Meet Anchor(wo)men: Derk

“I always like to get to know my colleagues better, so every now and then I sit down with one of them and ask some questions. So, let’s meet Derk!” – Naiyara

Hello, everyone! My name is Derk Crezee, I’m the Head of Engineering at Anchormen in Amsterdam and I got caught to tell something about myself, so here it goes.

I guess I’m one of the few, true Amsterdammers at Anchormen. I was born in the city and have lived most of my life here, and I love it! After high school I took a gap year and lived in the French Alps. I used the location as my headquarters to travel around Europe and decide what I want to do with my life. Initially I was leaning towards Psychology but thank God I reconsidered and went into Artificial Intelligence instead. I quite liked it, which I guess is evident because I did both my Bachelors and Masters in AI.

I finished my studies in 2007. At that time there weren’t many companies working with AI and Data Science wasn’t really a profession yet. This actually opened the door to Engineering for me. I started working at a company that was building online video streaming applications. YouTube was just becoming popular, but the video quality was still below par, while we were doing high-quality streaming for archives and broadcasters globally. It was really thrilling to work with what was considered high-tech back then.

Once I felt it was time for a career change, I started looking at the market again. Although it was 2016, there were still many companies that were only at the beginning of their data journeys. I was in contact with several organizations, but they were all looking for someone to set up the foundations towards a data-driven approach. I was looking for a company that had hands-on experience in this area and where I could learn from colleagues, so it didn’t feel right to me at the time.

This was the main reason why I decided to work for Anchormen. While everyone else was still talking about data, they were doing projects for companies in the Netherlands. I participated in one of the training courses Anchormen provides, where I met Jeroen Vlek, Anchormen’s CTO, whom I already knew from my studies in University. He pointed me to the right people to talk to and we really hit it off.

I was hired as a Data Engineer and I’ve been doing it for two years now. At the start of the year I became the Head of Engineering at Amsterdam, which means I now lead a team of 10+ Data Engineers. I’m still actively involved in projects, but nowadays my responsibilities have transitioned more towards supervising and ensuring we deliver high-quality solutions. Together with my team, we design and build Data Hubs; platforms which are able to process and contain all of our clients’ data. Currently, I’m working three days a week at one of our clients in Utrecht together with some of my colleagues.

In my personal life, I spend a lot of time with my family. My daughter is four years old now so it’s a very exciting period. I love traveling and try to combine that with one of my hobbies – surfing. I used to be a windsurf instructor when I was younger, but nowadays I mostly do regular surfing. Other than that, I do kick-boxing when I have the time and am a huge Formula 1 fan!

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