This year, 45 young professionals started the various Ordina Kickstarter trajectories. Five of those, participated in the Kickstarter trajectory of JWorks. Each of them looking for a challenge and a fresh start! For some, it was a transition between school and work, and Ordina handled this very well. The main goal of this trajectory was to widen every student’s knowledge of the IT world. They taught us the basics of every topic that’s hot at the moment. This will definitely come in handy during our first project.

First impressions

When we arrived the first day, we were welcomed with breakfast and afterwards, we got a tour around the building. The corporate culture here is truly a plus for Ordina and we immediately felt at home as everybody is really friendly and helpful. We got our equipment consisting of a car and either a Windows laptop or a MacBook Pro depending on our preference. It’s clear that, starting from day one, Ordina makes sure that their consultants are well equipped to work successfully.

What is the Kickstarter trajectory?

The Kickstarter trajectory consisted of intensive training spanning two months. During this time, courses on different frontend and backend technologies, methods, tools and soft skills were given by senior consultants and external lecturers. This trajectory is ideal for graduating students and people who want to make a switch to IT. The constant guidance and support made this a good preparation for our first project.

During the fourth week we had a team building event with all the kickstarters from the different units. The goal was to get to know the other kickstarters and strengthen our team spirit by shooting each other with bow and arrow!


During the last week of the Kickstarter trajectory, the ‘JOIN Event’ was held. This day was split into two parts: the unit meeting where the whole JWorks unit gathers for a year report where every competence center presents its past and upcoming activities, and the completed and current projects are highlighted. And in the afternoon the JOIN Event itself. There were talks given by members of JWorks as well as by external speakers about upcoming or commonly used technologies such as Docker and Spinnaker, but also about Scrum and User Experience. In addition to gaining knowledge about these subjects, this event provides a unique opportunity to meet most members of the unit or at least see them, since there are over a hundred.

Join 2017

Other events we could participate in were the CC-meetings and the Ordina Boardgame Night. These also provided opportunities to get to know both our and other units as we deepened our understanding of the presented subjects. As you can see Ordina employees are very involved.


We kicked off our career at Ordina in the JWorks unit. The main technologies used in this unit are Java & JavaScript. Most of the workshops in the Kickstarter trajectory are based on these two technologies. Small side note, don’t be fooled by these names: Java & JavaScript have no underlying connection. In general, the development of modern applications is divided into two main groups: the frontend part and the backend part. Java dominates in the backend part, while JavaScript is located in the frontend part. For two months, we’ve had the luxury to deepen our knowledge in both domains, in order to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the cutting-edge technology stack that’s being used in JWorks. Below you’ll find a brief overview of the technologies we explored and applied in the workshops.

  • Frontend
    • HTML5, CSS3, BEM, SASS
    • JavaScript, TypeScript
    • Angular (2+), Ionic
    • Npm, Bower, webpack
  • Backend
    • Newest features in Java 7/8/9
    • Java EE, Spring, Spring Boot with Maven
    • JPA, Hibernate
    • Unit Testing: JUnit, Mockito, etc.
    • MongoDB
    • Cloud solutions (PaaS, IaaS, SaaS): Pivotal Cloud Foundry and OpenShift
    • Docker, Git
  • Design principles and methodologies
    • Microservices
    • Agile, Scrum
    • DevOps, Continuous Integration
    • DDD, BDD, TDD

Rather than learning these technologies in isolation, we learned to create applications by combining them. For example, we used TypeScript, CSS and Ionic to build mobile apps, we wrote backend logic by uniting the forces of Spring Boot, Java and unit testing. We also combined Angular, TypeScript, SASS, HTML and npm to create a web application.

In our projects, we learned to utilize the Version Control System Git to collaborate with a team and share projects and code progress. One thing we’ll never forget is that if we push breaking changes to the master branch and break the build, we’ll have to buy “boterkoeken” for the unit! Last but not least, we were introduced to the wonderful world where clean code and microservices are the heroes that kick spaghetti code and monoliths in the butt.

During the trajectory we also had a couple of “free” days during which we had to read the Clean Code book and prepare ourselves for the Oracle Certified Associate, Java SE 8 Programmer I exam.

Memorable moments

“The soft skill sessions were real eyeopeners and gave me a better understanding regarding introducing myself, giving presentations and the Agile methodology. The introduction to microservices was very interesting since moving away from monoliths is the way to go.” – Ken

“The tips received during the communication essentials sessions are a backpack full, good enough to present myself in a proper way. Diverse technologies used in JWorks e.g. turning a monolith to microservices, a different type of database like MongoDB, running your applications in Docker containers and such.” – Michiel

“Learning about the existence of ‘microservices’ versus ‘monoliths’. Writing unit-tests to see if the code does what it should do before deploying the application in production. And the introduction to the MongoDB database and how to use it in the command line interface.” – Jef

“The communication sessions were worth their weight in gold! How often do you get a chance to practice communication in the most awkward situations? I guess every day, but at least in these sessions there were no real repercussions :)” – Simon

“Learning about all those different technologies. There really is too much to choose from. But if I have to pick something, it’s the Spring Boot session. I previously experimented with Spring Boot at my internship, where nothing seemed to make sense. But after this session, everything I was struggling with became clear and fell into place.” – Nick

The new JWorks colleagues

Nick Geudens Ken De Becker Michiel Willems Jef Willems Simon Buysse

Nick is a Java developer with a focus on backend development. This is certainly not an exclusion. Outside the Java world, you can also see him messing around with Angular, Go and Kubernetes and lots of other technologies.

Ken is a junior Java Developer at Ordina Belgium. His main focus is on backend development. He enjoys working with the underlying logic of applications as well as learning new and innovative technologies.

Michiel is a junior Java Developer at Ordina Belgium who’s just graduated from kickstarter project 2017. He’s mainly focussing at the backend and databases.

Jef is a Junior Java Developer at Ordina Belgium. His intrest for databases results in focusing on the backend part. Jef enjoys working with SQL, he also starts to explore mongoDb.
After succeeding the Kickstarter Trajectory 2017 he also saw that Unit testing and Microservices are two concepts that he wants to explore in-depth.

Simon is passionate about coding, elegant pattern designs, JavaScript and related frameworks. As a Business Engineer he has a broad range of business and technical skills, and he loves employing technology to tackle business challenges. In his spare time he’s either working on a woodworking project or chasing some elusive Northsea swell to catch a wave.