A conversation with colleague Mark

Author: Hannah Fransen

Who are the people behind our work? The people of Get Hooked who come into action everyday to make an impact with your brand, product or service. We would like to introduce ourselves to you. Who we are and what we do at Get Hooked. This time Mark Olijslagers talks about his role as a webdeveloper.

Web developer, that sounds fancy. What exactly do you do at Get Hooked?

Haha, whether web developer sounds really fancy or chic I don’t know. There are probably more exciting descriptions that come to mind when I think about my function. Now that I think about it, I am going to consider adapting the job title on my business card to Digital Overlord, Wizard of Code, Architect of Unstructured Structures, or perhaps just in Dutch: “Ontwikkelaar van internettoepassingen”.

My daily work at Get Hooked does not only consist of developing websites or web applications, but I am often involved across the entire process (from quotation to delivery) in assignments form various online resources.


What is your background?

After completing my education at the Graphic Lyceum, I have been active in various graphic companies. Mainly as a graphic designer/DTP specialist. A little bit after the turn of the millennium, when websites started to mean something more than an online business card, I started focusing more on online aspects. Since 2007 I have fully focused on web development. In that era, websites were still developed in frames and only a web designer and web developer were needed to get the job done. Those roles were often also represented by one and the same person. Nowadays, that is different, as countless specialisations are involved in the development of a website, such as UX designers, Multi-media designers, Scrum masters, Front-end, App, Back-end or Full stack developers.

Which activities do you get the most energy from?

As much as my job as web developer is, I get the most energy from working in a team. For me, both my colleagues and the clients belong to that team. Together you work towards a goal, where everyone’s input is of value. This can be the input from the client, the most beautiful creations form our designers, but also the contribution from the project manager or the spontaneous idea of an intern. We work in a creative industry, and to realise a solution that matters together with that entire team gives me satisfaction.
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Mark and colleague Stef at the Basketball game Heroes Den Bosch

What achieved results are you proud of?

Of course, I am proud of all the successful project that we have developed. It is always nice to see something come by in practice that you can say: “Look, I made that!”. I am also proud of the adult phase where Get Hooked currently resides in. Where we once started as a small company, we have grown into a fully-fledged agency with a super-friendly team full of experts in various disciplines. The synergy that this provides, provides a pleasant and educational environment. If you sometimes look back over the shoulder and realise that you have been involved in the growth of an organisation, you are allowed to be a little bit proud of that, right?
As pater familias of Get Hooked, I feel a little responsible to pass on some of that knowledge to the next generation.

What area would you like to develop yourself further in?

Well, standing still is not an option in our field. New frameworks and tools are sprouting like mushrooms with exponential growth. Selecting the right tools and trying out new methods keeps our profession dynamic and varied. I see further development in the long term mainly in the field of collaboration and knowledge sharing.

Oh yes, and further developing my table football skills would not be a bad idea. If only for my invincible colleague Stef to crawl under the table for once.

How do you put the customer first?

Not only the customer, but especially the customer’s goal is central. What people want to achieve with what we are going to develop together, that is what should be central. I also like to use the statement – “We like to deliver what the customer asks for, but we prefer to deliver what the customer really needs”. You can create impact by listening carefully to the customer’s demand and thereby analysing the actual need.

“Whoever builds a pyramid breeds mummies”

How do you find Get Hooked as an employer?

At Get Hooked, we have a flat organisational structure and we love open communication. There is also a lot of freedom, such as flexible working hours and personal contribution is encouraged. This ensures a pleasant working climate.

I am not a fan of terms such as sustainable employability and job happiness, but I do experience that personal input and involvement work better than authoritarian leadership in a strong hierarchical organisation. “Whoever builds a pyramid breeds mummies”, I once read.

What does Mark do in his spare time

I like to read a good book, drink a good beer, listen to good music and visit a concert or festival frequently. I also make use of my home-made sauna every week, take part every three weeks (together with my colleague Koen and three other teammates) in a Pub quiz in Schijndel and walk daily (with or without a dog) in nature. If there is time left, I love doing nothing.

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