Integration Hero: Alex ten Harkel
Enable U consists of individual heroes. Some work with customers, others send...
But the Enable U machine works so efficiently because of our many integration heroes. This series of integration heroes is intended to honor those individuals.
Leonid, you’re a developer. Why do you work for an integration specialist and not for one of the 1000 other employers who would like to onboard you?
“What I really like is the variety in my work. As a developer of OpenTunnel (our ESB solution for the Dutch Government), we have to deal with various standards and links to a wide variety of applications. We must always be able to respond to this and be prepared for it. In the past, the emphasis was on connecting with application suppliers, now I am mainly working on the development of the platform in terms of speed and security.”
You talk about the past. How long have you been working at Enable U?
“I started at JNet over 10 years ago and have been with Enable U since the acquisition of JNet in 2021. Already 30 years ago I completed my technical training in Minsk and after that I ended up at various Software companies. Through one of these clients I came into contact with Karl de Boer (founder JNet) and that’s how the ball started rolling.”
The OpenTunnel solution is constantly evolving. How do you get the input to determine these developments?
“We have several channels that contribute to the to-do list. Firstly, our customers regularly provide us with feedback about the platform and pass on wishes for new functionalities to us. In addition, we must always be up to date with supporting new standards, laws and regulations. We also regularly apply best practices from other technologies.
We collect this input and work with about 6 to 7 people on the development of new features and functions. Our team works in biweekly sprints and we divide small projects into dedicated teams. This way we spend minimal time on meetings and consultations and we work as efficiently as possible. “
What unique qualities do you possess to be able to do this work?
“You certainly have to have an eye for detail and be able to work independently. Integration is by definition solving a problem (two systems that can’t ‘communicate’ with each other) so you have to find this interesting and sometimes persevere if you actually want to give up; there is always a solution! It is also important that you can listen carefully in order to clarify the customer’s question, or the assignment. You must always have a meticulous look at the application and make sure all available information is on the table.
I am currently working on various features of the OpenTunnel platform and I pick up related customer tickets. I often communicate directly with the customer, or with the technical support of the customer and together we look for a possible solution.
It is important that you can switch off from work, because there is always something to do! To unwind, every day I walk outside for an hour. This is important for me to do in addition to so much screen time.”
How do you see your future with Enable U, Leonid?
“I’m going to delve into the other techniques we work with within Enable U, such as Adeptia and Boomi. Perhaps I can learn from these platforms and apply the knowledge to OpenTunnel. Furthermore, we are growing as an organization and there are still enough challenges for me so I certainly do not have to get bored! “