My name is Angelo Höngens. I'm a 39-year old guy from Tilburg, The Netherlands.
You've probably come to this place because, for some reason, you want to know more about me or my work. Perhaps you're one of my friends or acquaintances, perhaps you're someone who is interested in me because of some code I wrote, or perhaps you want to hire me and want to know more about me.
If we are going to do business, I want to know what drives you as well, what your ikigai is, and how you and I can help each other reach our goals. This is why I want to introduce myself to you: why do I do the things I do, where do I come from?
This website is mostly in English since my readers are probably from all over the world.
I'd like to think of myself as a modern day homo universalis with a very broad range of interests (but then again, who nowadays doesn't).
Growing up in the centre of a Dutch city as a child of a plumber and a dedicated mother, I spent most of my early childhood in my room reading about the world instead of living in it. I spent 10 years in the boy scouts learning basic bushcraft skills and learned all kinds of social skills, and did some judo.
I went to high-school in Tilburg. After that I applied for military and police academy and decided against it, I had some jobs in supermarkets and call centres, and started doing an IT study in Utrecht. Since that didn't work out either, I moved back to Tilburg and started working in IT for a small 3-person company called NetMatch back in 1999.
At NetMatch, I started out as web developer and eventually became a systems administrator. Or well, they called my job 'internet architect', because I was playing sysadmin, developer, project manager, architect, and some other roles at the same time (the projects back then were small). I was actually quite good at my job, and I had a lot of fun. The company grew a lot, and by 2010 they had over 50 employees in two countries. Eventually, with a lot of support by my employer, after a few years of studying I earned a bachelor's degree in computer sciences. In the meanwhile I had also taken on a job as a voluntary police officer, patrolling the streets one day a week.
Working in the police force made me realise that working in IT for 60 hours a week did not make me as happy as it once did. I felt I had hit a wall in my IT career path. I could grow by accumulating more knowledge, but I could not grow anymore as a person, as a human being. I felt locked up behind a screen, working with computer-people all day long. I was also questioning my contribution to society. Working at the police made me feel alive, and gave me all kinds of new interactions that involved a lot of out-of-the-box thinking and stepping outside of comfort zones. So, I made a career switch.
After working on the streets as a police officer, I'm now doing IT for a government agency in the Caribbean. Besides that, I'm still doing some freelance IT-projects here and there that make me happy. I still like building cool applications, solving difficult questions, and the strive for perfection. But now, I get to choose what I want to spend my energy on and I get the best of both worlds!
Besides working, I'm enjoying my Caribbean life; I love running, doing jiu-jitsu and aikido, hiking, gaming, tinkering with computers, reading books and studying! And no, there's not enough time to do everything, so I just have to make choices.
The fact that I'm enjoying my life doesn't mean I don't get my share of problems and challenges, but hey, if life gives you lemons, make lemonade. I consider myself a spiritual person with buddhist views, which puts stuff into perspective.