Anyone hiring at the moment?

Ruud H.G. van Tol rvtol at
Tue Sep 22 21:58:21 BST 2009

Richard Foley wrote:

> What, relocate to Amsterdam, whatever for?  Without investigation, I'd be 
> prepared to bet that does most of it's "booking" online, 
> remotely.  So almost the entire client base is remote, all transactions 
> completed online, it's entire business model is remote.  Except the 
> workers...

Heh, I live a 3 minute walk from the Amsterdam office, so 
the work actually relocated to me when I joined about 3 years ago 
(though I ran my own businesses mostly from home in the 20+ years before).

The work done in Amsterdam (customer service, content, sales, IT, 
finance, HR, etc.) is central to all our operations. The people in the 
30 offices in cities everywhere else the world for example deal with the 
local hotels, and translate content (and some handle customer service 
when it is night in Amsterdam).

About two years ago it was decided to only hire developers that will 
work daily in the office in Amsterdam. Part of the IT work we do is of 
course closely related to the public website, but internal tools, 
interfaces, etc., are other significant parts. There is always more 
(development and upscaling) work coming up than we can do with the 
current group, so we keep hiring experienced developers at a steady rate.

> At the moment, I'm living in Munich and working one week in Rotterdam and one 
> week at home, working remotely via a very handy little SSH tunnel, you know, 
> the sort which encrypts your data so companies don't have to be worried about 
> leaking critical information when the defence minister leaves a folder of top 
> secret documents about the invasion in the back of a taxi on his daily 
> commute to work.  Mostly, I come in to work in Rotterdam every other week to 
> show my face so that the project managers can see that I appear to be 
> working.  I'm being a bit unfair to my current employer here, because I CAN 
> work remotely half the time, but this doesn't excuse my still having to sit 
> at my desk like a bozo the other half of the time.

The developers that don't work in the Amsterdam office (those that 
joined quite a while ago and don't live close) are in Amsterdam on 
average a day per week. Most of them work in (our variant of) Scrum 
teams, so they phone in to Amsterdam every morning while standing up 
anyway, but we still need them around frequently, for meetings and 
meetings and to talk about life and everything (like work) after work.

> That the work is still 
> completed, more efficiently and with milestones reached, when I am not in the 
> office does not seem to register with most managers, as they appear to need 
> to see head counts sitting at desks rather than having work completed on 
> schedule.  It's not a results driven industry we're working in, it's a people 
> counting and mini-empire building industry.  Sigh...

And we have always been short of a few more good heads.

Greetings, Ruud

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