My first computer was a Texas Instruments TI-99/4A that my father bought when I was twelve (yes, that’s 1989). At that time, I was mainly interested in video games. That started to change in the beginning of the nineties when I studied bookkeeping-ICT at Klein Seminarie in Hoogstraten. There I learned not only the basics of business economics, but I also got introduced to office software (remember WordPerfect?), and even got to design relational databases (dBase anyone?).
No surprise then when in 1996 I started studying computer sciences at the KHK in Geel, now Thomas More. I was introduced to programming languages like COBOL, Visual Basic and C++. But my real interests proved to be at the networking and hardware department: configuring a Windows NT ethernet network, TCP/IP, etc. It still amazes me how the knowledge I learned during those years still comes in handy so many years later.
My courses at Data TestLab in Oud-Turnhout were the start of my career as an ICT journalist in 1999. The two brothers Jozef and Ludo Schildermans were my mentors back then. They learned me how to write more technical oriented articles, starting with simple one-product-reviews all the way up to big comparative product tests and background articles. My work was published in Dutch/Belgian ICT publications like Data News, CM, InfoWorld, LAN Magazine, etc.
I also was part of the launch of DiskIdee, one of the first online tech publications in Belgium. One of my side projects at Data TestLab was a case for Volkswagen in Vorst, in which I gave buying advice for desktop computers.
MY CAREER TILL NOW
Content Manager b2b @ Minoc Media Services (2016-2017)
TL;DR: responsible for 360 degrees content strategy in b2b publishing
- brand evangelist for Smart Business and Twinkle
- planning and creating content (text, video) in an editorial context, both for online and print
- performing research on b2b topics (ICT Yearbook)
- organizing b2b seminars and other events (Belgian Tech Show, Digital Transformation Day, Smart Business Awards)
- cms (WordPress), marketing automation (Silverpop), analytics (Google)
Technical Account Manager @ PriorWeb (2013-2015)
TL;DR: co-managing a top 5 Belgian hosting company
- designing, pitching and selling custom website hosting solutions
- liaison between major customers and technical experts
- coaching a support team
- negotiating with suppliers
- marketing and communication: writing blog posts, newsletters, etc.
What’s it about? – In 2013, after a career as a tech journalist, I decided to broaden my horizon and join the PriorWeb team. PriorWeb is a Belgian hosting company that focusses on product quality and customer satisfaction. Exactly the attitude I always used to have. My responsibilities consisted of a mix of inbound sales and marketing, as well as managing the day-to-day operations. The hosting business can get quite technical, so a lot of customers need clarification on products, support and configuration options. That’s where I came in, designing and explaining hosting solutions for standard business websites up to high-traffic e-commerce applications.
My biggest project was the launch of the new PriorWeb website in February 2015. Not only did I introduce a new website design, with new copy and a better navigational structure, I also brought to market a new range of ultra-competitive hosting and e-mail products.
Editor-in-chief PC Magazine @ Minoc Business Press (2008-2013)
TL;DR: responsible for the production of a monthly technology magazine
- production and content planning
- managing an editorial team, delegating freelancers
- reviewing technology products, blogging
- assuring product quality, both content and design wise
- establishing and maintaining contacts with major industry players
What’s it about? – In May 2008, I got promoted to be editor-in-chief of PC Magazine. PC Magazine has its roots in the United States and is a well-known ICT publication with a strong focus on in-depth, critical reviews of both hard- and software. I was responsible for maximizing the readership potential of the PC Magazine brand in Belgium and The Netherlands. Thanks to a team of specialized editors, together with the infrastructure of PC Labs, one of Europe’s leading test labs, I was able to provide our readership with objective and need-to-know information to support their ICT buying intentions. Furthermore, I regularly made deals with software suppliers to bundle a full version application with the magazine.
Editor and deputy editor-in-chief @ Clickx Magazine (2003-2008)
TL;DR: reviewing, comparing and writing about IT products
What’s it about? – I mainly wrote tech related product reviews, background and news articles, and shopping guides. One of my articles about software licensing was featured on the official Microsoft website. Also, at Clickx, I closely followed the booming market of broadband internet service providers. My monthly round-up called Providergids showed the real-life download and upload speeds of the major national ISP’s.