Successful completion of special school year

With Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences

The 2019/20 academic year has now come to an end and despite the exceptional circumstances in which students, lecturers and the business worked, NGTI can look back on an extremely good cooperation with University of Applied Sciences in Rotterdam. Just like last year, we again provided space to various graduates. And we successfully worked in groups with students.

We started the year by receiving a group of 1st year students who just started their studies a few days earlier. 30 Enthusiastic students made our office unsafe (something that we cannot imagine at the moment and also something that is difficult to simulate online) and got a taste of what to expect for the first time.

In the second half of the year, we actively participated in the “Emerging technologies” module in which groups of students apply new technology and present innovative applications to us in 20 weeks. NGTI was the client for 6 groups who set to work with the question of how emerging technology can contribute to improved customer experience in the Swisscom stores in Switzerland. Eye-tracking, image recognition, magnetic positioning, movement and gesture detection and object tracking are just examples of how these groups have come to surprising results. The Amazon Go concept is not only applicable in supermarkets and therefore less far away than we think.

The first graduate started with us in November. Stephen Goedhart has devoted himself to the subject of Web Assembly for 20 weeks. This has led to a proof of concept in which he uses different web assembly compilers to build a language independent coding playground. Between the companies he also applied some Machine Learning to facilitate programming language detection.

A second graduate started in February who showed us how we can not only apply artificial intelligence in our projects but also how we can use it ourselves. Jim Stam has applied Machine Learning to our own build pipelines, which enables us to predict which tests will fail and which will not. Fascinating technology with a very surprising application.

And this year we collaborated for the first time with the CMD, Communication and Multimedia Design course. We not only build technically complex solutions, but they also have to be beautiful and usable. The link with this branch of the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences is therefore obvious. Jamie Marcus graduated with us and, after very thorough research, showed how an application to stimulate knowledge sharing can be used to strengthen connections between colleagues. Jamie surprised us with an intriguing and promising prototype.

Stephen, Jim and Jamie eventually passed with an exceptionally good grade!

Finally, it should not be forgotten that we have been teaching ourselves again this year. In October, colleagues Camiel and (now ex-colleague, but no less appreciated!) Denis gave a successful introduction to scrum: An afternoon of teaching students the basics of agile working with Lego bricks.

Despite the fact that many of these activities had to take place online in the attic rooms, kitchens and even occasionally in the backyard in recent months, we can look back on good results by happy students, teachers and colleagues. And we not only look back but also forward. I strongly believe that business and education cannot exist without each other. So next year, 2020/21, we will again do all kinds of educational, innovative, but above all fun things together!