Meet Cake: this is Kristof

By Sophie Docx
Kristof

We’re a fully remote team of about 25 people spread across 3 countries, all working together to build Cake and improve the financial well-being of every consumer. Meet the people behind Cake in this blog series. Today, it’s up to Kristof.

Name: Kristof Overdulve
Role: Web Developer
Making Cake since: August 2021
Location: Brasschaat, Belgium

Tell us about your workspace picture

My workspace used to be our storage room.

As you can see, it’s kind of small, but it doesn’t matter to me. When I’m working, I’m usually so focused on my computer screen that little else exists in the world, whether I’m in a 3 square meter room or in an open office. If I feel claustrophobic, I can always open the door outside for some breathing room.

It was this or the living room where kids would be jumping around me, or the bedroom which you do not want to associate with work.😜 

It’s also right next to the kitchen, so coffee is always close at hand. I also love that it is on the ground floor. Every now and then a child comes in for a hug, and that’s just wonderful!

What do you do at Cake?

I work on the web application for Cake’s commercial partners. 

At Cake we help retailers and brands to better understand their market, and reward potential and existing customers based on their shopping behaviour. Commercial partners can set-up Reward campaigns or can consult reports based on the anonymized data of all Cake users. Like this report about the Belgian mealbox market.
I’m constantly improving the platform they use to set-up the campaigns and evaluate the progress.

However, my background and experience are quite broad. So it’s very well possible that in the future I will also collaborate on backend features, the app itself, or maybe even the data insights. I just want to work on the most urgent impactful things, regardless of the technology.

Why Cake and not another company?

There are two big reasons why I chose Cake. 

First of all, I just wanted to be part of the team.

At one of my previous employers I already worked closely with Andy and Laurent. They were among the most talented, friendly and humble software engineers I worked with. Afterwards, while freelancing, I worked with Eliot at a mobile development company. I gave a lecture there on advanced Git usage and most questions were “Oh .. this is very interesting but complex, I will just not use these techniques”, but Eliot asked some very insightful questions and displayed technical skills far exceeding his level of experience. During my detour in the academic world, I saw all three of them going to Cake, so that obviously peaked my interest.
So when I started looking at the other Cake team members, I was blown away by the talent pool they had assembled. In retrospect, joining Cake was inevitable. I wanted to make the decision already 2 years ago but I had a toddler and a newborn and I feared that startup life would be incompatible with family expansion. My fear now seems ungrounded and I could not be happier with the choice. Everybody I met displays such confidence, intelligence and dedication. It is both humbling and thrilling to be a part of it.

Secondly, I am very interested in financial tech.

The reason for this is that in my opinion, a lot of unhappiness in our society stems from a lack of financial health. And financial health starts with financial insights. I used to buy financial apps and budgeting apps for myself to see where I spent my money, but it was a hassle to input all that information manually. It also only gave a limited view on my personal finances. I often ask other people how much they spend on groceries or other things and they either have no idea or their estimate is so low that it is highly unlikely. Now with Cake and with our new stuff coming, people will be able to start grabbing hold of their financial health and the prospect of that is very exciting.

What is your first impression after your first weeks at Cake? Any memorable moments yet?

I haven’t met a lot of team members yet and I don’t want to be cliche in saying that every single moment is memorable.😜

So I will go with a rather personal feeling. You read in business books that the best way to build a successful company is to surround yourself with top people. It is one thing to read about that and a different thing to live it. With hardly any rules or bureaucratic measures, seeing the team resolve complex problems through cheer competence and trust is amazing to watch.

I promise to update this section after having attended a few team events.😎

What’s your favorite cake?

Javanais. I simply love Javanais cake! 

While studying I used to work as a waiter at an event location that hosted feasts when people got married. The owner had very specific rules. One rule at the dessert buffet was that small remaining pieces of cake should be removed before anybody would see it, want to eat it and have it picked by someone who got there earlier. I always positioned myself near the Javanais and when the Javanais was half eaten I would already take it to the kitchen and eat the other half.

I am not proud of it, but it was so good!

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