Jens is one of the guys who has been with Comate from the beginning . We asked him how Comate changed over the years.

How has Comate changed over the years?

I have been working here for six years, and what has changed the most is the process, the structure. The kind of projects we do and the whole workflow we have is much more developed than it used to be. Knowledge was much more dispersed, and the way we approached a project differed a lot from one project to another.

Now we really have a clear, substantiated and properly functioning process in place since a couple of years. This ensures us not to forget anything when making an estimation, we make a proper planning and follow it through. We now have dedicated project leaders and lead engineers, which means that you can also clearly explain to a customer how we approach things. And that change in structure has had the most impact, also on the type of projects we can accept.

What motivates you to go above and beyond?

Technology fascinates me, I love what I do. I want to learn and help people that come to us with questions, for me, that is a major motivator.

But most of all, I like the fact that there is a whole team behind you that will support you in your work, even when things don’t go so well. We are all very like-minded, we are on the same page. All of us understand that you sometimes have to be flexible with your time, this can sometimes be necessary for certain phases of a project. Being flexible is often what the customer needs to achieve the best results. Everyone works on different projects, and not everyone has the same background, but if I explain something, that colleague will listen to me as captivated as I would listen to him or her.

Working together is essential to keep things going smooth while scaling. We do this very well, a lot of people have joined us recently, but all of them share the same thoughts on how we should work together. And that is a very motivating factor.

I have never applied for a job with another company in those 6 years because I feel a lot of companies do not innovate enough, while we quickly notice when something is not working well. Whether it is this year, this month or today, we can respond quickly. A dynamic team needs to be able to react quickly and efficiently, and that is one of the reasons why people like to work with us.

Everyone takes responsibility. When we are searching for new people, we want someone who lies awake when something has gone wrong. This can be harmful to your sleep, but those are the people who will do their utmost to create the best results for the customer. Of course, the tasks in the team are divided but nobody will say ‘I did my part and good luck with all the rest’

What did you learn by working at Comate?

Everything revolves around people. I come from the Solar Team, so I already knew the value of like-minded people working together and being able to accomplish crazy things. But then you realize that it is most unlikely that you will experience this type of cooperation again. But if your management thinks along like that and grows accordingly, you will be able to do the same things, but at a company level.

People are the most important factor, every HR person will tell you that, and they are right!

You have to know that you work with people who come home after work and have to take care of personal things, but if they are passionate about their job, they can accomplish the most amazing things. When you communicate honestly and openly, the ‘human’ factor ensures that your engineering is efficient.

You cannot have one without the other. You need crazy people in terms of knowledge, but if you cannot give them instructions, communicate in all honesty with them or go out for a drink, you will not be able to make a connection.

That is what I learned the most. We work on people. Wouter and Sander (the two managers) also give us the option to grow as human beings, I immediately responded ‘I want to work on that as a team leader’, and I want to contribute to that. I want my people, my team, to enjoy their work as much as I do.

If the people in my team reach that level, and all other team leaders will agree, we will become more like a family, and then it does not matter anymore whether that is my job or not.

Sander Van Den Dries

Want to join us?

Do you also feel the urge to tackle these kinds of challenges? To think, build, test? We are always on the lookout for gifted engineers to join our team! Send us an email via jobs@comate.be or drop by (we’re happy to show you our ‘garage’!)