Mapping out your own career path
After graduating, Ramons started as a junior software engineer at Fourtress, an Eindhoven-based company with about 50 employees that makes software for innovative technology in technical automation and embedded software. From that moment on, he has taken great next steps at a constant pace.
Ramon: "At Fourtress, employees are encouraged to take career steps that really suit them. I indicated to my field manager at the time that I would like to go into project management. In recent years, I have been given a more team lead-like role within projects, where in addition to programming, I also do things like customer communication, documentation and requirements. That fits in nicely with my ambition."
"At Fourtress, employees are encouraged to take career steps that really suit them"
So Ramon came in as a graduating student. It was therefore a great milestone for him when, after a while, he started supervising graduates himself. "You see them making the same mistakes as I did back then. You can help them with that. It's a lot of fun to do."
What helps Ramon to continue to grow is that Fourtress has a strong focus on the continuous development of employees. "A lot of individual training and courses are offered as standard. If several people want a specific training, Fourtress will arrange that as well. For example, we have had training courses on requirements and the role of scrum master. In addition, we receive a lot of soft skill training."
Within Fourtress there are four 'software guilds', which were set up by Ramon and a few other colleagues. The members of the individual guilds all work within the same domain, but have different functions and expertise. "As a guild we exchange a lot of knowledge and news with each other. This allows us to sharpen our skills and improve the quality of the software. We also regularly give a presentation from the guilds during a project and pizza evening." These take place twice a year and are now famous within Fourtress. "On a weekday evening, we order pizzas and give some technical presentations. Very educational and fun at the same time."
Conviviality inside and outside working hours
Ramon has a lot of fun with his colleagues, sometimes outside working hours. "There is a lot of informal contact between colleagues. For example, we have the necessary team outings, a summer event, a Christmas dinner and on Friday afternoon we often have drink together with a number of colleagues."
"We also see each other from time to time outside working hours. For example, we recently visited a colleague who became a father. I also organized a barbecue at my home. That's an unwritten rule: if you buy a house, you organize a barbecue."
According to Ramon, there is such a thing as 'a real Fourtresser'. "This is someone who is not only technically skilled and eager to learn, but also someone to have a beer with at the bar. When hiring interns and employees, we look at whether people possess this Fourtress DNA."
A wide variety of projects
According to Ramon, the type of projects that employees receive vary widely. "For example, I have developed software for the agricultural sector, but I also helped build an app that allows cyclists to wirelessly control their tire pressure. I think that's one of the best things about this job: develop software in a sector where you don't expect it so quickly."