“Our developers are responsible for the impact of their own software”

Thijs van Dord, IT Lead of the Digital Solutions Team

Thijs van Dord (45) is IT Lead and looks after the safe authentication and authorisation of Rabobank’s digital channels. He does this with twelve teams, which together form the Digital Solutions Team. An important change: for a number of years now, the developers have also been responsible for their product’s added value.

“Do you log into Rabobank’s app? When you do so, our developers are responsible for ensuring that the app correctly establishes your identity and checks what you are allowed to do in this digital environment. Our teams are responsible for the secure operation of the underlying systems. This is a very important element of the site and app: if something goes wrong here, you’ll notice it immediately. The app could stop working, for example, and Rabobank would immediately be in the news. We can and must prevent that. Although we work behind the scenes with complex technology, we are still directly linked to the customer because of the impact of that technology.”

Responsible for the product’s added value

“Our responsibilities have grown in recent years. In addition to developing the software, we’re now also responsible for the win: the added value of the software for the customer. That’s why we are working closely together with our colleagues from Business, so that we can combine their ideas with ours. Of course we are also responsible for managing the software we develop. We can learn a lot from all our software’s user data, which helps us to keep improving the software. If, for example, a team member discovers in that data that customers tend to drop out at a specific point in the app, we can make a relevant adjustment immediately.”

As we are a large company, we have many resources that enable us to go the extra mile.
Thijs van Dord

Challenge and seeking to cooperate

“Because of the new responsibilities, our work has become a lot more challenging. And complex. We can only fulfil those tasks if there is good cooperation between the teams. This requires good communication about how you are going to meet the goals together. As we apply agile working, our communication is efficient and everyone knows what everyone else is doing. We start every morning with a brief discussion: how are things, and how are we going to make sure we finish our tasks by the end of the day?”

Sharing knowledge with each other

“You can see that people are increasingly sharing their knowledge with each other. That’s great, as it also means we are growing as a group. Various colleagues – with the same expertise or interests – meet weekly to discuss developments within a specific subject. This could be about a new framework or a process innovation, which often inspires ideas about how we can make even further improvements to how we work. Recently, one of our teams initiated the so-called ‘Bob days’. Every other week they get together to focus on the code for which they are responsible.”

Using the latest technologies

“As we are a large company, we have many resources that enable us to go the extra mile. We compete with start-ups and some smaller companies, which often lack those resources. The tools and frameworks to complete the job are often expensive. And here they are available! We are progressive in technological terms and investigate how we can increase our impact with new technologies. We are often faced with exciting technological challenges, as we develop products for a large user group, against high quality demands. That makes our job here very attractive!”