The journey of Chris: one of the first fullstack developers at Optis

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Chris Verret is one of the first people who started working at Optis, more than 20 years ago! High time to spotlight his career and journey here and talk it through with him. Curious to know how he got here and why he isn’t thinking about leaving anytime soon? Read all about it in this article.

From the start at Optis

Chris is one of those people who knows that Optis has a history. What has always been the same for Chris, though, is the energetic, fresh vibe and the work. He knew early on that long-term projects carry his preference and that he wanted to keep on developing fullstack, although, as he remarks, it used to just be called frontend and backend developing. The term ‘fullstack’ only came about later.

Chris is loyal. Not just to his technology – he usually sticks with Java – but also to projects. The main reason he prefers long-term ones is so he can build connections with the people at the client’s site. Furthermore, he gets the most satisfaction from actually seeing a product evolving and transforming. He enjoys being able to explain to people how to use certain technologies and to adapt frameworks to their needs. It gives him a true feeling of ownership, of being responsible for his developed applications and of contributing to something that provides added value. That's what he’ll always look for in a project.

From Java to AWS Cloud

When we talk about trainings and budget to go to conferences and follow courses, Chris lights up. To him, that’s one of the main reasons why he loves working at Optis. For instance, he discovered that he isn’t really into project management or coaching. He’s way happier when he gets to delve into the technical side of things. The fact that he got to explore it though and decide it for himself, is something he appreciates.  

He’s picked up a great deal, he says, from courses on PRINCE2, IBM technology and so on. However, the last few years his interest was piqued by AWS Cloud. At the moment, Chris works on a project at the government of Flanders, and they use their own cloud for safety reasons of course. He’d like to work with AWS Cloud on a next project but indicates that he still has a lot to learn. In order to make sure that he’ll be prepared, he’s delving into the subject matter and consulting his colleagues. Talking about commitment!

Being offered training budget that you can spend the way you prefer is one of the main reasons I love working at Optis. You get so many chances to keep on learning about topics that really interest you.

From rash jumping to mature expertise

Chris looks back fondly on his journey and smiles apologetically: “I used to be a bit rash in the way I developed code and in my interaction with people. It’s funny to notice changes in my own behaviour and detecting that I’ve become calmer and more mature.” It’s something that manifests itself mostly in the fact that he now considers the big picture instead of focusing on small aspects or details.  

He points out that he’s one of the ‘elder’ people at Optis (“In IT being fifty is old!”) but that it never feels that way. Besides, he’s glad that he can keep on learning from his younger colleagues; they keep him up to date on everything that’s happening in this fast-paced sector. In return, he hopes to be able to provide guidance to them when they need or want it. Whatever the case, he says, he feels like a part of the Optis Family, and he’d love to stay here and keep on learning. When we ask if he thinks the best is yet to come, he laughs and nods in agreement. “The possibilities at Optis are endless.”

Did Chris’s journey inspire and incite you to become part of our Optis Family yourself, possibly as a fullstack developer? Don’t hesitate to reach out; we’d love to get to know you!

Chris Verret

October 25, 2022

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