How did you start your career?
I studied Computer Science in Dublin and landed my first front-end internship at SAP. I was working there with a confident designer who got me interested in the small details of a good looking product. After the internship, I joined Deloitte in the Netherlands as a Full Stack Developer. After the next company I worked for, Docler Holdings, closed their office in Amsterdam, I decided to travel for six months, and move to Berlin eventually.
Why did you join Next Matter?
I got very interested in Next Matter after my first call with Isabel from ACELR8. She told me about the founder who was coding and set up the initial product — all by himself. Someone so passionate about an idea is somebody that I would love to work for. I thought that he could help me grow personally, and I could learn the business side from him. I am interested in coding, design, and business — three aspects I need for founding my own startup one day.
Interviews with Jan himself have proven what I have heard from Isabel — he is calm, smart, and assertive in what he does. His strong vision will make Next Matter’s platform big.
Have your expectations been met?
In terms of my own growth, definitely. In terms of being able to see how Jan operates on a daily basis — yes! In terms of my expectations on the product being developed by a non-coder, it actually exceeded my expectations. The codebase was better than I thought. Maybe not perfect, but it was a good foundation to work with. That is what I am doing now — making it better, gathering best practices, and digging deeper to, in the end, meet the industry’s standards.
What challenges do you face at Next Matter?
There is so much to do and so little time — I only have two hands, and I am very busy. The nice part is that people are very collaborative and open to listen to new ideas. If you compare this to big corporates, where it’s hard to change things and get your ideas trough, Next Matter is the opposite. The team is impressed by all of the things I do and gives me credit for it.
How do you prioritise what needs to be done?
I’m splitting the time between cleanup (30%) and adding new features (70%). I have a big list of improvements, and all of them will make our work better in the end. Since my second week inside the company, I started making changes without asking, as I would rather do it and then ask for forgiveness later on.
Which book has influenced your career?
I have read so many books and then forget about them, mostly non-fiction. However, I read biographies of successful people, such as Steve Jobs and the founder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman. Basically, all books say the same, that you should continuously try to improve your life by learning — inside of a company, but also as an individual.
What is your work playlist?
I listen to techno a lot, including artists like Paul Kalkbrenner. I try to listen to hard techno when I do easy tasks, such as making fixes to CSS. When tasks are more complicated, I listen to lighter techno.
What kind of advice would you give to a jobseeker?
It would be a piece of advice that I did not follow myself — you should always share your personal projects publicly, as that’s what recruiters are looking for. I have always worked on personal projects, but never published the code — it’s all still stuck on my computer. That’s a bad move, as Github is a great place for finding a new job. Mine is not very impressive at the moment, so if people want to see what I’m doing, they should check my LinkedIn.
Currently, I don’t work on any personal projects, as I try to invest all my time into Next Matter. I have so much fun working on it, so it does not feel like work, but something I want to explore and contribute to.