‘My work and my hobby are intertwined. I love writing tech blogs for my website ‘In The Cloud 24/7’ in my spare time. I created the website around four years ago and it now has more than 5,000 visitors every week. In fact, I was recently given the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award: a token of appreciation for sharing my knowledge with the worldwide Microsoft community.’

Setting up a fully digital workspace
‘My current manager, who I met on another project, asked me last year whether I’d like to come work at NN and ultimately I took the step to join. Since the summer of 2019 I’ve been working for NN Group as a DevOps Engineer at Workplace Services in the Managed and Controlled Devices team. Quite a mouthful. Our team is responsible for the entire digital workplace of all NN Group employees in the Netherlands and abroad (more than 15,000 employees in 18 countries). Our work includes setting up laptops with Microsoft systems such as Word, Excel and Outlook. It’s important work because virtually everyone at NN Group has a laptop and laptops need to work properly.’

‘One of our tasks is to ensure that all users have a VPN connection, so that they have secure access to our network from home. That’s very relevant at the moment because I absolutely expect that working from home and video conferencing are here to stay. Of course, at NN we were already working from home some of the time, but it’s very different now. Since the coronacrisis we’re now completely used to working with Microsoft Teams all day.’

Testing the latest Microsoft technology
‘As most developers, I find new tech tooling really interesting. Here, for example, we use Configuration Manager, the traditional, on-premises Microsoft solution to manage all our laptops. But things are constantly developing of course. That’s how I’m always discovering new things and how I keep my knowledge up-to-date. For example, we’re gradually working towards safely managing laptops from the cloud using Microsoft Intune. This integrates seamlessly with NN’s transition to working safely in the cloud. We also take part in the Microsoft Customer Connection Programme and we’re in close contact with Microsoft’s Product Groups. When they introduce new technologies, we get involved in previews and provide feedback.’

Self-managing teams, rapid development
‘Our teams are engaged in agile working, in two-week sprints. Based on input from the business units, as well as our own insights, we plan ahead, set priorities and everyone is assigned a task. From then onwards, you can start working independently and you’re responsible for implementing new features. As a result, you develop rapidly and NN encourages you with this. Every year you set your personal and professional development goals with your manager and you’re given the courses and training you need.’

Personal focus and recognition
‘At NN you are truly valued as a person and as an employee. At the start of the coronacrisis, when we didn’t have enough capacity for everyone to work at home with the existing VPN solution, we had a problem. We worked incredibly hard on this with our team to expand the capacity of the VPN solutions, so that everyone was able to work from home at the same time. Colleagues encouraged and supported us. This was reflected in small gestures, such as the thank-you cards we received from various business units. That’s when you realise that it’s a real team effort. I find that personal focus and recognition important. Just like the progressive approach we adopt when working with new tech products at NN. If that’s what you also enjoy, you’ll really feel at home here.’