At ING, you develop software and yourself

‘At ING, you develop software and yourself’. This is not just an empty promise, as the stories of chapter lead Glenn ten Cate and product owner Job Blom illustrate.

Glenn and Job were involved in two recent learning campaigns – on secure coding and cloud expertise, respectively – for engineers at ING. A learning campaign runs for several weeks and includes a daily one-hour live stream (which can also be viewed later on demand) and learning recommendations from experts on the topic (either their own insights or a round-up of existing knowledge). This allows engineers to learn at their own pace, whenever and wherever it suits them.

Glenn on secure coding

Glenn ten Cate has become synonymous with IT security. His interest in it started when he was ten years old and his computer was hacked. He later built up experience in roles as a software developer, an ethical hacker and a security engineer. This ultimately resulted in the Security Knowledge Framework, an open-source application supporting ‘secure by design’ development processes which he set up together with his brother. The framework grew into a worldwide project used by countless organisations, including ING. Glenn subsequently joined ING and worked initially in the Netherlands. For the past three years he has been a chapter lead within security at ING Belgium.

“Secure coding is becoming increasingly topical – on the one hand because of legislation and regulations such as GDPR, and on the other because companies are realising that tools can only cover a small proportion of security issues. You have to offer developers the right training so that they apply secure coding principles from the start.”

“In our experience, engineers find it very cool to learn about security by design, and it’s even more appealing if they can do it in their own time and at their own pace, like with these campaigns. I think one good topic to cover next would be the ISO 25010 standard. Security is one of its eight pillars, and the other seven – such as testing, portability and maintainability – all contribute to security in some way.”

Job on building cloud expertise

Job Blom is global product owner of OnePipeline, the CI/CD solution for ING engineers worldwide. He comes from a management consulting background and has worked at Accenture and PwC. He joined ING in late 2018.

For the Building Cloud Expertise learning campaign, he helped to select interesting use cases and relevant training courses related to Microsoft Azure, which is the platform used by the 60 or so ING engineers working on OnePipeline. Job: “Our entire service runs in the cloud. We have approximately 15,000 users worldwide and we make it possible for their applications to be deployed almost entirely automatically – whether to our own data centres or in the cloud. Training is needed in order to keep this running smoothly, and as an added bonus we can also use this learning campaign when onboarding new engineering teams, so it’s a win-win situation.”

“What’s good about these campaigns is that they combine a very relevant, topical subject with the real-life situation. Engineers always like ‘the latest and the greatest’, but it’s even more interesting if they can immediately put what they have learned into practice when – in this case – migrating their software development to the cloud. So needless to say, this form of training has been very popular.”

About Glenn

Glenn lives and breathes computer code. It all started with a computer game; when he discovered that some of his opponents had hacked the game, he wanted to be able to do the same. His whole life revolves around hacking, “because I enjoy making the digital world a little safer. What first started as a hobby and a passion has now become my work,” he says. Glenn is the project leader of the ‘Security Knowledge Framework’ OWASP flagship project and additionally works on various hardware projects.

About Job

Job is the proud father of three daughters. He is an avid road cyclist and also enjoys going mountain biking in the woods with his eldest daughter. He is in his element when hiking in the mountains with his family and his favourite holiday destination is Italy.

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