Get in touch
If you want to get in touch, the best way to contact me is by sending mail to nicolas@HIDDENhillegeer.com, I’ll try to get back to you as soon as possible.
Hi, I’m Nicolas and I’m a software engineer. I was born in Beveren-Waas, Belgium but have since been to many places in the world. I studied engineering at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium’s leading university, which ranks among the foremost in the world. 1
Thanks to the erasmus programme I was able to study for a year at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona in Spain, where I learned to adapt to another culture, learn a new language, make lots of new friends and got some computer science done while I was at it.
Professionally, I tend to do freelancing but have also worked full-time as an employee. I’ve performed a variety of interesting roles, you can read more about it in my résumé. In short, I do full-stack web development, server software, desktop software, database operations, deployment, anything except for embedded development really (though I would like to get into that as well at some point).
I believe that in the world of software, having a broad experience with many technologies is a good thing. Focusing on one specific language and paradigm has its specialization advantages but also suffers from diminishing returns. While exploring different things has – in my experience – a positive feedback effect on other skills. Case in point, my attempts at learning Scheme and the functional side of Scala, where immutability is encouraged, have made me a better programmer (especially where multithreading is concerned). At the same time, programming in C has made me appreciate the finer points of performance-oriented programming, and so on.
In other words, the adage “jack of all trades, master of none” is even less applicable in the software business than in others. Learning isn’t a zero-sum game. 2
In case of doubt, don’t hesitate to shoot me a mail to see if I’m free or could work with you on the next big thing.
In my spare time I enjoy hacking on side-projects, such as a tiny 3D engine or some optimization algorithm experiments (with ants!). (or some really tiny things, like a little executable that hides your mouse pointer on linux when you haven’t moved it in a while).
I like to play soccer, run, ski, program, travel, listen to music, learn languages, get to know new people and too many other things to sum up.
As for reading, I usually read fiction since I find that it calms my mind and I end up feeling refreshed after finishing a good fiction book. The vast space of books makes it hard for me to choose, so I tend to go for the classics because they’ve been vetted by a lot of people. The last few fiction books I read were:
- Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
- Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card
- Journey to the Centre of the Earth, by Jules Verne
- The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
- Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad
- A few short stories, by Isaac Asimov (who never ceases to amaze me)
That said I enjoy books related to development as well, some that I plan to read or am reading right now:
- Graphics Programming Black Book, by Michael Abrash
- SICP, Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs, by Abelson, Sussman, and Sussman
- HTDP, How to Design Programs, by Felleisen, Findler, Flatt and Krishnamurthi
- PiL, Programming in Lua, 3rd ed., by Roberto Ierusalimschy
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