I consider myself an exploratory programmer and data artist. I apply these skills in both a professional and personal context. For four days a week, I focus on creative problem solving as a business analyst at the Dutch Tax Administration, solving business challenges using data and code. In my spare time, I work on projects that allow me to explore both existing and new technologies. You’ll read about my personal work on this website.
A fascination for data privacy and ethics
I started my career at a data-driven marketing agency 2011 (which was still a fairly new thing back then) as a front-end developer. Even though I did not know it at the time, I slowly developed a fascination about data and technology, and it’s impact on our society. I have become very fascinated by the growing influence we allow it to have.
The first step on this path was probably my graduation project in 2012. In that project, I developed a Twitter-based influencer search tool and got my first real experience in designing and developing a custom data solution. A topic that I would frequently return to. It was that project got me a job at the data department of the same agency. In the years 2013 to 2020, I went all-in on web analytics (mostly Google), tag management, and the implementation of various marketing platforms. During my last few years at the agency, I had roles as both people lead and domain lead.
With the implementation of GDPR in 2018, I developed an interest for the privacy aspect of my job. And besides that, the ethical side peaked my interest: besides a legal ground to do something, what do I, as a human, think is okay to do? What types of data collections do I feel comfortable implementing? How should I deal with indicators of users who do not want to be tracked at all?
It was this new fascination that made me think of other ways to apply my skills. Applying them in a marketing context did not feel as the best option for me any more. So in 2020, I made change in my career and switched to the public sector. Here, I took on a role as business analyst (and public servant) for the Dutch Tax Administration. In that role, I talk to internal clients and try to help them by designing and developing data products. In this role, I try to have a more direct impact on society.
During my career, I developed a liking for tinkering with ideas. It’s a great way (and excuse) to work with technologies that my day-to-day job doesn’t necessarily require me to use. The first example here is again my graduation project. But I have worked on some other interesting projects after that. To name a few:
- My own app for the Dutch Railway Services (2015). Reason: I did not like the default app that they offer, so I built my own using their API.
- Customizable watch face for the Pebble Time smartwatch (2016). Reason: I actually wanted to see if I could track a watch face using Google Analytics, so figured I should start by building one. It turned out to be so much fun that I focused on the watch face.
- Sentiment monitor for my crypto monitor (2017). Reason: there were a few examples of spikes in crypto values after an increase in social media activity. So I revisited the tech from my graduation project and built a monitor for activity and sentiment around my crypto portfolio (using Twitter Search, Amazon Web Services, and Google Data Studio).
- Abstract Data Art t-shirts (2018-now). Reason: Avicii died in 2018 and I decided I could try to find new meaning in his music using data analysis, but ended up using the results to design abstract prints for t-shirts.
I’ve listed some of these on my projects page.
Tinkering with tech
I think we live in some very interesting times. A lot of technologies are really accessible these days. Whenever I see something interesting that I’d like to dive into, either some technology, data or both, I try to define a personal project around it. Exploratory programming and analysis allow me to continuously develop my skills around topics that just happen peak my interest. And as I am often the only stakeholder in these projects, I can develop them in any direction I like. It’s a fun and valuable way to keep on learning.
I like to work with data & code, and share my knowledge through talks or workshops. I also like meeting new people. If you want to say hi, reach out to me through my contact page.