'Programming sounds very nerdy, but I love it'

  • Student stories
HANZE220232 Alumni - Wietske-5.jpg

Wietske de Kruijff - Brouwer graduated from an electrical engineering course in 2020. A few months later, she found a job as a software engineer.

'I had no idea what direction I wanted to take after havo. To save time, I went to America for a year. When my oven broke down there, I thought: let's see what's in there, and was immediately sold. All that technology was so interesting! Once back in the Netherlands, I chose to study electrical engineering. Very fascinating. The great thing is that you decide for yourself what you want to learn and what your goals are. I chose minors in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, and for some extra depth and breadth I followed an honours programme. I graduated during COVID, which meant I couldn't go to the company after a few weeks. So I had to come up with something I could do from home. Well, that left software - not my first choice, but I didn't want to delay my studies either. I rewrote my internship assignment and started working from home. During that period, I discovered my love for software: this is what I want to do!'

Software engineer
'After graduating, I immediately found a job as a software engineer at Boikon. Here, we develop new technologies for various clients. Among other things, I program HMIs, Human Machine Interfaces - the screen the customer uses to control a machine. The challenge is not only in further developing existing HMIs, but also in developing completely new HMIs. Every HMI has its own challenges and functionalities. I know in advance where I want to go and puzzle that out with code. Sounds very nerdy, but I love it. And because my education was so broad, I can also talk about mechanics on the shop floor.'

Study buddies
'If you choose electrical engineering, you can't really go wrong on the job market; there is a lot of work in this field. But you have to really like it, because the programme is not easy. I found maths particularly tough in the beginning. It helped me a lot that I had a few study buddies right from the start; we got each other through. A tip? Dare to ask questions. The lecturers at the Hanze have so much knowledge, it's a shame not to make use of it. And: don't forget to relax. It's important to have enough energy to be able to follow the lessons properly.'