My name is Patrick Broek and I am 47 years old. I have been married to my wife, Saskia, for 20 years and we have two children, ages 18 and 14.
I was born in Alkmaar, but am now living in Zoetermeer (Sweetlake City). I studied to be an electrotechnical engineer (MBO Elektrotechniek), but never actually started to work in that area. Immediately after my education, I started working for an American company that built a long haul fiber backbone network throughout Europe. They needed some people for monitoring.
Throughout my career, I have always focused on monitoring fixed and mobile communications, as well as e-payment networks and platforms. At some point, I was ready to take the next step and found Devoteam while searching for my next job. Working for multiple clients appealed to me, which was the reason for me to join Devoteam.
What is your role at Devoteam?
I am a Lead Consultant, specialized in Observability, in the Innovative Technology pillar within Devoteam. In my role as a Lead Consultant, my primary focus is on engaging with different clients to collaborate on projects related to Observability and Monitoring. Typically, these projects span a duration of 1 to 3 years. In addition to my work for clients, I actively participate in the Observability community, where I get a lot of energy from. Talking to and working with like-minded people who share a passion for their work is the best part.
The first months at Devoteam – what was your experience?
Given that it has been over five years, I need to take a moment to reflect on this question. A lot of things have happened since then.
Devoteam is the first consultancy company I have worked for. Before that I was always on the ‘client’-side. From the moment I joined the company, I immediately felt like I was part of the company. The flat organizational structure fostered an inclusive environment where everyone showed genuine interest in me and openly discussed their projects. It didn’t take long before I found myself working at a desk next to the Senior Vice President, Bert Schaap—something that is quite rare in other companies I have worked for.
Everything was well arranged, so a huge thank you to HR and our ‘IT Manager’, Wilfred Mollenvanger, who doesn’t really have a formal job title.
What are you doing now at Devoteam?
I have been working on a project for the Dutch police for 2.5 years now. I am part of the LaaS team (Logging as a Service), which provides an Elastic Cloud Enterprise platform for many police applications to send their logs to.
Due to confidentiality reasons, I am unable to provide extensive details about what is going on. However, I can mention that the platform itself is huge, which presents a diverse range of challenges that are both technical and non-technical.
At Devoteam, I am part of the Observability Community that focuses primarily on Elastic. We have grown quite significantly in the number of consultants. To keep the momentum and interaction going, we frequently organize a Tech Friday to discuss our projects, marketing, sales (possible new clients) and the Elastic product itself. The biggest attraction is that we come up with various topics to work on or to explore during breakout sessions.
Because we hear about the work and challenges we face at our clients, we can solve things together. Also, the Elite Partnership with Elastic helps a great deal in that.
I am fortunate to be working on one of the biggest Elastic Cloud Enterprise (ECE) solutions in the Netherlands and it gives me satisfaction and energy to solve challenges and take things one step further every day.
What is the achievement at Devoteam that you are most proud of?
As mentioned previously we have a great community. That this community is working so well together is something I am proud of.
I am also proud of gaining the trust of the client to onboard more of our consultants. Lead Consultants, Senior Consultants, but also new consultants that just finished the future track. We now have a team of 14 people, of which 7 are from Devoteam.
It gives me a lot of energy to learn from everybody, but also help and coach people where needed.
What are the most important skills you need for your position?
Having a broad understanding of various technologies, but specialized in Observability. Elastic is the main platform you need to be knowledgeable about and is boosted if you are certified (Observability Engineer, Elasticsearch Engineer and Data Analyst). I am certified in all 3 areas.
Keep yourself updated with Kubernetes, Docker, Ansible, Linux, Python, etc.
When you’re not working, what are you doing in your free time?
Taking long walks and riding on my electric bike. I want to enjoy the ride and not fight head wind all the time, we are in the Netherlands after all. I also like to keep my house up-to-date, meaning keeping the paint work up and fixing and improving all parts of the house. Also, I love to wash my car and maintain the paintwork, so it stays beautiful.
I am very happy with where I am today and will keep on enjoying life and my passion for Observability!