This was it: completing my studies conducting graduate research that fits in perfectly with everything I like.
Before I started my research at Rodesk and the local authorities of Dordrecht, I wanted to investigate the population of a large city. When Laurens Boex presented me with this opportunity, I didn’t need to think about it.
Because of my earlier experience with Rodesk, it all felt very familiar and the episode closely resembled the conclusion of my previous internship at Rodesk. Due to this experience, I was allowed to work on my own graduation project while simultaneously joining the Rodesk Tribe in some of their projects. But let me begin by discussing my graduation research.
This project started during a kickoff meeting attended by stakeholders from the city of Dordrecht, who introduced me to this large project. The ambition of this research trajectory was stated as follows:
In association with the Dordrecht Research Centre, we submitted a survey to 800 citizens of Dordrecht. Based on the responses obtained from the survey, we were able to create a profile that charted the needs and wishes of the people of Dordrecht.
How to become a smart city
Before we could start brainstorming about concepts, I set about interviewing Dordrecht City civil servants and studied the system currently used by municipal authorities. This newly gained information was used to establish a profile of the needs and wishes of City staff, as well as documenting the pros and cons of the current system.
With the aid of the Rodesk Tribe, we came up with a host of new ideas for the new platform. We envisioned a platform that enables citizens to communicate, find information, and participate with the city of Dordrecht. The collective stakeholders enthusiastically endorsed this idea, which turned out to be a perfect match for the needs and wishes expressed by the citizens.
After creating an iPhone application prototype in Xcode and Swift, I could finally test the platform among the target audience and Dordrecht City staff. They responded with good feedback, expressing their enthusiasm about the features on this platform. With this feedback, I was able to add new features and adjust the existing ones.
The finishing touch
During my research, more people became interested in the outcomes of the investigation. Because of the high interest generated by the project, Joop Veth (head of business bureau urban development Dordrecht) arranged a presentation at the city hall of Dordrecht. The event allowed me to present the outcomes of the research and preview the application. It was very rewarding to see the dedication of the audience.
Right from the outset of the project, my mentor said that this investigation would be a rollercoaster of emotions, and what a rollercoaster it was. I learned a lot during this process and it was good to have the people of Rodesk supporting my decisions. After two internship terms, I can finally say I’m part of the team now, although the Tribe never made me feel like an intern in the first place. I can’t wait to join Rodesk in producing awesome new web products for our clients. Hopefully, we’ll see each other soon at the Rodesk Headquarters.