From science to software development

@Elinethescientist. It’s the alter ego of Eline Verbon on Instagram. A glance at her posts reveals she is a versatile and ambitious person, who started sharing facts and knowledge about science with a broader audience than lab insiders only. At that time (2018), Eline was conducting research for her PhD at the University of Utrecht on molecular plant biology, which she successfully completed in 2019. Today, she has been working at Nedap for 1.5 years as a software developer. Find out how a scientist with such a specific PhD degree fits the profile of a software developer at Nedap’s Livestock Management business unit.

During the final year of her PhD, Eline realized she did not want to continue being a scientist. She wanted to do more than study a tiny fraction of this world on her own. That’s why she started a job search focusing on collaboration and the possibility to make an impact on the world, combined with room for personal development and the opportunity to continue learning.

“I had a clear vision on how I wanted to work, but not yet in which field. Possible fields varied from consultancy to working in seed breeding companies, and from science journalism to IT”, Eline said. Regarding the latter: “out of personal interest, I had already taken several online programming courses and written a lot of analysis scripts during my PhD. I loved it and liked the idea of getting better at it. However, after all those years working independently as a PhD student, I didn’t want to go back to school full-time.”

Then her husband brought Nedap University to her attention. “The combination of studying and working was a big plus for me. Also, Nedap’s culture in which autonomy is highly valued and where you’re stimulated to determine your own path really appealed to me.”

“Taking courses while programming in a team ensured a steep learning curve."

Eline Verbon

Software Developer

At first Eline had to get used to being a part-time student again. However, soon she had the opportunity to start her own project within her team. “Taking courses while programming in a team ensured a steep learning curve. In 1.5 years I learned a lot and already contributed much more to real world products than I expected beforehand”, she said.

Meanwhile, Eline realized that programming by itself was not enough. She also wanted to contribute to a more sustainable Nedap. “I spoke up about being invested in sustainability and was introduced into the Nedap sustainability team. At the time I was still in the university program, but I was treated by the team as a full colleague from the start.”

Now, being ‘officially’ employed by Nedap, Eline strives to grow further in her function as a software developer, combined with putting effort into sustainability. “Together with other colleagues, we are searching for propositions that fit well with Nedap’s portfolio and contribute to making the world a better place”, she said. “I truly hope we will succeed, enabling me to contribute to an even ​more enjoyable world as a software developer.”