In 2014, I got my master’s in psychology. After an internship in the mental health sector, I discovered that I wanted to do more with IT. It had always been a hobby of mine and that was my passion, so I changed direction. After a traineeship with an IT consultant, I started at NN when I was 23. It was a good match from the outset. I was able to start on the technology side of things straight away.
Two years ago, I started at Nationale-Nederlanden Bank on the migration of applications to the cloud. It was highly technical work, which I really enjoyed. We began with nothing. This gave us the opportunity to build up how we worked in the cloud from scratch, such as developing middleware, the software that controls the exchange of information between the customer and the business or programming a CI/CD pipeline. After that, I worked on setting up the cloud platform company-wide with a central platform team.
I’m currently working on making the bank’s process chain fully API-based. The chain is made up of different applications, such as portals and back end systems. API stands for Application Programming Interface, a collection of definitions that enables computer programmes to interface efficiently and to communicate with one another. Based on innovative cloud technology, I and a couple of engineers are building cloud-ready and serverless APIs. We’re carrying out a proof of value and are showing the management how the chain can operate much more efficiently. Of course, we’re testing the systems and ensuring that they’re watertight.
What we’re doing here at the bank can also be rolled out across the business: ensuring that obsolete applications are modernised, that new technologies are implemented, and that NN Group accesses the cloud quickly and safely. Yes, there’s plenty of scope for innovation here.
I learn a lot in my work and it’s incredibly diverse. Sometimes I work with a partner or I help other teams. At other times, I spend the whole day coding or visit my internal customers if they have problems with applications I’ve built. It’s inspiring to see that what I program directly shapes NN as a business. Added to this, from a technical perspective, I get huge satisfaction. I need technology to enjoy my work. Working in self-managing teams – often with young, creative engineers who flourish in a relaxed environment – is very stimulating. Finally, it’s completely up to me how I manage my work and when and where I work: here, from home, or even while I’m on holiday. The combination of teamwork and freedom is the formula for success.
Gijs van Renswoude
IT Engineer NN Group