Fixing IT

Henk Kolk – Europe’s developers need to be worried about Chinese competition

Coman Hamilton
henk kolk w-jax
Henk Kolk at the W-JAX (© S&S Media)

Too few developers realise that they are at the centre of revolutionary change in business and beyond, and what power that gives them. ING Bank’s chief architect Henk Kolk explains what outdated truths about software creation remain to be dismantled.

At this year’s W-JAX conference in Munich, Henk Kolk told an audience of 1,400 programmers that we need to “fix the profession of software engineering.” Programmers have too little touch with customers, says the ING software architect. IT is still seen as a source of cost and not revenue. And, shockingly, not all programmers seem to understand what exactly is meant by Marc Andreessen’s quote “Software is eating the world.”

SEE ALSO: 5 key learnings from Henk Kolk and other W-JAX 2015 speakers

After his keynote, Kolk talked to us about his experiences during the agile transition of ING Bank, and the positive effect of putting developers at the centre of business innovation. Now an IT-oriented agile business based on 400 BusDevOps teams, ING bank previously struggled with negative user feedback that even went so far as app reviews asking the AppStore “Why do we have to give this app one star? Why can’t we give it zero stars?”

Reflecting back on the changes made in ING’s IT teams, Kolk discusses what else needs to be fixed across the industry – not just in application architectures and company culture, but in the very mind of the developer – and what needs to be done to keep up with Chinese innovation in software development.

Henk Kolk is an experienced IT manager with more than twenty years background in software engineering, architecture, agile methodologies and change management. Henk was part of the CTO network, responsible for the engineering curriculum and gave agile training all over the world. Henk joined ING in the midst of their agile transformation, and is now the Chief Architect for the Retail Bank in the Netherlands. In that role he is responsible for simplifying the architecture, ING’s global continuous delivery platform and ING’s microservices platform.

Coman Hamilton
Coman was Editor of at S&S Media Group. He has a master's degree in cultural studies and has written and edited content for numerous news, tech and culture websites and magazines, as well as several ad agencies.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments