'If you’ve got good ideas, you can do what you like here'

Marco Kerstens -
IT Engineer

More than just work

‘When I started work at NN, I gradually realised that I could talk to my colleagues about much more than just work. I could talk to them about my hobbies, which include the fantasy genre of books, films and games, such as The Lord of the Rings and The Witcher. I love seeing how people can invent other worlds. I also enjoy games. I’m pretty competitive and also take part in tournaments. When you bring this into the conversation, you discover funnily enough that there are lots of other colleagues who enjoy the fantasy genre and games.’

Working with the latest technology

‘I started in IT straight after secondary school. I learnt the basics and how to programme at an IT company. I then joined NN, where I’ve been for around twelve years now. I started out testing applications, but I quickly got to develop and manage them in a cloud environment. To do this, I learnt to use .NET Core, a framework for seamless cooperation between applications. The great thing about a cloud environment is that you can work with the latest technology and can call up resources really quickly.’

Fascinating balance between technology and user

‘I now work centrally for NN Group as a Product Owner of the AWS and Azure cloud services. One of my roles is to help set up these platforms so that the NN teams can use cloud computing as efficiently and effectively as possible. In addition to the technological challenge, it’s also crucial for me to talk to the internal users to identify their questions and requirements. I find the balance between technology and the user fascinating.’

‘We’re currently working on expanding our capacity. A cloud environment is made up of various accounts. NN has around 500 of them, which is much more than we had initially expected. We noticed that the technology had started to show signs of wear and tear, which is why we’re currently taking a look under the bonnet. We hope that new insights will enable us to expand to just over 2,000 accounts in the future.’

Impact of the coronavirus crisis

‘And talking of expansion, at NN we all had to suddenly start working from home in large numbers in March. That was an interesting turn of events. Our working from home facility was set up to cope with around 500 employees. This suddenly increased to around 5,000 employees. We put our collective shoulders to the wheel to ensure that all our colleagues could work in the cloud with the best connections within a couple of weeks.’
‘Unfortunately, the coronavirus crisis also means that we don’t see one another face to face as often. I had to get used to the silence around me. You don’t get to hear any interesting conversations between two techies. And you can’t just pop along to a colleague to ask a question any more. But fortunately, we haven’t forgotten the social aspects. For example we play games once a week with our team. It’s so nice to see each other in a different setting.’

Gaming with my manager

‘My manager’s into games too, so it’s great to be able to play against him in the evenings every now and then, just people together. And that’s exactly what makes NN the company it is: you don’t have to pretend to be somebody else here. And if I also get all the space and freedom I need to implement my ideas and set up cloud services in this inspiring company, I’ll be very happy.’


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