Getting started as a UX designer or continue learning?

I was actually supposed to work at Nedap as a UX-designer, but during the introductory talks it turned out that I find it far too much fun to make things. So they asked me if I wanted to participate in Nedap University so I could learn the practical skills of software development. I read what the program meant and was enthusiastic. When I had a taste of the atmosphere at Nedap and Nedap Healthcare, I knew: I’d like to spend another eighteen months at the lecture banks!

Solid basis in software development

Through Nedap University you really get a solid foundation in software development. I was looking for that because after my master in Human Media Interaction I didn’t want to go on the research side. At Nedap University you will take a Bachelor of Technical Computer Science degree. The assignments for Nedap University students are always a lot more complicated or more linked to practice, so the program offers more than enough challenge!

"Nedap University provides you with a solid theoretical and practical basis in software development"

Technical team player

When I started at Nedap University I especially wanted to become technically better. I succeeded. I also learned a lot about group processes and cooperation. Because you work together a lot. At the beginning that was sometimes difficult, but the programme takes that into account. During the third module, we learned about Scrum. That taught us to understand, accept and respect each other’s way of working. We also learned to evaluate processes. I am always very practical and I prefer to get to work as soon as possible. Other colleagues prefer to work out everything, down to the last detail. How do you organize your work process: what are we going to find out? What are we going to build immediately? Who does what? Through what you learn during the various modules, you grow as a group so that you can put down really cool things together.

"We used algorithms from lectures and research and gave them our own twist"

Getting started with grave iso- and automorphisms

That we grew as a team was a good thing, because as a final assignment we were allowed to solve the count’s isomorphism problem: digging (dots that are connected by lines) can be drawn in different ways and still be the same. This is a theoretical problem for which there is no proven efficient solution. It is up to us and the other groups to find that solution. And also under time pressure because there was a competition element linked to the assignment. So we quickly get to work with questions like: are two graves the same? Which graves are the same? How often can you rotate them relative to yourself without changing them and thus remain the same?

"During my Nedap University programme I was not only a student but also a shared product owner and presented myself on our customer day"

Trees, isomorphs and algorithms

During the final assignment on grave isomorphisms, we always had to choose what we wanted to focus on in order to make the solution efficient. We worked in groups of two and eventually joined our parts together. That was challenging, but also very cool to see how you can get a long way with all the good ideas! For our efficient solution, we used smart tree solving methods (graves without cycles) and made the graves simpler using modular decomposition. We were also constantly checking whether the algorithm was still correct and whether we were still working efficiently. I can’t tell you more because the next group of Nedap University students will probably be working on this problem again! In the end, we came second. No wrong result when you consider that during the race we also discovered and solved a bug in our code.

"I got technically better and learned a lot about group processes and cooperation"

The perfect combination of theory and practice

All in all, it was very cool for me to get a solid technical basis through Nedap University. It was at least as much fun for me to see how we grew as a group. I’ve now finished Nedap University and can share the knowledge I’ve gained with my Nedap colleagues. They have always been very involved in my University programme, but at the same time they have always treated me as a full member of the team. While studying at Nedap University, for example, on the days I was working at Nedap I was already presenting at our customer day and was already a shared product owner. For me this was the perfect combination of theory and practice!

All participants of this edition of Nedap Universiy (from left to right): Anne-Greeth van Herwijnen, Mark Banierink, Dorien, Martijn Slot, Claudia Reuvers and Erik Huizinga

Nedapper Anne-Greeth van Herwijnen

I recently completed Nedap University. Meanwhile, I also worked at Nedap Healthcare as a software developer and I still enjoy doing so! It feels good to have a good basis in IT thanks to Nedap University. Within Healthcare I am now looking for what I like to do. For example, I am looking at how we can unite UX and development more closely. For Nedap University I completed my master’s degree: Human Media Interaction focused on UX’.