06 May 2024

Life at Inimco

A day in the life of an Inimco intern

To distinguish him from another ‘Philip’, Inimco colleagues refer to him as ‘Philippe de stagiair’ (Philippe the intern). But this does not mean at all that Philippe Mazur is treated as ‘simply an intern’. The people he works with, regard him as an equal. Right from day one, Philippe felt so welcome and at home at Inimco, that he did not hesitate to sign an employment contract already and start as a full-stack developer in October.

Can you explain your interest in IT? When did that start?

Philippe: I love it when writing lines of code turns into something visual. That’s why my first programming efforts led to building websites. I got hooked because my older brother was always playing computer games. I decided to take some online programming courses when I was in my sixth year at secondary school. Even though I had studied economics in secondary school, I decided to switch to IT when I continued my studies.

Programming offers such a variety of things to do. There is always a new challenge or problem popping up that you need to resolve. It’s very satisfying to conquer these challenges. When you work in IT, you learn something new every day. Programming is not repetitive at all, you constantly run into things you didn’t know yet.

Are  your hobbies also IT-related?

Philippe: In my spare time, I sometimes write mobile apps. But, most of the time, I spend my time doing sports, like working out or playing football with friends. In my younger days, I was quite good at football, and I trained with teams like Anderlecht, Antwerp, Ostend and Beveren. Nowadays, I play just for fun and to be with friends.

I must admit that my passion for IT spills over into my spending habits. You can consider me a gadget freak, spending money on things that other people find bizarre. I am part of a small community of people with a passion for keyboards, so I buy keyboard platforms which I can then customize with specific keys. That’s fun.


Education on the job

Why did you decide to do your internship here at Inimco? What attracted you to the company and its technology? And what are you doing here?

Philippe: Inimco was in the list of companies that AP Hogeschool let us choose from for our four-month internship. My interest was aroused because the description mentioned IoT software. And when I looked up the office location for a first meeting with Inimco, I discovered it was very close to my home. That was a lucky coincidence.

My task is to build an application for Inimco.Facts that monitors the resources that Facts is using. Is everything behaving properly, are there delays in the processes,… If everything goes to plan, this module will be added to Inimco.Facts later this year. By the end of my internship, I will have an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) ready.

How did you start, and how was your initiation to Inimco?

Philippe: The start was very good. Besides a good introduction to Inimco and the Inimco.Facts software, I was also educated on the standards that Inimco uses. As we use Microsoft Azure a lot, I really had to learn all the ins and outs of Azure. I quickly found out that we only got taught the basics of everything at school, while you have to get much deeper knowledge once you are working. Azure, for instance, was completely new to me.

The people at Inimco are extremely helpful. I can turn to anyone with questions or to ask for advice. Thomas was assigned as my ‘internship buddy’, but everyone here is ready to help out whenever I have a question. I found out that everyone has their specialization, and they are all eager to share their experience with me. So I get to work with a lot of different people and can simply suck up their know-how.

In my first weeks, I also spent quite a bit of time with Simon. He was an intern here last year, and his internship also led to a job at Inimco. He was very helpful and countered any worries that I had.

What is one of the most important lessons that you learned here?

Philippe: It’s not easy to estimate how long a task will take. We always work in sprints and I know what needs to happen in the sprint. So I estimate how long each task will take. But I found out that it can sometimes take two to three times longer. You never know exactly what will happen. I learned not to be too hard on myself when things take more time. You have to accept that that is normal when you work in an IT environment.


Working at Inimco: an easy decision

A month into your internship and you’ve already signed a contract with Inimco. You will work as a student in the summer, take some vacation and then return as a full-time employee in October. Was it so easy to decide?

Philippe: The colleagues are so nice, the atmosphere is so good. I really didn’t have to think twice when they offered me a full-time job at Inimco. This is so different than what I had imagined. My idea was that I was going to be in a huge office building with hundreds of desks crammed together and people working with their heads down all day. Sounds depressing, eh? The reality at Inimco is the exact opposite of that, with a lot of human interaction. I feel a lot of freedom here.

When I compare my internship with some of the stories I hear from my fellow students, I really got the winning ticket. Not all companies that my friends work at, are as well organized yet warm as Inimco is.

So I guess you would recommend working at Inimco to family and friends?

Philippe: I certainly would. There is a warm family culture here, where everyone is friends with everyone. When I get up in the morning, I look forward to coming here and working with everyone. I am convinced that there is no better place to start your IT career than here at Inimco.

Do you have a role model?

Philippe: My mother is my role model. She came from Ukraine to Belgium when she was 19 years old. She started as a cleaner, but now she runs her own cleaning company. She has worked very hard to provide for my brother and me, working two different jobs so she could make ends meets and ensure that we got a good education. Seeing her work so hard served as an inspiration for me when I felt low or dreaded doing something. I know I have to persevere like she did.