Résumé of Michiel Overtoom • 5 Feb 2012
This is my résumé in English. There is also a Dutch version.
Since 2007 I am employed by Learnit in the Dutch city of Groningen, and I also take on smaller projects as a freelance worker. Before I took the job at Learnit, I worked as a freelancer and was engaged by various companies, alternated by periods in which I was permanently employed. See the chronological overview.
My tasks mainly include designing, programming, and maintaining software. This also entails paying attention to systems and infrastructure integration. In my job at Learnit (an education company with approximately 30 employees) I work on software that is used to support the daily business processes, such as the planning database and the GUI for this database, the company websites, and the connections between the various systems.
Narrow and wide
The IT field of activity is very extensive. Software development has always been my primary target. Because of this, it was necessary to become a specialist, up to a certain degree. But this is not a bad thing; it can be very useful and interesting to acquire more profound knowledge of a specific field. And it is not really difficult: if you possess a certain mindset as a programmer, you will be able to pick up new techniques quite easily. This goes for various programming languages, API's, and software architectures. Another advantage is, that you can use the knowledge you have acquired in other disciplines.
Apart from specialization, I think it important to develop my knowledge in a broader sense. That is why I have engaged (and still engage) in activities concerning various related fields of work, such as: hardware control, building computer networks and infrastructure, web design and web applications, developing software systems, embedded software, operating systems.
I find it important for my products to be easy to use, and to be of service to software users. For instance, regarding GUI's the main concern should be that the users can execute their daily tasks as smoothly as possible, without the program being a hindrance. The users should not be bothered by small glitches in the software, caused by the programmer's laziness, or by a blatant design that is hurtful to the eyes, in the long run.
I was born in the mid-sixties and got in touch with software programming at an early age. It became my hobby, along with the field of electronics. I was very keen to get to know exactly how things worked and what was happening, even up to the level of the silicon. In those days I spent more time reading datasheets and computer manuals than I did reading comics.
During my whole career in secondary school (VWO-B) I have been able to follow the development of the microcomputer. As far as that goes, I grew up in a very interesting era. It was the period in which the 'computing power' migrated from the centralized mainframes to various decentralized systems.
Due to my innate interest I became acquainted with all sorts of programming languages and fields of application for computers; I absorbed a lot of knowledge regarding the subjects that interested me the most. At the time, the topics were C, data communication, audiovisual applications, and relational databases, first on C/PM and later on MSDOS. Some years later, C++, Unix, and Windows were added. And after a while I also acquired knowledge of the Internet, the WWW, and programming languages such as Java, Java script, PHP, and Python.
When I was twenty years old I managed to get a job as a software developer, and since this line of work has never ceased to interest me I am currently still active as a developer.
At the moment I live in the city of Groningen and I don't much like to be stuck in traffic. That is exactly why I got rid of my car. Due to the infinite possibilities of the Internet I can do my job from practically any location in the world.