He did not excel in language, to put it mildly. "But I've always been very good at arithmetics", says Luc Blom (35), Embedded Software Engineer at ENTER. Through ENTER he works at a manufacturer of milking robots at the moment, previously he worked on the first European quantum computer. Starting at Prevocational Secondary Education (in Dutch: VMBO), Luc had to work hard to get to where he is now, but at a very young age he already knew what he was good at and what he really liked to do.
That was not only arithmetic, but also physics. Via VMBO he went to Intermediate Vocational Education (MBO in Dutch). He chose Chemistry as his direction. After that he went on to Higher Vocational Education (HBO in Dutch) where he studied Electrical Engineering. Still not having had enough he applied for a Bachelor of Physics and Astronomy in University. "And then stíll I wasn't finished yet," he laughs, "because I decided to also get a Master's degree in Theoretical Physics. Super cool, but I can't explain to anyone what I was doing. Plus, if I wanted to publish, I had to write and that I didn't want to. I didn't want to become a professor, I wanted to create. That's why I started working as a software developer. That's very abstract and contains a lot of mathematics, but it's also applied to a product that you actually see working."
"My manager at ENTER knows what steps to take in my career"
Work as a hobby
He started his career at a research institute that makes constellations. In this job, Luc wrote software, something that suited him. “I didn't have to write papers, but I could participate in the research. It was also very diverse; from biological subjects about, for example, worms and their DNA to subjects about light. I also read up on a lot of research. My work became also my hobby. But at a certain point I wanted to take a step further and that’s when I ended up at ENTER."
"It struck me that at ENTER it was really about me as a person and that it is important that I feel good about myself and that my work really suits me. With other secondment firms I felt much more like I would become a number," says Luc about his choice. Through ENTER, Luc then started working at a partnership between TU Delft and TNO. In doing so, he once again opted for the research domain. "My assignment over there, was a step further than what I had done before. But at a certain point I wanted to know what it's like to work on software in the industry and thus also to develop myself a little further."
"I wanted to create. That's why I started working as a software developer. That's very abstract and contains a lot of mathematics, but it's also applied to a product that you actually see working."
That opportunity came from a developer of milking robots. "I regularly speak to my manager at ENTER, Patrick. That's very nice, because he knows what I want, but he also knows what steps to take in my career". Luc likes working in the industry. "The projects in the industry are more deadline driven than in the world of research. Work really has to be done within a certain time and you're really working towards something. I like that.”
For the future, Luc is keen to work on projects as a consultant for shorter periods of time. "I think it would be very cool if I can get a project on track by myself. But then I still need a bit of experience, plus the fact that I have become a little more assertive. But ENTER can help me with both, so for now I'm still totally fine here.”