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Software Engineering
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Alumni views

Name: Lars de Ridder
Prior education: Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science (Utrecht University)
Current position: Software engineer at Topicus

'The practical aspect of the study programme appealed to me, the immediate applicability of the things you learn. After a three-year Bachelor’s programme which was mainly theoretical, I really wanted to get to grips with something more practical. Universities of professional education do offer quite a few practice-oriented study programmes, but I wanted to stay on at an academic university and get my Master’s degree. The combination between professionally-oriented and academic education was ideal for me.'

'They really throw you in at the deep end here. You get a group assignment with your fellow students, and it’s up to you to figure it all out. You really learn a lot in the process, because you come up against so many obstacles. You learn how to recognise those problems and deal with them. The lecturers were available to help us day and night. Well, not at night, maybe. But you could always drop by if you got stuck on something.'

'Software Evolution, a course on software maintenance, was a real eye-opener. Obviously, I was already aware that software needs to be maintained, but the course really gave us an in-depth look at what that entails. I also discovered the importance of writing about software in design documents. You can get it all down on paper for your own use, but the information also has to be understandable to others.'

'You have to spend a great deal of time on the study programme, often up to 40 hours a week. You do have most weekends off, but it is different from other study programmes. I chose a relatively difficult subject for my thesis, which forced me to do a lot of work in the space of a few months. In the end, though, I learnt a lot over the course of one intensive year. The programme really forces you to develop your skills and knowledge.'

'I currently work as a developer for Topicus, an ICT company based in Deventer. Amongst other tasks, I’m currently developing a software package for primary schools known as ParnasSys. I’m responsible for maintenance and expansion, as well as development and analysis. My employer has already let me know that there’s room for further career development within the company, thanks to my educational background.'