Although I studied business administration, I’ve also always been interested in IT. I joined Nationale-Nederlanden via an external IT agency. I quickly realised that the company was a good fit for me. Here, you can work with innovative technologies, which not only makes the work challenging, but also really enjoyable.
I’ve now got a permanent job as a DevOps Engineer Data & Analytics. I’m developing applications and databases in the cloud that teams can use for their data analyses. The role of DevOps Engineer, which merges two tasks from the “old” IT world, is relatively new. Previously, development and management were separate areas, but this wasn’t an efficient way of working and led to lots of miscommunication. By bringing these two worlds together in one team there’s a feedback loop so that problems or time-consuming work in the operation can be quickly identified and tackled. To enable this to happen, the widespread automation of processes is necessary of course. This offers an additional opportunity to excel as a team.
There are five people in our multidisciplinary scrum team working in sprints of two weeks. I really like this agile approach because we can work autonomously and quickly. I usually start work really early in the morning, at 07:00, which gives me time to finish things off before the daily stand-up meeting starts. At these meetings, we discuss the state of play. My work in the scrum team is very varied: from designing applications to infrastructure, or programming them in languages such as PowerShell and Python, to implementing and managing the applications.
At Nationale-Nederlanden there are various teams working on Machine Learning models to predict future customer behaviour. To do this, you often have to trawl through lots of historical data. It’s not much fun for data scientists to have to continuously wait on their laptops to see a result. That’s why I recently implemented a process that can implement virtual machines in an automated way in the cloud. It was a great task. When you log in on this virtual machine, you get access to a strong, scalable computer on your laptop, giving you enough capacity to analyse all data.
I really enjoy working at Nationale-Nederlanden. The work is very complex and you need a lot of expertise, which really calls for an insight. Our team is very ambitious. What also makes the work so interesting here is that you get to influence what you and your team do. For example, I wanted to focus on the technical side of IT and I got to do that. This is basically how I created my own job. Added to this, the culture is informal and there’s lots of scope for personal development, which suits the drive I have in my job. I’m learning so much here that I sometimes get disappointed when it gets to 18:00. Fortunately, we’re free to choose our working hours so that isn’t a problem. I enjoy what I do at Nationale-Nederlanden so much that you could say that I’ve made a hobby out of my work.
Willem Jan Noort
DevOps Engineer Data & Analytics, Nationale-Nederlanden Customer & Commerce