Kevin H.

Name: 
Kevin H.
Company title: 
Competence Developer, Testing
Years at CTG: 
11 Years
Hometown: 
Vilvoorde, Belgium
Current City: 
Kortenberg, Belgium
Favorite Thing to Do Outside of Work: 
Spend time with my kids, play indoor football, and attend concerts
Favorite Song Right Now: 
It is very hard to pick one since I have a very broad taste in music. I’ll just pick the song that is playing while writing this: “Deutschland” by Rammstein.

My day starts at 6 a.m. with the usual struggle to get out of bed. I do not need a lot of sleep, but I always have a hard time getting up in the morning. You might think, “Well, then just go to bed earlier,” but I will tell you, “Been there, done that, it did not help.” I would still struggle if I had 10 hours of sleep...I guess it is one of the dysfunctions that was inserted unintendedly during my assembly. I did not have the opportunity to test myself before going into production.

A good strong coffee serves as the ideal medicine to help me start the day. After the morning mood fades, I prepare the table for breakfast and help with prepping the kids so I can drop them off at school. Then, it is time to hit the road. I generally arrive at work around 8 a.m. Kortenberg is very centrally located in Belgium, situated between Brussels and Leuven. As a departure point, it is ideal since you are directly on the highway and can travel to all major cities except Brussels within a respectable time. The CTG office in Belgium is located about 9km (5.5 miles) from where I live, although sometimes it takes me 30 minutes to get there. Recently, I started going to work by bike because it takes just as long to drive there as it does to bike, and biking is better for you.

Last summer I made the switch from test consultancy to office staff in the role of Competence Developer. It was not something I did at the drop of a hat; my ambition was made clear years ago. The people and the diversity of it always intrigued me, so for me it came as the logical next step. Good things comes to those who are patient, it seems. Usually, my day starts with coffee, opening the mailbox, and asking how everybody is doing.

Having a team of 45 consultants who contact you on an ad hoc basis makes it so that there are never two days alike. You can try to be proactive, but most of the time you act on things that come up during that day. Sure, we have client visits to assess the performance of our people and appraisal reviews, but apart from that, it is all very unpredictable. However, in the end, that is what makes it so interesting. One moment you are discussing problems, the next you are thinking on how we can improve processes.

We also support HR in getting people onboarded. We assist with setting up introductions for people who might be interested in starting a career in testing, where we present applicants with what software testing actually is. Aside from this, we also conduct interviews to assess if the person has “testing DNA,” meaning that, apart from their ambition and IT knowledge, they also have what it takes to be a tester from a character point of view. Some coffee in between all of this is deemed mandatory because a good rocket needs fuel.

After work, I help prepare dinner if I arrive at home in a timely manner. I am lucky that my wife is either home or home early since she is a kindergarten teacher. Afterwards, I spend some time with the kids before they go to bed. After this, it depends on what I feel like doing. Most of the time, I spend some time gaming or watching a series on TV or Netflix. No more coffee here, because with the already low quantity of sleep, I prefer to get high-quality sleep.

I like the “people approach” of the position I am in now. I get to interact with many people, and this way, I learn a lot about how to work with them or even how they handle things. There is a certain amount of diplomacy in what I do and it makes things very interesting. It is give and take, and if applied with the correct balance, it will serve you well in getting things done.

I talk a lot with my colleagues during the day or after work and I usually find common ground. It creates an atmosphere that surpasses the so-called professional bond and creates an air of collegiality, which helps in feeling good in your job. It helps put things into perspective when you encounter dips or difficult times. For me, helping each other out should also be about caring about the person, not only on a professional level, but also on a personal basis since they influence one another.