My (re)start at JTeam

by Alef ArendsenApril 6, 2009

As I told you about a month ago, I quit SpringSource, or at least, quit being actively involved as an employee. It was time to move on after having been there since the beginning and having gone through quite a lot of challenges and having worked with so many great people there.

There are two simple reasons for my leaving SpringSource: although the work i did was very exciting, I dearly missed the entrepreneurial aspects in my work and on top of that, although we have a great team at SpringSource, not being able to work side by side with them (I was mainly attending and speaking at conferences, educating people and consulting for clients the last 2 years) kind of bugged me.

When I was in Israel right before the turn of the year, I was lucky enough to attend a great end of year party at a company called AlphaCSP. They’re a great bunch of guys doing really cool stuff and when thinking things over in between Christmas and New Year’s I came to the conclusion that I wanted to be involved with JTeam again.

Joost van de Wijgerd and I started JTeam in 2002 after we had both left SmartHaven, a startup focusing on knowledge management solutions. At first we wanted to call our company The A-Team but quickly decided that would be a little corny, so settled on JTeam as the alternative. After all, the main thing we did was Java.

The idea about what we were planning to with JTeam was (and still is) quite simple:

  • build great solutions for customers using state-of-the-art technology,
  • in everything we do exceed the expectations of our customers and
  • tell the world about what we’re doing.

I can say we succeeded in quite a lot of ways. Since the beginning of 2002, we build quite a number of solutions that have satisfied our customers. On a quite a number of occasions, we exceeded the expectations clients had of those solutions and of the service we are offering and with plenty of people blogging on their personal blogs, writing articles and speaking at conferences, we’ve let the world know we’re there.

The fact that JTeam has continued to do this, although both Joost quit being actively involved on a day-to-day basis starting early mid 2005 or so really satisfies me and I’m very happy that I can be part of this team again.

My title officially is Strategic Advisor. This is the result of endless hours of brainstorming about it (not). After first coming up with things like Chief Janitor (I would have liked this myself, but I really am going to more than cleaning the toilets) and Java Guru (yeah, I might know a thing or two about Java, but I think there are people at JTeam that know more in the meantime) we settled for Strategic Advisor. I’m still not really sure what that means. What I do know is that it feels good to be part of this team again and to work with the team to improve the stuff we do even more.

What will I be doing? Well, after having been at JTeam for little over a month now, I can say I haven’t had much time to do serious coding nor do I expect to be doing any of that in the near future. I’ll be mainly focusing on helping clients get more out of JTeam and the technologies we use at JTeam to build all these great solutions.

Of course I have gained quite a lot of experiences during my time at SpringSource with the development of software in an community-driven way, and this experience is definitely something I’m going to use on a day-to-day basis. As Leonard blogged last week the Dutch government has actively started to adopt open source software the last few years and I’ve already had some very fruitful discussions the last few weeks with clients of JTeam about this.

You can expect the occasional blurb from me here about community-driven software development, open source software, individual technologies, but also things focusing on teamwork, knowledge management and business in general.

If you have any questions for me directly, please send me an email at firstname at jteam dot nl.