Meet our colleague, Anton Van Avermaet

Why do our people love working at LoQutus? We asked them, turned their answers into values, published these on our website and hung them on our office walls. But they all have their own personal reasons why they started at LoQutus and why they stay. Here’s a chance to get to know our people, the beating heart of our organization. 

I started at LoQutus in October 2018, thanks to the following two deciding factors: Integration (more on this later) and the approach of LoQutus’ inhouse recruiter.

There is certainly no shortage of job offers in the IT sector and I had already received a few concrete proposals. So, I wasn’t eager to start yet another interview process spread over several weeks… But when I told Vicky, LoQutus’ recruiter, she answered ‘I  understand… So let’s talk now then!’. She made this so much easier by setting up a telephone conversation immediately, a face-to-face interview with the possible Team Coach the next day and a talk with the CEO after the weekend. By Tuesday morning (after only four days in total), I received the job offer in my mailbox and one week later, I could start my journey at LoQutus.

So why integration? It’s the necessary ‘evil’ for applications to communicate. Often an inhibiting factor for the business and seen as boring. But you can also see it as a possible reflection of your company’s business. A good and beautifully integrated application landscape shows what a company is doing and how it generates success. Integration has an undeniable impact.

The application landscape and its management are leaning more and more towards a logical architecture, reflecting the business of a company. To set up only one integration flow, you must at least know what component A functionally needs from component B and how they fit in the landscape. Then you determine how and with which technology you will achieve this by consulting people, by analysing how you can apply patterns and by comparing technologies.

In reality, multiple integration flows are involved, thus requiring a strategy. An architecture is being set up, in which the various integrations are accommodated. Ultimately it comes down to a compromise, so you can introduce a solution that meets all parties’ various requirements as effectively as possible. One that uses the most suitable technology at hand and that is not just going to introduce something new. You want a company to evolve, so you need to choose a strategy. The integration projects that follow, will continue to elaborate and grow this strategy. A long-term vision instead of twenty separate ‘revolutions’ (= ‘custom’ projects and ‘custom’ integrations).

And as I am quite eager for project work and -management, LoQutus is a good fit for me. I love exploring and stepping out of my ‘comfort zone’, not fully knowing how to solve a problem, but having an idea to start from, a direction to look at and various options to choose from in order to move forward. I love learning on the job while having an impact on a project and making a difference for an organisation.

In addition, I have been a group leader of a scoutsgroup for five years. And, although you may be surprised when quoting this as a reference, the similarities are undeniable. Youth work is quite similar to project work, as no day or no endeavour is business ‘as usual’. You work closely together with a group of volunteers with different backgrounds, different visions and competences, a fixed (to small) budget and a whole lot of deadlines. Afterwards, you evaluate what went well, what did not and what to change next time. A (sometimes hard) learning school like no other. And that is exactly what I look for in a job as well. Freedom, responsibility, the ability to build up extensive knowledge, challenges, variety, …

A day in the life at LoQutus…

The first day at LoQutus, I was immediately introduced to my new colleagues (the obligatory handshakes and all, you know 😉). The first week I got a number of fixed onboarding sessions, and I was ready to start my first project. Not a fulltime project but an ideal starter where I quickly gained a lot of freedom and insights. In the end, I was able to facilitate steering committees, supervise tests, frame the analysis and impact of changes, … A bit of everything. By doing so, I got to know the entire team and felt right at home. The tasks and responsibilities I received then, have now translated into different roles within other projects.

Every day is different and depends on the running projects. Now I spend two days a week working for and at a customer, two days working from our office in Ghent for other customers and a fifth day that varies weekly. Sometimes I work in Brussels, other days I even get the chance to go to the Netherlands. You have quite a say in your projects and you can consult your team coach or project manager if you’d like a change. Where and when possible, the organisation will try to fit your ambitions and preferences. I have explicitly opted for different projects and not one fulltime, both have pro’s and cons, so this is a personal choice. My job today varies between analysis, project management, architecture and a bit of development, depending on the projects and its needs. I believe this variety in projects and tasks allows me to grow in different areas and to develop my knowledge and skills.

I’ve been working here for a year now and I’ve already learned a lot during the projects on the job, but also from my colleagues. There’s different centres of expertise in the organisation to learn from and people from various teams (with each different backgrounds, education, interests and focus) can work as one team if needed for a specific project. Everyone is open for questions and support towards colleagues and always open for a chat and a laugh in the kitchen (where you can often find sweets, fruit and chocolate and a refrigerator full of drinks 😉), it’s a great gang all together! Obviously there are also improvement areas in this organisation (tell me where there are none?), but there’s always room to address and discuss these.

I have been working for LoQutus for a year now. I have ambitions of how and where I want to evolve in the future. As I said before, I love project management and keeping an overview of various things. I want to have enough technical knowledge and empathy to be able to ask specific questions and contribute to the solutions. I want to be able to understand and foresee risks of more technical issues are instead of only being the person who can always work out the detailed solutions. And I see possibilities here at LoQutus to do so. I enjoy working here and look forward to see how the organisation keeps evolving with me along its side. And in the long run, who knows where my path leads me…