Hurray! We celebrate Jan-Jaap’s work anniversary, he has been an employee at BPM Company for 10 years! A milestone not only for him but for BPM Company as well. Of course, a lot has changed these past ten years. New colleagues and customers, but also working with innovative software. In this blog series “Working at BPM Company”, you can read the interview with Jan-Jaap about his work experience these past ten years.
“At BPM Company they look at your qualities and interests, so that you may work on projects that energize and empower you” – Jan-Jaap Zijlstra
To start off, can you tell us something about yourself?
I am Jan-Jaap Zijlstra. I live in Amersfoort together with my wife and work at BPM Company as Pega Lead System Architect since 2012.
How did you start working at BPM Company?
10 years ago, I worked at a Dutch organization that (just like Pega) built solutions with a software development platform. Compared to this Dutch organization, Pega was already light years ahead in terms of technology and innovation. I really wanted to work with Pega because of my interest in and experience with innovative technologies. Therefore I decided to apply for a job at Pegasystems. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the right fit, as the job required me to do a lot of international traveling.
Therefore I decided to decline the job offer. Surprisingly, I got a call from Eelco (head of BPM Company) asking if I wanted to work at BPM Company as a consultant and secondment role. Somebody at Pegasystems had recommended me to Eelco. The match was there, and the rest is history.
What kind of company was BPM Company, 10 years ago?
Back then, BPM Company was still a start-up when I started here. We did everything ourselves, as the company consisted of only four people. Very different from the group of about 70 colleagues we have right now. Even then, we already helped large organizations with implementing and using the Pega platform. I was one of the first 20 Dutch Pega Developers. The BPM Company Academy did not exist yet, so I had to go to Pegasystems in Amsterdam to get Pega training and obtain the Pega certificates. What I remember most of the first years were the ‘kroketten’ and ‘frikandellen’ for the Friday lunch. Nowadays, we eat kroketten and frikandellen, not for lunch, but during our Friday afternoon drinks.
What do you do at BPM Company?
I have helped a lot of clients over the years. I started out as a Pega System Architect with Pega’s implementation at MKB Brandstof, but have also worked a couple of years at Dictu and Rabobank. I also spent a year working for Rabobank in Eindhoven. While working in Eindhoven, I took the train to work every day (and as a distraction watched all the Star Trek episodes). I am currently a Lead System Architect at MN Services in Den Haag. I go to this office one day a week. Coaching young professionals within BPM Company is something I like to do and am currently doing often.
How come BPM Company is still the right place for you after 10 years?
Aside from the fact that the company really looks at your qualities and interests, you also have a lot of input into which projects you take on and which clients you work for. As a result, you really work on projects that energize and empower people to be the best of themselves. Feeling at home atBPM Company is essential, but as a consultant, it is even more important to have this feeling with the Pega team, the Pega platform itself, and of course the clients. Because of this, I have felt at home at BPM Company for the past 10 years.
What motto in life drives you in your work?
“Life is riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you have to keep moving.”
10 years of employment deserves a celebration
Of course, we couldn’t let Jan-Jaap’s 10-year work anniversary pass us by without a celebration. As such, a limousine picked up Jan-Jaap at the start of his workday. Once he arrived at the office, Jan-Jaap received a warm welcome from his colleagues and we took a moment together to look back at his career at BPM Company. Later in the day, we concluded the festivities with a nice lunch.