Arend van Putten

Job satisfaction is important, and that’s what I’ve found at ICT Group

  • 19 April 2017
  • 5 min

Arend van Putten has been working at ICT Group as a software architect in the healthcare industry since 2015. Why did he choose this company? What is it that makes his profession so appealing? And what are his dreams for the future?

Meaningful work

Arend has been working for technology companies operating in the healthcare industry since he graduated from Twente University: having begun his career at GE Healthcare, he went on to work for radiotherapy equipment manufacturer Elekta before joining ICT Group. “During my studies I completed two traineeships at the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam. While I was there, I helped develop diagnostic software that speeds up the process of detecting brain tumors. The fact that I was involved in developing software that one day might contribute to saving lives meant a great deal to me. It really made me want to give it my all, and that’s why I decided to look for work in the medical industry after completing my studies.”

He turned out to be lucky, finding work as a software developer at GE Healthcare, where he worked in a team of experienced and highly motivated senior developers. “I learned so much from them in various areas: How to deal with quality issues, application life cycle management, customer requirements, and so on and so forth. Traceability and in-depth testing of software are very important in the healthcare industry. When you become part of a highly experienced team in your first job out of college, quality consciousness kind of becomes your second nature.”

From team member to front man

After seven years, Arend made the move to Elekta, where quality assurance processes had not yet reached the same level of sophistication than at GE. His knowhow and experience allowed him to truly contribute to the team effort, while he also learned what it means to be the front man rather than one of the links in the chain of an experienced team. This experience turned out to be very useful in his current role as a software architect at ICT Group. “I immediately felt at home in this company, right from the very first meeting,” is how Arend describes his move. “They are working for customers in the healthcare industry, they’re involved in interesting projects, and they offered me the opportunity to prove myself as a software architect. My ambition for the future is to become a CTO, and this is a good step in the right direction.”

Developing new architecture

He is currently on his second contract job. “I had to develop a new architecture for both projects. It is extremely demanding, and not only from the perspective of the software. You also have to ensure that the team becomes familiar with the new technology, that they feel challenged, and that they enjoy learning new skills. You need to give people the freedom to make mistakes without being penalized, because it allows them to learn. In that sense, I could build on my experience at GE Healthcare, and create an atmosphere that’s conducive to learning as a team.”

Arend’s current role extends into the political arena as well. “If you develop medical software, you are required to define and follow a process. Existing processes are not always as efficient and flexible, what makes it inevitable to suggest your changes. And once you get involved in processes, politics automatically becomes part of the game. The fact that everyone has an opinion about everything can be challenging, but at the same time it’s very interesting and you learn to see things from a different perspective.”

ICT Group knows what motivates people

Arend’s current position calls for more ‘soft’ skills than was the case in his previous roles. That turns off a lot of techie guys, but Arend has welcomed this part of the job. “Software is predictable while people are changeable. I like the challenge of discovering how to motivate people. I read a lot about these subjects, and I do my own research. I found the video ‘What motivates us’ extremely inspiring (Google this title and you’ll find it straight away). It turns out that knowledge workers who really need to tap into their creativity in the workplace are driven by three things: they want to determine themselves how they do their work, they want to get better at their job, and they have a yearning for meaning and fulfillment. If you coach your teams based on these three values, they will automatically perform better, and they will enjoy their work more.”

"That’s one aspect of the job I really love: it just goes to show that our work really matters. And it’s what puts a big smile on my face when I go to work every morning.”

Arend’s approach to motivating his client’s team is the same as the approach used by ICT Automatisering. “That’s why I feel so much at home in this company. I can choose the types of projects I want to be involved in. I prefer projects that allow me to increase my professional level, but that also give me the opportunity to learn new things. My business unit only works for the healthcare industry. The software we develop facilitates more efficient processes and more effective decision-making. For instance, faster diagnoses or better treatment plans. That’s one aspect of the job I really love: it just goes to show that our work really matters. And it’s what puts a big smile on my face when I go to work every morning.”

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