian. In order to qualify as a master technician, he then signed up for another four years. "This guaranteed a good living. Sport and fitness were also part of the professional profile. Just what I like."
The fact that Bastian still makes a fairly fit impression today is quickly explained by his need to be constantly on the move and his favourite disciplines: first and foremost football (here he was active both as a player and player/coach up to district league level), squash, table tennis and tennis. And if there wasn't a ball to play with, he also proved to be a keen and talented track and field athlete. For instance, the heptathlete recorded his personal best in the high jump at an impressive 1.83 metres.
His enthusiasm for constantly discovering and opening up new spheres also led Bastian to music. "I must admit, I surprised myself there," he comments. Although he played a little guitar and the drums at school, it wasn't something he really enjoyed. This didn't change until he and a friend became interested in synthetic music. In the meantime, re-mixing existing electro sounds, DJ-ing and constantly coming up with new original compositions have become Bastian's personal passion. So it works out well that he shares this artistic, creative streak with his girlfriend, and, working with her, brings it to perfection in the "Milk & Sugar".
"I enjoy being creative," says Bastian. "I always thought computer games were cool, but I also always wanted to know exactly what was going on under the surface." So one day he tried to recreate Minesweeper, the classic Windows game. "And, by the way, that's how I went from being a game player to a game developer," is how he describes his digital "coming of age".
When, after leaving the armed forces, he went on to study applied computer science at the Suderburg campus of the Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences in Uelzen, Lower Saxony, he would probably have driven a career counsellor to despair. Because he wanted to do everything - preferably all at once. Software developer, game developer, game designer, web developer, sound designer, graphic designer, concept developer, model maker, photographer. In the VR and AR sector, all of this seemed to come together perfectly. "This is where we program immersive experiences and a super exciting and attractive form of learning and controlling."
For this, he reads everything he can get his hands on or find on his computer about the development of games, software and virtual worlds. "Whenever possible, I watch the relevant, often very complex tutorials on various video and e-learning platforms, and similarly, like to lose myself in the technical literature," says Bastian as he pulls a thick technical book out of his rucksack. During his lunch breaks, on bus or train trips, or whenever he has a spare moment, he works his way through it, highlighting passages with his text marker. He also always has a notebook and pencil with him, so that he can jot down any ideas and observations he might have in case they might possibly lead later to visualisations that he can use in an augmented reality or film setting in a virtual reality case.
In 2016, while he was still a student, he got to know BFFT Electronics and EDAG through Xing, and was hired in Gaimersheim immediately afterwards. "I was fascinated by the company and its spirit of development." He also liked the fact that he was able to take on smaller projects with gaming integration right away, for example developing gamification setups for trade fairs.
Just as he was wondering what to do next job-wise, Bastian came across a job advertisement for a game developer at EDAG, which presented him with another alternative at EDAG aeromotive: "That's exactly what I always wanted," he said happily. From EDAG Electronics (previously BFFT) to EDAG aeromotive was not a huge step. "I found I could easily imagine developing aviation projects for and with Airbus in Manching," he says. Although he had worked in air defence - i.e. against the individual aircraft - when he was in the army, he was nevertheless very familiar with the air force and its demands on aircraft.
He is currently working in the EDAG aeromotive team on the development for Airbus of an augmented reality and large screen solution for pilots. The project is based on mixed reality technology, which positions information on special glasses, and the aim is to enable jet pilots to acquire information for controlling their aircraft faster and more intuitively. "More than that I cannot say: it's secret!"