Sjouke van Houten - Software Development
Episode 1: From studying history to building Java codes – Sjouke van Houten
For the first episode of the HonesTea Podcast, we welcome Sjouke van Houten. He is a Java Developer and has worked at Cost Engineering for over 5 years enhancing our software Cleopatra Enterprise. His love for coding & Java started after his university years as a History student when he was handed a book by his brother about learning Python. He then decided to switch his field and join our Software team. Discover his story and what it is like to work in our Software department by listening to the episode.
Transcript Text from our Sneak Peak
Bram Rouppe (B.R.): Hello everyone and welcome to The HonesTea Podcast. In each episode, we dive into what it’s like to work at Cost Engineering by having an honest conversation with our colleagues. My name is Bram, Corporate Recruiter, at Cost Engineering and today I’m joined by Sjouke. What have you been working on and with what technologies, for instance, are you working?
Sjouke van Houten (S.H.): Well, lots of stuff. If I think back, well everything we do here is Java.
We have a bit of Java script. Our mobile guys, they do their own thing. But we who work on our main program and all our backend stuff, it’s Java all the way.
Our main product is Cleopatra, that is a giant software suite.
S.H.: It’s growing bigger every year and almost all the work we do involves that somehow.
B.R.: Yeah. And so what are the like, what do you feel are the main challenges in your job itself? Like what do you do on a daily basis? What’s the main challenge you face?
S.H.: Several. One of them and the one I actually enjoy the most is translating business requirements that we get from our cost engineers and clients into something that can actually be done in software.
B.R.: Yeah, the specs.
S.H.: The specs, yes. And then also, how do you implement them? No matter what you do, no matter how good your specs are, the moments you start implementing it, you discover there are things you didn’t think of.
You discover there are problems, and then you have to solve them. And that is the dialogue that you then have to have between the software developers, between the business analysts, the people who actually use it.
And yeah, you never know which problems that you are going to get and it always requires a creative thinking to solve.
And I really enjoy that part, especially when you manage to do something, and it really solved a problem. It really makes things work.
S.H.: Code reviews are another thing we take very seriously here. We spend a lot of time reading each other’s code and making sure everything is up to standard. I’ve seen the quality improve a lot.
B.R.: It’s key right? Quality.
S.H.: Generally, inside the office, the teams are pretty tightly knit. We try to work together, but also talk to the people who are currently working on other projects. We try to do some activities with our colleagues outside of work. Also, we have bi-weekly game nights.
B.R.: Game nights. Is it like gaming gaming? Or like board gaming, gaming?
S.H.: Board gaming-
B.R.: Board gaming.
S.H.: Is the only gaming.
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