Wunderkraut is a team filled with many talented people. We believe that each of them should be recognized for his and her contributions. This is why we have started a new Employee Spotlight blog. In this first issue, we welcome Steve De Jonghe, who recently celebrated his 5th anniversary at Wunderkraut.
We asked Steve a few questions to help you learn more about him and what makes this guy special and cool. Keep on reading!
What’s your story?
Computers run in Steve’s DNA; from his grandfather to his dad, there has always been a certain curiosity for problem-solving and computers that runs in the family. He remembers being really young and spending the whole night programming alongside with his dad. At the same time, his interest for video games sparked the need and want to create websites for his “clan”. This was approximately 15 years ago.
After going to cooking school for two years, he then realized this wasn’t the path he wanted to follow. So going back to his initial interests, he decided to follow a multimedia path. Unfortunately, at that point the education industry wasn’t really ready to teach the material. So being a hands-on person, Steve taught himself through doing actual work and got introduced to Drupal. Eventually, his work was so well known in the community that the job offers just came and he couldn’t pass on Wunderkraut’s offer.
What does a typical work day look like for you and what are you currently working on?
One of the most common issues with being a good developer, is that you’re pulled into many different directions and projects. The project and content switching can be tiring, but nonetheless, a great opportunity for fast-paced learning.
What is your biggest achievement to date –personal or professional?
One of the biggest professional achievements is being able to do core contributions to Drupal. These core contributions mean that Steve’s code is running world-wide on pretty much all Drupal sites, which is estimated to be 1-2% of the entire internet.
Steve also enjoyed some internet fame when his work was named the “...greatest GitHub software repository of all time” by The Verge.
One of the biggest professional achievements is being able to do core contributions to Drupal.
What do you do outside of work?
We asked Steve to name one of his hobbies (he has plenty); Can you guess what he’s been into lately? Race quadcopters! These drones can go over 100 miles per hour and although illegal to fly them in Europe (unless it’s done in a private space within 10m height), it has become a sporting event worthwhile watching. Steve even had some new propellers in the interview for his quadcopter.
If you could switch your job with anyone else within Wunderkraut, whose job would you want?
What’s your most memorable "facepalm" moment at Wunderkraut?
*Laughs* the most memorable facepalm moment was when a new developer erased a production database by mistake on his first day. Thankfully, there was a backup for it and people’s work wasn’t affected. The long-term effects of this is that now front-end developers don’t have access to the production databases anymore, unfortunately.
How many cups of coffee / tea do you need each day to survive?
Our interview was quite late in the day for Steve; although it was 3:30pm already, he had only had one cup of coffee. This day he had decided to switch his caffeine intake for a more sugary and fruity drink, orange juice. This is part of his efforts to reduce the amount of caffeine he was consuming. Had we had our interview a different day, his answer would have been different. Normally, he would drink coffee up until 5:00pm and then switch to coke. But we can take a guess at what this did to his body: NO sleep! After a doctor’s visit, Steve is being more conscious of his caffeine intake and still hoping to get a better night sleep. Hang in there, Steve!
Steve's work was named the “... greatest GitHub software repository of all time” by The Verge.
What has been your favourite project at Wunderkraut and why?
Working with SWIFT has been very enjoyable to Steve; SWIFT is an ambitious client who sees the value in investing on their digital presence; this means our team can be more creative and “playful” with what they build. The original project launched about a year ago; from there, SWIFT has come back with new requests and projects which has kept Wunderkraut busy. Although Steve is no longer allocated to the project, team members will still come back to him and consult on his work.
***BONUS Question*** Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us.
As mentioned earlier, Steve is always involved in something. But who knew this guy had many opposite sides to him? On one end, e was part of boys scouts for approximately 13 years. During his time there, he learnt many basic skills like orientation & survival skills. Although he’s no longer involved with the organization, he made lifelong friends with whom he’s still in touch.
On the opposite side of things, Steve also quite enjoys music and music festivals. One festival he never misses is Dour festival. Either alone or with friends, Steve attends concerts throughout Europe always seeking for the up-and-coming artists. He was lucky enough to attended Moderat's last concert in Berlin and made this great vimeo: Berlin lazy edit. Don't forget to follow him!
If you want to see how much Steve loves music, click on the following link. He recorded himself while at work and he’s always bouncing up and down! Jumpy Steve: http://lolcommits-dot-com.herokuapp.com/users/124?page=3
Thank you Steve for the great interview. Also, thank you for your amazing work at Wunderkraut!