Jan Bot, senior advisor at SURFsara

Jan Bot started in 2013 as an advisor in the Department of eScience & cloud services and is now senior advisor in the field of e-infrastructures. ‘The great thing is that by working at SURFsara you get to contribute to the position of the Netherlands as a knowledge economy, and to promote excellence in science.'

Help scientists in their work

‘Scientists and academics who need computing power or a high-performance infrastructure for their research often don't know exactly what they need and how the systems work. As an advisor, I talk to them and identify their requirements. I also help them with the implementation. Sometimes a simple consultation is enough, while other times I might need to get involved in the entire project. The most important thing is to always understand the researchers: for them, using the systems of SURFsara isn’t an end, but a means.’

Affinity with research

‘The combination of technology and research makes SURFsara unique. You get to help scientists and academics with your IT solution. This allows them to do their research, and in doing so, you help further science. It’s as simple as that. SURFsara is a fantastic place for people who, like me, have an affinity with research, but who are not a researcher themselves. In this way, I can still contribute. What’s more: working conditions are better here and your future prospects are a lot less uncertain than for a researcher.’

Jan Bot

Social and informal

‘I often visit the institutions, work together with scientists and academics and with colleagues from the operating companies. So my job is quite social, although I sometimes also lock myself up in my office for a few days to build something a scientist can then use in their work. The great thing is that you are completely free to devise a solution and then build it. Nobody tells you what to do or inhibits you. The atmosphere at SURFsara is very informal and there is no hierarchy. Everyone is willing to help you and there are no superiority complexes in our team, which makes working there fun.’

Collaboration within SURF

‘I really enjoy working with my colleagues from the other operating companies. As a result, I am often surrounded by many different people. Each operating company clearly has its own particular strengths, but this also makes the whole very strong. At SURF you are allowed to take on challenging projects quite early on already. The organisation therefore trusts in your abilities, but there are also always colleagues around to help you spot and correct any big errors. It’s like riding a bike with training wheels: you’re given enough space to learn to ride the bike, but there’s also enough support to make sure that you don’t fall over.’

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Latest modifications 09 May 2016