A working life long Coosto: ‘You never get bored’

Author

Bryan Buffing

As a student, Alexander Nieuwenhuijse entered Coosto years ago, and now he is part of the furniture. He has seen the company grow enormously and has been able to take great steps himself. He works as a Senior Data Engineer, but he started as a scripter. "You never get bored at Coosto."

Coosto

The 33-year-old Alexander became acquainted with Coosto while studying technical computer science. “It started as a side job on weekend days when I was studying at Fontys. Even when I went to the university after that, I continued to do so. After my studies, they wanted to hire me and I stuck around.”

 

Employee from the very beginning

Alexander witnessed the entire growth of the company. “If I am right, I was employee number nine. I signed my first contract in April 2007, a long time ago. I have seen the company grow from a very small start-up to a large and professional organization. It now employs more than a hundred people, which was hard to imagine at the time.”

Alexander, born in Deurne, still enjoys working at Coosto. “The advantage of Coosto is that you are always challenged. You're not a code monkey here (someone who just writes code). Within Coosto you get the opportunity to do your own research and you get a lot of freedom in your job. You get the chance to develop and for that reason you never get bored. I came in as a rookie and have grown from there and I am still growing. I am learning every day.”

 

The hidden side of Coosto

Alexander is currently working on the "hidden side" of Coosto. “You don't see my work right from the front, but it is essential. I mainly work on the back of the tool. I am responsible for the links with our sources. Coosto has many sources such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, blogs, forums and so on. That produces a lot of data and that data is collected by programs that I have co-written.”

Alexander's work brings the correct data to the surface in Coosto. “All data must be cleaned up and in the correct format. In addition, we also don’t want any junk, spam or old data in our tool. It is my responsibility to ensure that those processes run smoothly. If the connection between the sources and Coosto does not work properly, then nothing will come out of the search engine. So I think my work is quite important haha.”

 

Special organization

In addition to the fact that Coosto continues to challenge you, Alexander also likes the working culture. “Coosto is a very flat organization. Everyone is equal and there are no ranks and classes. It is very free and open. I never feel that things are being discussed behind closed doors. Everyone thinks along and helps and everyone is taken seriously. You are always listened to and when you have a good idea, it is implemented.”

The connection between employee and employer is a special one, according to Alexander. “Coosto thinks along with you. When you want extra training, when you are sick, when you have an idea, you are really taken into account. I feel appreciated and I think that I am not just speaking for myself. Even now that we all work from home, Coosto regularly let you know that they are thinking about you. This can be through a flower or a nice message. They care about you and that is genuine. That is very much appreciated throughout the company.”

 

Every idea is a welcome

Activities outside the daily work are also appreciated. “Coosto is somewhat known for that. That is in the company's DNA. Successes are celebrated in a big way and Christmas is a big hit. Then everything is possible. But it's not just Christmas. All sorts of things are organized throughout the year. Such as a Hackathon, which I have been co-organizing myself for years. That's great. The involvement of everyone within Coosto is great anyway.”

To indicate that everything is possible at Coosto, Alexander touches on last year's winter sports trip. “I had the crazy idea to throw in a winter sport and I indicated that to HR. The Coosto-way is then: "Cool idea, look at the options and arrange it." So we went on winter sports. That was great. No matter how crazy your idea is; within Coosto they are always listened to and if possible, you can implement it. ”

 

Coosto challenges you

According to Alexander, anyone who wants to work at Coosto must have ambitions and want to develop themselves. “Of course I look at the technical side of Coosto, because that is my field. And if I look at that, you can go in so many directions at Coosto. You receive a personal development budget, you are allowed to go to conferences, you are given the space and freedom to conduct research and do you have an innovative and good idea? Then you can pitch it and perform it.”

However, those who prefer to get their work prepared is not in the right place at Coosto. “You really have to want to challenge and improve yourself. You get a lot of freedom within Coosto, but that also includes a lot of responsibility. You are expected to take it too. I really like that myself. That is why you always keep learning. When you come up with a good idea and are allowed to implement it, then that is really your project. That will not be taken over by someone from above who will advertise it. Isn't that cool ?!”

Alexander has been around since Coosto's foundation, but is far from tired. “Of course I have my ambitions, but I can realize them very well within Coosto. I am happy to work here and I am definitely not thinking of leaving. I appreciate Coosto and I have the feeling that that appreciation is mutual.”