Right after the company was brought to life, Dennis was approached by Erwin, one of the Speakap founders. At that time, Dennis he was studying Communication & Multimedia Design at the NHL in Leeuwarden (The Netherlands) but he didn’t have to think twice. As an employee since the very beginning, Dennis de Jong (31) is an essential link in Team Speakap.
Where are you from?
I was born in Sneek, in the north of the Netherlands, and I’m currently living in Heerenveen.
How long have you worked at Speakap?
Five and a half years.
Speakap back then versus Speakap nowadays. What has changed?
The team has become more professional, we work in a more structured way and we now have a very clear focus of where we want to go to as a company. In the beginning, it was not only a great search for the niche we could best focus on, but we were also searching for the best techniques to use. Besides that, we had to figure out how to cooperate efficiently with our developers, the best way to implement our product at our clients etc....
Speakap is located in Amsterdam, you’re living in Heerenveen. Does that mean you have to commute a lot?
When I started working for Speakap, the company was operating from Lelystad. That was only a 40 minute drive, so easily doable. When we moved to Amsterdam, I decided to partly work from home in order to save up to 4 hours of travel time per day. For both sides, this is working out really well. As long as there is great output and commitment, there is a lot of freedom at Speakap. It is because of that freedom that you notice that everyone takes their responsibility seriously and puts great effort into their work, which is great to notice.
What did you do before Speakap?
Before I ended up in this sector at all, I worked as a cook in a French-International restaurant. When I was 23, I decided to study again (Communication & Multimedia Design) because I was fed up with the irregular working hours and the bad salary. During my study, I started working for an internet agency as a designer and web developer. And that is where I gained my first experience in this sector.
What do you find important in your job?
Diversity, creative freedom, challenges, colleagues with the same attitude, appreciation.
Since the Speakap team is quite compact, I feel that I’m involved in all departments. This provides diversity, new insights, challenges and occasionally appreciation as well. So, currently I’m at the right place at Speakap.
"There is a lot of freedom at Speakap. Everyone takes their responsibility seriously and puts great effort into their work, which is great to notice."
What does your ideal working day look like?
My ideal workday is a day with an early start, where I know in advance what I'm going to do and have the time to pay attention to my tasks. I like to cooperate on the bigger tasks and to see the results after a day of work. This can be a checked off to-do list of fresh screen designs for the Speakap application or layouts for the website.
What is your greatest talent?
My talents are that I’m independent, flexible, a hard worker and I’m broadly oriented. I’m employable for differents tasks, no detail passes me unnoticed and I am critical of myself.
As a designer at Speakap, what are your biggest challenges for 2018?
The biggest challenge for this year will be the extension of the design team. Especially now that the team is growing so fast, it’s noticeable that there’s too much work for one person. 'Small requests' are coming from all sides and, besides those, larger projects have to be picked up and kept up for us to stay ahead of the competition. It’s also important to keep reading about and deep diving into the newest developments in the sector. This is something that I struggle to do at the moment due to time. I regret that.
Ideally, the team would be extended by two or three people: one marketing designer, an UI/UX designer and someone like me who’s there to keep an overview, monitor quality and jump in where needed.
Company culture at Speakap in three words:
Transparant, innovative and driven.
What do you like to do on Sundays?
Sleep until late, get my kites and spend the whole day on and by the water with my friends.
You are most proud of:
My daughter, Zoë.
Your weekends starts with this song:
Drive Slow - Kanye West.
Want to be part of our great team? Check out our vacancies here.