Mark Zijdemans

When I was about to start my bachelors, I had a hard time choosing a programme that suited me. As such, I decided to start a programme that was challenging to me and started Computer Science in Delft. When I finished my bachelor programme I attended the Information Architecture track of the Computer Science master at EEMCS. It provided me the organisational context I needed and gave me the opportunity to work on solving large scale problem using software solutions.

During this programme, I started working on a start-up called “Shopsuite” together with two other students from the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Shopsuite is an e-commerce tool for online publishers, which enables them to create a storefront on their website and start selling products from high-end retailers. We are currently operating in the Netherlands and are working exclusively with high quality publishers, such as Sanoma (Libelle, Margriet) and Hearst (Elle, Harpers Bazaar, Cosmopolitan). At the beginning of 2017 we received funding and we are now scaling up.

When starting up this business I found out that I liked working on large enterprise architectures, however, I prefer working in a team that is small and autonomous. This is a direct result of my master track, where we worked in a similar way. At this point we are servicing the largest customers in our industry and whilst working with a very small team. As Shopsuite revolves around the software that enables our customer to engage in e-commerce, we are always looking for new people with a master in Information Architecture.

The master taught me how organisations work along with the needed skills to design software and infrastructure to create solutions for large scale problems. Most importantly, I learned how to communicate with non-technical management which can be very challenging. I now have a better understanding of what drives a business and which information needs to be presented to determine success. This learned me to translate business goals and targets into solutions we can provide or design.

My main advice in determining which master is right for you is simple; look back at the courses you have had so far and especially at the ones where you really enjoyed working on and where you ended up doing more than was required. These often are the courses that are related to a master track. For Information Architecture, this could be courses related to Software and Enterprise Architecture, Business Management and Information Retrieval for example.

Graduation year: 2013
Bachelor programme: Computer Science - Software Technology (TUD)
Master programme: Computer Science - Information Architecture (TUD)
Current position: co-founder / devops-manager / sometimes CTO
Company: Shopsuite B.V. (shopsuite.com)
Previous companies: TAG software and consultancy, Evologics B.V., Ministry of Defence
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/mark-zijdemans-93770511