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Getting to know Menno; our DevOps Principal

who are you?

Hi! My name is Menno, I live in the beautiful city behind the dunes, The Hague, not too far from the beaches of Scheveningen, together with my partner Vera, two toddlers (a 1 year old and 3 year old) and a robot vacuum. In between family time and work time I try to spend time in the water surfing waves when the condition are right. After attaining a bachelor in electrical engineering and a master of science in media and knowledge engineering I worked briefly as a software engineer. Quickly though, I learned that being able to write great code yourself is useless if you have nowhere to run it but on your own machine. I wanted to learn more about running IT for a business and became a System Administrator for a decent size Dutch software company. With great power comes great responsibility and also great learnings. After eight years at this company I wanted to broaden my horizon further and grow as a professional and decided to become a consultant. This gave me the opportunity to see how many different organizations manage their IT while sharing my past expertise to help them improve their IT, make impact and see those organizations thrive. This led me to become a firm believer that happy employees make happy customers, especially in service related industries!

What would you like people to know about you?

Once I pick up a new hobby, gadget or technology I quickly go down the rabbit hole and want to know all there is to it. The internet and mainly YouTube can be wonderful sources of information if you know how to filter through the crap. This way I learned so many thing about photography, improved my surfing, got more flexible through yoga and learned barista skills to make great espresso and latte art at home, which is greatly appreciated by my partner.

Do you have a life motto? what is it?

I have two: “Go with the flow” and “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”. You can’t always decide which situations are coming your way, you can however choose how to deal with them. Even in bad situations there are things you can learn, which hopefully helps you grow.

What is the most “nerdy thing” about you?

Just as with the other hobby’s, computer games were also a big dangerous passion where I always struggle to play a game just casually. Quake 2 and Counterstrike during my teenage years, World of Warcraft for 2,5 years when I was a student. I got pulled into WoW Classic a few years ago and then CoD Warzone. Now with two kids I really only have time to play casually, the latest game I played was Peppa Pig…

Do you have interesting hobbies?

Too many hobbies, did I mention yet that I also windsurf, play golf, like to bedroom DJ, cook and BBQ, go bouldering, running or build up strength in the gym? I’m learning to prioritize, family, surfing waves and drinking coffee are the only ones I have time for now 😉

Any bloopers in the past you would like to share?

On a trip to Portugal with surfing friends, the weather was really warm and sunny. I decided to cut the arms and legs off of an old wetsuit I brought to make a ‘shorty’. After having cut them off, I tried the wetsuit on and it was way too big. One of my friends apparently had the same brand wetsuit and I accidentally modified his… That was a costly accident.

With what it problem should the person who read this, contact you immediately, as you cannot wait to solve it?

The trick is to build up the problem and make it seem very difficult, you are desperate and really only know one person who can help you solve it. Then of course we are always willing to help and try to become the hero of the day.

Tell us any (weird) fun fact about you?

I might have blue blood, because an anagram of my name is Baron Mijnenveld

why do you (want to) work for techspire?

at techspire i have the opportunity to be part of a growing company and can influence the culture in a positive manner. it’s been very interesting to see the different stages we’ve been in and each one has their own challenges. i now enter my fourth year with techspire and it has been a rollercoaster ride to see the company evolve. let’s keep continuously improving!