Dries' journey to seasoned consultant at VDAB

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For over 4 years now, Dries has been working at Optis as a full stack developer with a passion for Java and Javascript. Right after graduating, he started working at our client VDAB as a junior consultant. 4 fun, educational years later, Dries’s journey at VDAB recently came to an end. And although he’s already working on a new project, Dries looks back on his experience at VDAB with great satisfaction. Discover his full story!


In 2018, Dries started as a fresh graduate at VDAB to split one of the big 'monoliths' into microservices. In the beginning it was all a bit of a search. Besides a completely new team and having to travel to Brussels everyday, he also started working in a real application environment for the first time.

Fortunately, he wasn't alone since there was already a well-functioning Optis team working at VDAB. On top of that, Dries was lucky enough to start his journey there with two other new Optis colleagues. Once they were familiar with the VDAB working method, they started working on their first application. “Vacature Interacties” is an application that manages the saving of vacancies, making them visible on a page called "my saved vacancies". The perfect job to kickstart a team of 3 juniors.

A few months later Dries and his team had a second application in the making, called “Sollicitaties”. Once again, logic was pulled out of a big monolith, but this one proved to be a lot more challenging. This application had integrations all over the VDAB landscape, which automatically increased the level of difficulty. The perfect challenge to discover what they were good at and excel at it. On top of that, the team dynamic only became better as well. But because this application had a lot of work in a third application, called “Find a job”, the team faced a lot of problems for which there weren’t really any solutions.

The past 4 years were a great experience. He has learned a lot about his job and himself as a person.


Coincidentally, this third application was being managed by the more senior Optis team working at VDAB. Hence the decision to merge the two teams into one big team, known as Jobsinc. The atmosphere was great, and all the team members coped extremely well with the workload. On top of that, both VDAB and Optis stimulated the personal growth of all team members, allowing everyone to really discover and develop their skill sets. Some of the team members were great with Angular, others had useful input backend-wise.

Although Dries and his colleagues had their hands full with these three applications, they gladly took on the challenge of managing a fourth one. Did you know challenges are the best way to learn new things and to expand our skill sets? The PMAB application is an old (2008) Spring-like monster that confronted them with all kinds of problems. But thanks to the good team spirit, they managed to sort it out and turned it into something positive.

Over the years, the team Dries worked with became significantly smaller. Nevertheless, they still delivered great work. The work that was normally processed by 8 developers was now taken care of by the 3 that remained. Something Dries is very proud of.

Looking back at his time at VDAB, Dries feels like the past 4 years were a great experience. He has learned a lot about his job and himself as a person. He’s very excited to start his new project and to continue his journey as an Optis consultant.

Inspired by this story? Interested in joining the Optis Family? Don’t hesitate to contact us so we can get in touch!

Keshia Niemegeerts

February 8, 2022

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