Sander van den Oever

Sander van den Oever
Computer Science student

Track: Software Technology
Interests: Software (Web) Engineering
Occupation: PHP Developer

Recent blogs


July 2019
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Posts in category Thesis

Thesis, thesis and more thesis

Hi everyone! It has been a while since my last update, so let me tell you what I’ve been working on since my last blog. In my last blog I told you that I was done with my last course and that I had finally started working on the very last item on the to-do list; my thesis. So far I did not make as much progress as I had expected (-whoops-) but it has been fun anyway! šŸ™‚

Security and Cryptography; the last course

So the results of the exam on Security & Cryptography arrived a few weeks after making the exam, sadly I didn’t pass. Which meant I had to do the resit in Q2. Meanwhile also those results have been announced and this time I passed. šŸ™‚ So, no more exams! -yeay-!

Thesis update

After Q1 I started working full-time in Amsterdam to work on my thesis. Or well, that was the intention. I got caught up in development a bit too much. Development is also really nice, but of course I didn’t make any real progress. Instead of reading papers I would quickly fix some ‘small’ bugs. At some point I started noticing the time I had spent on development vs. reading literature. Then I decided to lower the amount of hours I would spend on development in order to focus on the actual thesis. So let me give you a quick summary of what IĀ have been doing for my thesis.

First, I wanted to make sure that I would document all papers I had read; I did not want to end up in a situation where I had to find back a paper because I remember the contents, but not what paper it is in. So I started out with Mendeley. It’s actually a nice service, I can keep a list of all my papers, search for publication details, export to BibTeX format, attach the paper PDF versions, etc. I like to print the papers (on actual paper) such that I can use a highlighter to mark important sections or make notes. I’m researching how I can get the new developers at bunq more efficient in less time, or more generically; how to shorten the onboarding time for developers in an existing project. I will try to do this using traceability information; linking code to documentation and by creating some visualisations. It’s not really set in stone yet, but at least that is what I’ve been reading about. Last week I had a couple of interviews with junior developers at bunq, to interview them about their experiences back in their first days. Right now I’m writing the transcripts of those conversations and I’m trying to see what commonalities there are.

I received my first batch of feedback already, so I processed that as well. I started writing as early as possible to get some early feedback. This was actually advised by my supervisor and so far it works out well. After the next feedback I think I’m almost ready to proceed with some implementation work.

Another day at bunq HQ

Another day at bunq HQ

Spring break

In Delft we have one week without exams, lectures or whatsoever. It’s right between Q2 and Q3; an ideal moment to run away for a short holiday. I went to Gran Canaria (Spain) for some hiking there. Really amazing island. At first I stayed in the northern part of the island in Las Palmas and halfway the week I moved to the southern part near Maspalomas. Although the weather was ‘average’, it was a really nice break from Delft.

La Isleta, Gran Canaria

La Isleta, Gran Canaria

La Isleta, Gran Canaria

La Isleta, Gran Canaria

See ya!

Party eh thesistime!

Hi all,

So time is passing by really fast again; I’ve finished lectures for my last course (Security and Cryptography) which means I am now full time in Amsterdam at bunq for my thesis. šŸ˜€

So far I’ve mostly been working rather than doing anything for the thesis though. When I started full time it was in the week before a big update event, so a lot of time was spent by everyone on the new features that were about to be launched. It’s really tempting to just forget about the entire thesis, but after all the craziness of the update, I finally started with the actual literature study. So I want to look into something in the direction of Program Comprehension and Traceability of features to code and vice versa. My ultimate goal is to enable developers to get up to speed in a big existing framework without too much efforts (right now a developer needs to spend a lot of time on getting familiar with the structure, coding style, etc.). It would save a lot of time (and hence costs) when developers were to be top efficient earlier on. So I’ve been reading up on visualisation techniques, automatic tracing techniques, etc. I already started making a lot of notes and writing the rough outline of my thesis. I have a great supervisor, Andy Zaidman, who gave me a lot of pointers recently. So I have a clear view of what I will need to do in the upcoming weeks. šŸ™‚ It will be nice! I will try to share my findings in my blog as well, but my NDA might limit me a bit there, so let’s see. šŸ™‚

Other than that bunq is all about doing things differently, so instead of a really formal dinner with all suits and super polite business talks we had a really nice dinner with the entire team together, and afterwards there was a drive-inn casino! Super awesome! These informal events are something I really like about bunq, as well as that every 6 weeks we are moved to different offices. So one week I sit together with another developer, the next office shuffle I end up with Guides (support employees) and Marketing people.

Party and drive-inn casino at bunq's HQ (the bunqr)

Party and drive-inn casino at bunq’s HQ (the bunqr)

Last thing I wanted to share; you might have heard already, but we were caught by a lot of snow last week here in The Netherlands. Which, when travelling by train, is always really inconvenient. (Do mind, biking is not really advised either). But the train schedule tends to get a mess quickly with snow, luckily I barely had any delays, and one day when I arrived home I found this awesome family of snowmen at my front door.

Snowmen at my frontdoor

Snowman at my frontdoor

Right now the Christmas holidays are coming up, so I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and successful 2o18!



Hi all! As the holidays are here there are no more lectures for me to follow until Q1 starts. That leaves me a lot of time to do stuff I really enjoy. One of those things is developing software. That’s why I will be working at bunq during the summer. This also helps me to prepare for my thesis in the end, which I will be completing at the same company. So, maybe you don’t really know what “bunq” is; it’s a ‘fintech’ company. Officially speaking it’s a bank (with a license and all) but bunq rather sees itself as a tech-company that happens to have a banking license. So what I really like there is that they’ve build everything from scratch, with a few simple design principles in mind. The codebase however is quite big, and it is always challenging to understand the structure of such a project.

Working at the company where I will be doing my thesis also allows me to orientate for possible thesis topics. As my supervisor is focusing his research on software testing and software evolution it seems obvious to go that way. At this point I’m really intrigued by the onboarding process for a software project; I think a lot of time can be saved here so I’ll be looking into possible studies there. I still have a lot of time left anyway to decide.

Apart from working I also try to enjoy some of my spare time; I went to Nijmegen to support my girlfriend at the Vierdaagse (Four Days Marches). The weather was really awesome and the atmosphere was also great. I rather not walk 4 times 40km / day but I have a lot of respect for those who participated. Furthermore I went for some shopping in the Hague, dropped some of my friends off at Schiphol Airport and planned meetings. We’re still talking to multiple parties for the enrolment analysis tool. I’ve managed to get a Single-Sign On setup working, so now we can authenticate users with the official NetID system used here at the university.

Vierdaagse @ Nijmegen

Vierdaagse @ Nijmegen

Vierdaagse @ Nijmegen with friends / family.

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