On the latest edition of Homefiniti and Beyond I had the pleasure of interviewing Peter van der Does, our Engineering Manager. Peter kindly wrote up an introductory blog recapping our conversation and I’ve interjected my thoughts here and there.
My name is Peter van der Does, I was born in the Netherlands in the town of Rotterdam. I came to America about 16 years ago when I married my wife Diane. She lived in the USA and long story short, it was better if I moved to America instead of Diane moving to the Netherlands. After my move to the USA I worked for a digital advertising agency as a systems administrator.
When Peter married Diane, he got 2 bonus daughters who were 6 and 7 at the time. He worked in the states for about a year and then they decided as a family that being a full time dad was better for everyone. However, Peter isn’t just a developer because it’s a job that has the skillz to pay the billz, he actually really enjoys programming. So over the course of 15 years of raising his girls, he also kept up with programming and was actively involved in the dev community even doing some freelance systems admin work.
In the Netherlands I started with computers and programming when I was 13 years old. My first job was as a programmer, programming in COBOL, for the Mazda car importer in the Netherlands. There became a need for a Systems Administrator and they asked me if that was something I was interested in, which I was. After 6 years or something I started working for the consultant agency Cap Gemini and worked there until I moved to the USA.
As Peter said, he started programming when he was 13 because instead of a cool Atari video game system, his dad gave him a computer. He even got his code published in a magazine! Since Peter is a child of the ‘70’s and 80’s there wasn’t a computer science major available when he went to college so instead he did this cool thing that was sponsored by the Dutch government, he spent 6 months in training and then another 6 months interning at Shell Oil.
Almost 4 years ago we moved to Ellicott City where we still live with our two daughters and three dogs, two Bernese Mountain dogs and a mutt. It was when we moved here that I started working for ONeil Interactive. I had never worked in the home building industry and to be honest the hardest part was picking up the jargon, QMI, Spec, MLS, BDX Feed.
Peter started as a developer with ONeil and then was promoted to lead Homefiniti developer and most recently was promoted again to Engineering Manager. Between him and Dennis, they’ve really taken Homefiniti to the next level. Peter’s favorite improvements are 1) Data Quality – all the things that show how much things are filled out and if it’s correct to best suite the feeds like Zillow and 2) Filtering – He said it’s not fancy but on the back end it made implementing filtering much easier.
Since day one Peter has been a friendly and open coworker. He is as eager to participate in office chit chat as he is to share his insight and knowledge on the development side. For the record, his favorite 90 Day Fiance couple is Kenny and Armando by the way. On more than one occasion he’s used his programming skills to help me solve a data studio problem on the marketing side. In fact, that office camaraderie is what he misses most about the before times.
And when I asked him what he thought was the best feature of working at ONeil, that banter was a derivative of it. What he loves most is that we all work by the same principle that a rising tide lifts all boats. We’re all happy to lend a hand when one is needed and we are each others biggest cheerleaders. A totally cheesy pat on our own backs but I have to agree. It’s entirely true. I’ve never experienced an office culture quite like it!
Peter is a friend and a coworker who we all enjoy. His banter, wit and knowledge help make the ONeil team one of the best in the business. But I can’t end it without also mentioning that he can grill a mean steak and has even baked the oft ONeil requested banana bread. Peter you’re one of a kind and I’m so glad you let me interview you to share your charm and insights with everyone else.