News January 03, 2019

Thomas Smolders

Resident Writer

We are really happy to welcome Maikel Degrande in our team. He has two years of working experience and will join team Redshift as Android Developer.


Why are you motivated to join the In The Pocket team?

I believe I haven't reached my full potential yet, I'm still eager to learn. What better way to do that than in a professional environment with loads of experience to soak up? An oasis of knowledge where people can learn from each other and thrive, but also share a drink and a laugh. What's not to love. I want to be proud of what I do, but mostly and above all else, I want to enjoy what I do.

Why did you make the choice to become a developer?

After high school I didn't really know what I wanted to do (go figure). I spend some time researching, went to some events, visited some college info sessions, asked some friends, ... You know, the usual stuff. I eventually found something that seemed rather interesting at HoGent, Computer Science (mind you I was still living in Bruges at the time). This looked like something that might enthuse me, I knew my way around computers and it didn't hurt that there was job security (Read: I like computers and played it safe). So, I enrolled at HoGent. Now here's the kicker, in all my searching I never once realized I could've gotten the same degree not 10 minutes from my door, in Howest (that's the story of how I later got my second degree, by the way).

That's how I became a developer, pretty standard stuff, nothing crazy about a role model or anything. Now on to the slightly less boring part, why am I doing this? Remember when I told you I was 'rather interested' in Computer Science? Well it turns out I was in for a surprise (a good one, mind you). I absolutely loved it! I spend many an hour coding at home, writing all different kinds of programs, fiddling with whatever information I had available. I enjoyed it, it didn't at all feel like an obligation. I was teaching myself, learning more and more along the way. Now don't get me wrong, it wasn't all rainbows and butterflies. It was difficult at times, and there were several courses that I just didn't care for (mostly because I felt like they had nothing to do with programming), but I loved writing code. Starting from a concept and letting your mind put the puzzle together, create something from nothing. It gives you a sense of satisfaction, fulfillment and reward. There's nothing like it.

I remember when we used to get assignments in class, we got some Unit tests and just had to make them pass. This was always at the end of class and we either had to finish them at home or could leave early when we finished them in class. It was fun, a challenge. I like a good challenge, keeps me sharp. Me and my friends used to race each other to see who would finish the assignment first. We almost always got everything done before the end of class. Even better was that this class used to be right before lunch break. We could, in all peace and quiet, make our way to the cafeteria, order lunch first in line and sit down at any table we liked. Most of my friends were always either already sitting at the table or came shortly after, before the big masses. This stuck with me simply because of how much I enjoyed those moments. Writing this hit me with a wave of nostalgia, brings back the memories and feelings from some time ago. When you ask me why I'm (still) doing this, I could really just say "I love it".

Things we all wanna know about Maikel

  • 🐱 or 🐶 person? Love 'em both. Ye be warned who brings a dog or cat into my vicinity. Petting is inevitable!
  • Favorite ⚽ team? I'm not that into (watching) soccer, but social convention compels me to say Club Brugge.
  • Pizza Hawaï or not to Pizza Hawaï? Indifferent. Don't hate it, don't love it. I rarely ever order it, but I won't decline it if offered.
  • Hobbies or passions you would like to share? Nothing out of the ordinary. I enjoy a good movie just as much as the next guy. I like sports, going to the gym, obstacle runs, ... Just about any form of physical activity.

Come work at In The Pocket!

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