Java team

Young and coveted, but faithful!

31 July 2018

Vitamine R

The demand for ICT professionals is greater than the supply, which leads to scarcity in the labor market. Every (ICT) company is competing for people with the right skills. Once they are part of the company, the new talent as well as the existing talent has to be fostered. But what exactly does that mean, fostering?

We asked five young people from the Java team who have been working for Realdolmen for a year. They all started as interns and stayed with us after completing the acADDemICT track. We talked with Cédric Debot, Ruben Walraevens, Valon Xhafa, Simon Pollé, Jef Anthonissen and David Hemmerijckx (Java internship coordinator), and they told us about the fact that they're in high demand, the importance of cafés and the usefulness of set goals.

First of all, what was your internship and your first acquaintance with Realdolmen like?

"All of us, except Cédric, were in the same group. Right away, there was a great vibe and we helped each other when necessary. All the material we needed was available, and we worked on our exercises freely, at our own pace. We could choose our own internship assignments (according to availability), and the exercises were clear and to the point. An internship supervisor came along about once a week to see how we were doing. We found that sufficient, because it helped us learn to manage our own time. The supervisors are always reachable, but because they were not with us 24/7, we first had to rely on ourselves. That gave a boost to our autonomy, because when we had a problem we first started looking for a solution instead of immediately calling for help. Posing the question is often the best way to find the solution."

"Since we spent a lot of time at Realdolmen, we really got to know the company well during our internship. We were able to experience the corporate culture, and we learned a lot from other employees during a Java café, for example. That is an informal get-together for all Java colleagues, and the interns are also welcome. By walking around the company, you really get to experience the atmosphere and how people interact with each other. We noticed that everyone was approachable, including people who were not involved in our internship. We were treated as colleagues during our internship, something that is not always self-evident."

Left to right: Jef, Ruben, Simon, Cédric, Valon


You all received a proposal to join the acADDemICT track. Did you expect that?

"We got the contract proposal for the acADDemICT track already during the internship. We did not expect the proposal to come during our internship, perhaps after that, but not that quickly. Of course this is an opportunity that you can't pass up. Even before we received our diploma, we knew there was a job waiting for us. The three-month vacation between our internship and the beginning of our course was the most carefree ever, we were able to really enjoy our vacation since we didn't have to spend time looking for a job."

David explains that the internships are designed so that it will immediately become clear what kind of potential someone has. "Given the war for talent, we rarely pass up a chance to offer someone a nice proposal. The candidates still have to prove themselves during their internship. They must first give something of themselves before we offer them something."

How do you look back on the first year of work? What has stuck in your mind?

"During the first year, your goals are pretty much set. Afterwards you can say where you want to go, and you are completely free to plan your career path. We like to work with these set goals, it gives us a first milestone and gives you a picture of the challenges in your first year, which can sometimes be fairly vague. This past year, we focused on obtaining two compulsory certificates, in addition to our regular work for customers. These are certificates that deal with basic knowledge, it is an absolute must-have. Realdolmen makes all the learning material available, and you study it after work hours. As mentioned above, there are two compulsory certificates that need to be acquired within the year, but when you acquire these is completely up to you. As the certificates deal with basic knowledge, they are actually an investment in yourself. In addition, it benefits our customers because not every company sets this target for its junior employees. This is also a visible way of putting one of our six values - we deliver craftsmanship - into practice."

"We always provide whatever is necessary to do a particular job. At Realdolmen we regularly evaluate which certificates or training will keep our people competitive in this rapidly evolving IT world. Sometimes we even offer customized coaching. If we notice that additional coaching is needed here or there, we take steps to bring the skills up to the desired level." says David.

java team

You all work externally with customers. How do you experience the literal and figurative distance between yourself and the Realdolmen base?

"We are bombarded weekly or even daily with all kinds of job offers, interns are obviously an easy and attractive target. One of us was even sent a personalized video based on their LinkedIn page. This just goes to show how far they will go sometimes. But we prefer to stay at Realdolmen, it's been our home since our internship. This sense of loyalty clearly shows that we feel like we're part of the Realdolmen team."

"Realdolmen has believed in us since our internship, the very beginning of our career. During the first year we were challenged to develop ourselves, and going forward we will grab all the opportunities that appeal to us. The best thing is that we know we will be supported in this and fostered to develop our own unique self-reliance.

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