Thys, who are you?
I am originally from the Netherlands; I was born in Opmeer, Noord-Holland. I am the middle one of three siblings, having two sisters. I currently live in Bergen, Norway, with my girlfriend and our dog, Barry.
In 2017 I moved to Drammen, Norway, to start working for Sonitor Technologies, part of which eventually evolved into Forkbeard. My other half (also Dutch) moved to Norway in 2018. When she got the opportunity to specialize in veterinary ophthalmology in Bergen, we moved there in 2019. My job at Forkbeard allowed me the flexibility to continue working remotely, and to commute to Oslo when deemed necessary.
One of my biggest hobbies is software development. As a result of this my spare-time is often spent looking in to and experimenting with, all kinds of things related to this. Even though hobby-projects in my spare-time often suffer from the interesting projects being worked on at Forkbeard.
What did you do before you started working at Forkbeard and how does this experience benefit your current role?
My very first job was pruning and cutting roses on a rose farm, at the age of 14. Thinking back at that has often helped me deal with the sometimes repetitive tasks that come with software development.
At the time I started my college education in computer science, I also started working as a software developer at a company that developed web applications. Of which most interesting a social network platform for businesses.
In the final year of my bachelor’s, I started a company together with the management from my previous job. Here we developed smart-device applications using our own hybrid app development framework.
I started working for Sonitor Technologies in 2017, where the main project we worked on eventually evolved into Forkbeard. At Forkbeard I work as part of the team, managing and contributing to, the design, development, maintenance and other aspects of the smart-device SDKs (Phone-FUEL, ForkbeardP2P, Odin and more).
The experience and knowledge gained from my previous jobs, especially from the design and development of the app development framework, has come in handy when working on this.
What drew you to Forkbeard?
A big part of what drew me to Sonitor/Forkbeard, was the exciting technology, its connection to the real world with the physics related aspect of the ultrasound positioning, and the contribution to a greater cause with its application in healthcare.
Additionally, being able to work on a combination of hardware and software alongside colleagues who have a great wealth of knowledge on a plethora of topics, and the opportunity to work in Norway were other big factors in deciding to start working for Forkbeard.
What’s the best thing about working at Forkbeard?
The omnifarious pool of knowledge, flexibility in several aspects of the job and the chance to experiment with new technologies. And of course the yearly “strate-ski” getaway where we get the chance to clear our heads during winter-activities and brainstorm on the strategy for the coming year.
What does your typical day look like at Forkbeard
I work from my home office in Bergen, meaning the current measures in relation to COVID-19 have not had an extreme impact on what my day looks like; I wake-up and freshen-up, walk Barry, and start my day behind my desk with a fresh brewed coffee.
Activities vary from day to day, on some days there are meetings to discuss planning, status and progress of projects; on most I can directly dive into development work; and some are spent debugging together with colleagues. Throughout the day I am in touch with everyone through Slack and Teams.
How will Forkbeard help you with both your personal and professional development?
For me, Forkbeard provides all the tools and the flexibility required to further my professional development. There are time and space to gain more experience in other aspects of the company as well, for example, the business side of things which also helps contribute to my personal development.
For example, above my own expectations, I thoroughly enjoyed informing people about our products as a representative of Forkbeard at MWC19 and MWC19LA. Something I would not have known, if not for the opportunity Forkbeard gave me to be there.
In addition, there is a lot to learn in terms of personal development from a wide variety of colleagues coming from different places all over the world.
What’s the best place on earth?
For me right now, the best place on earth is Norway; Over the past few years, it has really started to feel like home.
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
Aside from my addiction to software development mentioned before, I enjoy going on walks with Barry, hiking and going on road-trips with Barry and my girlfriend.
During wintertime I also really enjoy cross-country skiing; something I only started doing at the age of 26 when I got introduced to it by my girlfriends (Norwegian) brother-in-law.
One of my other big hobbies is DIY and home improvement but as we are currently living in a small, rented apartment, there is not much of that going on.
And finally, anything you’d like to say to the reader?
If you are interested in working on exciting new positioning-related technology, like to work in a team with a variety of knowledge on a lot of different topics from all parts of the world. Have a look at the possibilities to work at Forkbeard on the ‘Careers’ page. Consider joining Forkbeard and help us take the GPS revolution indoors!
Text by Thys ten Veldhuis