As scientists predict a wetter, stormier future for much of the planet, the Dutch have become a nationwide consulting company, fanning across the world to talk about water.
I’m reasonably well-known as a Python developer (and zope/plone/django). So what am I doing here in a water company? Nelen & Schuurmans is one of those water consultancy companies mentioned in the article. The reason for my presence is also right there in the article:
“The Netherlands is very conservative. We think we can solve everything with a bit of sand,” says Jan-Maarten Verbree, who heads IT at Nelen & Schuurmans, the water-focused consultancy behind 3Di. “But we say that with a bit of IT, you can increase safety even more.”
IT and consultancy go hand-in-hand for us. Which gives nice results as the company is really smart: almost everyone has a university degree (with a couple of PhDs thrown in). Trying novel approaches. Combining ideas. Combining fields of work. Combining fields of experience.
Personally, I’ve got this combination right here inside myself. I’m a Python developer. And by education I’m a civil engineer. Two side notes:
I did do every IT-related course inside the study that I could. And my graduation subject and PhD was a combination of IT and civil engineering.
The most directly applicable course related to my current work would be the standard second year water hydraulics course. Which was the absolutely dead last course I did, just a few weeks before graduating :-)
So by education and experience (and importantly: interest!) I fit right in. There’s a lot of freedom that I also enjoy a lot. And we’re profitable, which is quite a feat in the current marketplace (and quite good for not worrying). A funny quote in the article points at one of the reasons for the profitability: we don’t spend a lot of money on unnecessarily decorative offices.
In the Nelen & Schuurmans lab, a Spartan collection of desks located in a house in the medieval heart of Utrecht, …
We are however dead smack right in the center of Utrecht, which is a lovely place to have an office!
Note: as I’m spending quite some time muttering right now (over a technical decision), truthfulness forces me to say that not everything is roses and sunshine. But that’s something for a separate entry (probably on how I try to deal with it, I do have to re-gain my positive energy).
My name is Reinout van Rees and I work a lot with Python (programming language) and Django (website framework). I live in The Netherlands and I'm happily married to Annie van Rees-Kooiman.
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