How often do you enter a competition and really expect to win? Not many of us! But Sebastiaan van Didden decided to try and triumphed! Last March he participated in the 5th edition of our BearingPoint Caribbean Challenge. During the 3-hour competition, contestants were challenged to build a working application using business rules. Sebastiaan passed the test with flying colors and as the Winner of Modeling Challenge 2017 he was given the ultimate prize: an all expenses paid trip to Curacao for an exclusive Inhouse Week at our headquarters! Halfway through his week we’ve asked Sebastiaan to share his experiences so far.
Before going to Curacao
“Before going to Curacao, I decided to refrain from looking up too much information prior to my trip. Mainly for the reason that every story is colored by its owner and I wanted to make my own. By doing so, I tried to keep an open mind and simply see for myself. The only things I did expect were tropical temperatures and the typical stereotype of a laidback culture with loving people.”
Getting to know the island
“Upon arrival, I was welcomed by my first expectation: a blistering heat. Lately, the temperature on the island has been much higher than usual due to the hurricanes passing by. Even still, after one day of swimming around in your clothes, you get quite used to the heat and your body adjusts as well.
The latter expectation I have also found to be true, but with one amendment. While in general tropical lands have a welcoming culture, Curaçao has the high, western norms of living as well. That said, visiting the island is like having a tropical holiday with all the comforts of home. A clear difference, however, is that instead of planning everything in advance, people really live day by day. Although the lack of organization sometimes may be perceived as inconvenient, I found it to give a more relaxed setting and more freedom of choice.”
Sebastiaan hard at work on a case study at office.
Inhouse Week at the office
“On the first day at the office, I was given a tour around the office and was introduced to everyone. To be honest, the company is small enough to feel the close interaction between departments, but large enough to forget most of the names.
The days at the office are packed with meetings to get to know the departments. Aside from the Be Informed teams, there are services such as User Experience design and Business Intelligence & Analytics. Recently, a department for websites and online marketing was added as well. Clearly, BearingPoint Caribbean is designed to facilitate a full-service pack for governments.
A distinct feature of BearingPoint Caribbean is that it is a relatively small company with high ambitions. While the Dutch Caribbean may be much smaller compared to The Netherlands, their scope of products is the same.
An important element as Be Informed-specialist is that you are working with a unified modeling language (visual programming). For that reason, the application does not always work properly with errors/bugs on the visual side. Debugging can be time-consuming, but Be Informed has some powerful tools and offers a fast way of obtaining applications.
After this week, I am fairly certain that it is an absolute delight to live in Curacao. The kind people, warm weather, beautiful beaches and fascinating sea life will definitely make it feel like having a holiday every weekend. Especially when having a PADI-degree, you will not get bored.
Altogether, in the time to come there will be a lot to think about!