Hi there Jeroen!


New people at PHPro, even this pandemic can't slow us down.

Jeroen Smolders started working with us in september as Project Manager. How he has experienced his first months at PHPro in these crazy corona times?

We would like to know.

Curious about his story? Read on!

background blog jeroen smolders


Hi Jeroen! We would love to know: did you always have an interest in webdevelopment?

Hello! Well, originally I studied Marketing at the PXL in Hasselt, but I've always been very interested in e-commerce and webdevelopment. In my spare time I also liked working on it. During my internship as PM for marketing I noticed very quickly that I was more interested in the PM-tasks for the building of webstores. After my internship I got a contract at the firm of my internship, a webbureau in Utrecht, as PM for websites and later webstores.

Utrecht, a fun city to live in.

Yes, it is! But after a while I started looking for a job closer to home and that's how I ended up with a webbureau in Limburg. There we build custom web-applications in Symfony, Drupal and also webstores. That's how I got more and more involved with those kind of tasks.

And now at PHPro, how does that feel? Do you feel supported?

I feel great with my choice and love working at PHPro. The support and guidance is really good here, on project level and in general. For each project we have a separate weekly consultation with the project team, that's how we align the most important issues from the week and make sure everyone is up to speed. Because the technical lead, architect, product owner and PM are present at this meeting, everyone keep and overview and you get important input from different sides. When you get momentarily stuck, that's where the best solutions arise.

Aside from this I have a weekly meeting with Ken, my mentor, or with Ilse. The mentor program is very important to PHPro, and it shows. The additional meeting gives you the opportunity to talks about subjects and project on a different way, than in the project team. This can give you new insights on how to address certain issues or problems.

How different is it to start somewhere in the middle of this pandemic?

I started at PHPro in September, when the regulations where somewhat less strict. So I was fortunate enough that I could work at the office the first few weeks. From October on I've worked from home. It is possible nog, with Teams and other programs. But the social aspect is different. I know my colleagues now, but it takes a little bit more time it you never see each other in person. Some colleagues I hear every day, but I've never seen them in real life. That is weird.

Do you think the contact with the customers is also different?

Yes, it is different than before the Covid-19 crisis, in the sense that all meetings are now digital. For recurring meeting it makes it easier to make swift decisions and there is no need to travel, which does have its advantages. But it will be really good to see the customers in real life once it is possible again. To be in the same room, it creates another dynamic than meeting in a conference call.

What are your assignment at the moment at PHPro?

I work for different clients at the moment. I work for Veritas, Sioen, Kemin en Cronos International.

That are already a lot of assignements. Where are you most looking forward to this year?

Good question. I'm learning new things every day. There are a lot of different assignments that run at the same time, that's another way of doing PM than for one specific client. And there are many different ways of approaching that. By combining internal PM work with work for customers, I'm learning a lot.

I've also already learned a lot about Magento 2 level, which I also like a lot.

And to see all my colleagues again, ofcourse!

That's something we're all looking forward to, I'm sure.


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