I'm joining a grad school for a research-oriented Masters in CS in Germany, early next year. There's a professor whose research interests me, but I certainly don't know enough currently to contribute to his group. His group regularly offers HiWi (tutor/research assistantship) positions and I'd love for a chance to work with him and get to know his research better.
Would it be okay to directly ask him what is expected from a student, to obtain a research assistant position in his group, so that I could prepare myself better? Given that I haven't even taken his classes yet (or even started school!), would this be frowned upon?
By asking him this, my intent is two-fold: (a) directly get to know the prerequisites of commencing research in his field, (b) make myself visible to him, even if it's in a cursory way - I'm assuming a lot of students would want to work with him, so I just figured networking a little early could improve my chances. Would this be okay, or am I being too eager about this? If anyone could tell me experiences specific to Germany, that'd be an added bonus (since university culture varies from country to country) - any advice would be great though!