Blog it Forward – Fred Verheul
Just like Susan Keohan I also wasn’t invited (yet) to Blog it Forward. Since this is such an awesome idea I won’t be stopped anyway. So here goes:
These were just the first few words of my BIF-blog-to-be-written-in-advance. To my surprise, the next day I’d been added in xMoshe Naveh (Old Acct) ‘s Blog It Forward – Moshe Naveh as Blog it Forward ‘victim’. Which was my second request after Tom Van Doorslaer pinged me on Twitter that same morning. I was of course honored (and still am), but also curious how this had happened. On the way home from work I read an email from Moshe explaining he’d seen my draft blog, and hence had added me. Which is kind of creepy (I thought draft posts were really private), but also funny. Thank you Tom (read his blog here) and Moshe!
I’m a 41 year old (writing it down like that makes me feel very old…) NetWeaver developer living in the Netherlands. I haven’t always wanted to be a developer though: in high school my first love were the Classic Languages (Latin and Greek). For some time I also thought I might want to become a professional violinist (watch my SCNotty entry 2011 to understand why that probably wasn’t such a good idea), and in 5th grade I began to realize I really liked mathematics, despite initially not taking the subject for my exams, thinking I was not good enough at it. Luckily I changed my mind, passed the exam, and went on to study mathematics in Nijmegen where I still live nowadays. Looking back it was one of the best choices of my live: I love reasoning, logic puzzles, board games etc, and mathematics was the perfect study-fit for me.
To repeat this pattern of ignoring something and then changing my mind: during my college years I never thought much of computers. I was following math classes, or playing bridge, chess, go, pente or whatever game was popular among math students. It was only when I was writing my master thesis I started to appreciate this convenient thing and the LateX editor that came with it that remembered what I typed in, and produced text that was much easier to read than my own handwriting. So it was only logical that my first job was in the IT field as a junior consultant. To be honest, the fact that it was very easy to get such a job in the nineties played a major role in my ‘decision’. Besides, after 6 years at university I figured I’d seen enough of it, and I didn’t want to spend another 4 years studying to earn a doctorate.
A fun fact about my country
Well, I really can’t think of anything funny about the Netherlands (we’re very serious people), but Nijmegen (Noviomagus) is generally considered to be the oldest city of the Netherlands. However the debate is not closed yet (in Dutch). We celebrated its 2000th anniversary in 2005. More interestingly we’re also the capital of the Netherlands during the third week of July, when the International Four Day March Nijmegen (“Nijmeegse Vierdaagse”) is being held as well as the accompanying festivities (“Vierdaagsefeesten”). These events have been drawing the largest crowds for any Dutch event. Of course, living in Nijmegen, my wife and I have participated in the 4-day March (50 km walking each day) in 2000, something we’ve been rather proud of ever since.
©Stichting DE4DAAGSE, www.4daagse.nl (picture of 2012 edition)
Concerning food I don’t have one favorite, but I’m in for almost anything (just no organ meats). At home we try to eat alternately meat, fish and vegetarian, mostly because it makes for good diversity, and in all three categories there are a lot of good recipes. We’re not religious about it though.
Which 5 things do you want to achieve in life
This is a very difficult question, mainly because I don’t really think that much about life and the grand scheme of things. But finding inspiration from Thorstens Blog It Forward entry I do hope my daughter will grow up being kind, considerate and respectful to other people. Also I intend to get very old (and in good health) together with my wife. So far things are looking good, but since my daughter is only 2,5 years old, who knows what might happen 🙂 . But seriously, she is adorable, and the best thing that has happened to me so far. I’m digressing though. Looking back, I don’t really plan that much in life, taking it pretty much as it comes. So far that has served me fairly well, so I intend to continue this ‘best practice’.
Tell something about (one of) your hobby (hobbies).
As mentioned above, my hobbies include mind games like chess, bridge, othello/reversi, go a.o., logic puzzles (Raymond Smullyan anyone?), detective novels, and in general anything that requires logical thinking. This doesn’t necessarily mean I’m any good at these: when I was a kid, I once spent an entire holiday trying to figure out 4-in-a-row (aka Connect-Four). I came to the ‘conclusion’ that the second player could always win, or at least couldn’t lose. Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong! In the last 10 years bridge has been my main hobby, but since my daughter was born, I’ve pretty much given up on the long evenings away from home each week. Nowadays I fill my spare time with reading SAP- or programming related stuff and programming a bit myself, though not as much as I should. One of the things I’m (trying to) figuring out is functional programming. I hope to have some time to write a few blogs on the subject, as I’m convinced it is on many occasions a better way to develop software than imperative or object oriented software.
- Caspar is a colleague of mine, who has blogged on SCN before, and knows a lot about BPM and SOA.
- So far I’ve never met Kumud in real life, but I’ve got to know her as a very enthusiastic developer/teamlead (to get an impression, read one of her excellent blogs). I can’t wait to learn a bit more about her!
- Ethan I’ve first met at SAP Inside Track Brussels, and I very much appreciate his wit and (sometimes) cynical sense of humor, on Twitter as well as here on SCN.
I’d like to ask them the following questions:
- Tell us something about your favorite hobby
- If you were not in your current role, what/where would you be and why (thank you Kristen Scheffler )
- What is your favorite SAP event and why (good one, Gali Kling Schneider !)
Please follow the Blog It Forward Chain in order to be updated when Caspar, Kumud, Ethan and other members of the community blog it forward. Also, please join the fun (see the original blog on how to do it)!
Thanks for reading!
Update May 31st 2015: I just ‘talked’ to Joke Krekels on twitter, and I think there’s an interesting story there, so Joke: you’re tagged! Looking forward to your story 🙂 .