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09 December 2015Tags: Development, English

“Apekooien” at Development (10% time)

At the Development department, we create the application TOPdesk. We create new features, improve on old functionality, and do maintenance. In order to build the best possible product, developers need to be on top of their game. Learning and educating yourself is part of the job, and we provide ample opportunities for this. One example is that we encourage developers to spend 10% of their time on something that they can choose themselves, as long as it makes them or the company grow.

Because developers choose their topics themselves, they will develop in a direction that suits them and that they like. And because of that, it’s just plain fun!

How time is spent on 'apekooien'

Developers spend this time in different ways. Some use it to study for certifications such as OCP. Others follow online courses on Coursera or Stanford, on topics as diverse as functional programming, machine learning, algorithms or business strategies. Others again use the time to investigate new libraries, new programming languages such as Dart, or build tools that make their daily working lives easier.

How I spent my time

For myself, I like to use this time to create functionality for the TOPdesk application that I think is useful, but that is a bit far out and will not normally get on the agenda. The great thing is that TOPdesk is a company that appreciates initiative and new ideas, and now there are two features in TOPdesk that were created by me, with the help of some others. The first is to bookmark cards so they can be easily accessed; the second is a conversations widget that adds a Facebook-like newsfeed.

It is very rewarding to see my own ideas realized in our software, and even more rewarding to hear that customers actually use and like it! I knew already that it is often hard to get stuff working technically, and by doing this I learned that it is also hard to develop a feature from idea to part of a release. Hard, but very rewarding, and I learned a lot by doing this.


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