“Building your own house is like an IT project”
Since May 2016, Janus has been employed by ALTEN in the Unit Test Services West. His work mainly involves test automation for numerous big clients. This includes projects for a large energy supplier in the province of Zeeland and working for the company that manages message exchanges in Dutch ports. At this moment he is working on a project for the shipping sector. Besides his work, Janus is also involved in another big challenge: building his own house.
“I wanted to work for ALTEN because I was looking for more challenge in my work. That’s what was lacking in my previous job. A colleague who already worked for ALTEN put me in touch with the company. I particularly wanted to work as a consultant, which involves contacts with multiple companies. I wanted to do ‘something’ in IT and work with people as well, and that’s how I came to work in the testing field. Initially, I did not have any ambitions to get into programming but when I started focusing on test automation, I changed my mind: test automation requires a lot of programming and it’s very interesting!”
At the moment, Janus is still living with his parents. But that is about to change: he is going to build his own house. And he is actually building it HIMSELF! Janus wanted to own his own house and started looking for property. For a starter on the housing market, however, this wasn’t easy. Luckily, Janus is creative and he found another option: he bought a piece of land to build a new house on.
“I obviously talked to the municipality first to discuss what can and can’t be built on the plot. And I hired an architect as well, because the house has to meet all the building regulations. I intend to do much of the work myself, because the more you do yourself, the cheaper it is. Fortunately, I’ve got some experience because I helped my brother build his house a while ago. I am now going to try to lay the foundation, place the roof tiles and install the piping system myself. And the window frames as well. I’d also like to install my own bathroom and kitchen. Some work will obviously have to be done professionally, like the brickwork and roof structure.”
“It will take a year before it’s finished. In March, I started working on the foundation and in April, I got the brickwork done. This month the roof will be added and the window frames installed. Then it will be all about the finishing. I hope to be able to move in December.”
It’s not such a strange idea for Janus to build his own house, though. He loves being active. He’s always looking for challenges, both at work and in his spare time.
“Building a house is a bit like an IT project: you need the right people and the right means and it has to be finished within a set time frame. It requires planning and research. And there are bound to be some nasty surprises along the way. The government isn’t always very flexible and cooperative when applying for planning permission. Likewise in an IT project, some people in the organisation may be reluctant to cooperate. Naturally, you try to avoid surprises by sitting down together and discussing the matter in good time. This applies to both cases. And assessing the construction drawings and plans is actually a form of testing. And so the circle is complete.”