Stagiare meets trainee @ ING

Hi Kostas, thank you for making some time for me! You are one of the first internationals of Young Colfield! How have you experienced your Young Colfield time up to now?
I started in January this year and I actually dove straight in to the ING environment. So the first month I was already at ING and the second month of my traineeship I’ve spend a lot of time with my TEP team at Young Colfield, as we had our training. I started pretty excited and I still am, because it feels like there is something new every day: at ING but also whenever there are sessions of Young Colfield. It’s been a new experience for me and I’ve been learning, growing and improving both my hard and soft skills a lot during the past 6 months.

At what department of ING are you working for? How does your day look like?
I’m working on the Web marketplace with my squad at the IT- department of ING. The name of my squad is ‘Atomic Kittens’. A lot of teams use funny names in the IT department and I’m quite a fan of our team name! There are two other teams in my tribe: ‘200 OK’ and ‘Fruitloops’ and together we form tribe ‘Building Blocks 1’. Every team is working on different fields. My team is working mainly on the front-end with the Web marketplace and the component catalogue. Fruitloops are taking care of the component and application builds and deployments and 200 OK are focused on making reusable high-quality web components for the other squads.

And what my day looks like: first things first: I start with a cup of coffee. Then I set up my environment, open my mail, check out some to-do lists and my taskboard. At 09:15 we have a stand-up with the whole squad. What we actually do during the stand-ups is tell each other what we did yesterday, what we will do today and what’s blocking us. Usually, that takes about 10-15 minutes. After we have prioritised the tasks, we divide them through the team. For the moment I don’t get the ‘hardest’ tasks because I’m not as experienced as the rest of my team. But I will get there 😊 Then we work until noon and lately we go outside during the break, because of the great weather we’ve had. When we come back from our break, we’re going back to work again. Pretty frequently, we have meetings with other teams in the afternoon, but that just really depends on the day and sprint.

Could you please tell me more about your team?
My team consists of 1 Product Owner and 3 Developers. Rather small team, but it’s going really well and we’re working pretty fast. During the Demo (at the end of the sprint, every 2 weeks), we present to the other squads what we’ve achieved so far and what we’re planning to do: kind of like a very big stand-up! The most important part is that you have the same vision, motivation and a good communication with your team. If that’s good, the rest will follow.

You said that you had a full month of training. How have you experienced that? Have you learned any things which you can use in the daily life of ING?
During my first month at ING, it took quite some time to set myself up, adapt to the environment, find out how things work, meet everyone and slow starting to better understand my role and responsibilities. So, when I started with the training month, I already had a sort of ‘picture’ of how things work at ING. It was a real benefit, because it helped me to focus even more on the important learnings and understand the material of the trainings faster.

If you had to describe Young Colfield in 4 words, what would you say?
Enthusiastic, ambitious, energetic and gezellig (that’s the best Dutch word ever).