My first big project for Sytac was at Greenwheels, which is the largest car-sharing company in the Netherlands and Germany and a subsidiary of Volkswagen. They had an outdated website at the time, and I modernized it by creating a new architecture, mostly using React. The new architecture included a one-page-application, a lot of animations and a more secure login feature. My team existed of two Java backend-developers (one of them was from Sytac as well), one other React-developer and a scrum-master.
This was a fun project to do, because it was challenging. Writing code is cool, but I like to do more than that, like creating an architecture. This way, I’m actually learning new stuff. Within my field of expertise and experience, I like to discover new things. Take blockchain and smart contracts for example. I read a lot about it, because I’m really interested in these kind of innovations. So because of this, I’m familiar with the theory on these topics, and asked Sytac to look for an opportunity to put this knowledge into practice.
In 2017, I got the opportunity to apply this at ABN AMRO. The project involved both blockchain and smart contracts. We built an application in collaboration with ING and Societe Generale that automatically matches and approves a variety of documents such as certificates and bills of lading. These documents used to be approved by manually, which took a lot of time. We built the possibility for digital signatures based on blockchain, solidity for smart contracts and react for a one-page-application.
This was a really cool project, especially because my role wasn’t just technical, but also communicational. Because this is such a new field, I was involved in a lot of meetings with non-technical people, to explain what we were doing and why we were doing it.
Sytac gave me this opportunity because they want their developers to stay on top of new technologies, which is something I really appreciate. I also can choose and frequently upgrade my laptop and we always aim to work with the newest versions of all languages. Not having to work with outdated soft- or hardware is a really big advantage of working here.
I’m also pretty active within the Sytac-community, which is something I really enjoy. I don’t just enjoy the social events, like our yearly skiing-trip, but also the professional ones. Since last year, I’ve been organizing DevJams, which are meetups where we give readings to share our knowledge with everyone who is interested. I give readings on topics like working with a certain language, like React. This year, I’ve been doing a lot for the sLabs as well. During these sLabs, our employees get the chance to gain and share knowledge through workshops. In my case, I give workshops on innovative topics like blockchain and smart contracts.
I try to help others where I can. For example, we encourage all of our employees to speak at DevJams, because being a good communicator is highly valued at Sytac. If someone isn’t feeling secure about speaking in public, they can rehearse their speech on me, so I can give them some tips and tricks!