About me

I'm an avid traveler, following the sunshine around the world, always open to learn from other cultures and intrigued by cross-cultural movements and tribes.

Music is one of my passions, it's a way for me to translate energy and share emotions. Listen to some favourite songs that make my day.


Career

My career as an IT consultant started in 1999. The first 14 years I worked as an employee for several IT service companies, and since 2013 I'm working as a freelancer.

I have strongly specialised in full stack java development on portal platforms.
Since 2006 this was focussed on IBM WebSphere Portal, as I was working for IBM.
Later, when I decided to start freelancing, I changed my focus to open source and Liferay Portal.

On this website you can discover the projects I'm currently involved in, the technologies I specialise in and the way I love to work.
Or you can check out my LinkedIn profile for a more detailed career path.

Techie with a heart

 

Techie with a heart

I care about what your project means to you and to your clients.
INFP personality.

Rolling up my sleeves

 

Rolling up my sleeves

After almost 20 years of coding I still love to get my hands dirty by writing code myself.

Loyal to my clients

 

Loyal to my clients

I'm with you all the way. Committed until the end of your project & beyond.

PictureWouter1

Projects

Projects

I'm currently involved in
 

{dev}Nomads

A community for location independent developers where we help each other out to overcome the challenges of remote work.

Mijn Kind & Gezin

I'm working as a freelance consultant for Kind & Gezin, a Flemish governmental organisation, building a healthcare portal and a smartphone application.

Vernaillen:com

Vernaillen.com is my professional website.
You are looking at it right now ;)

Asset Publisher

{dev}Nomads

{dev}Nomads

  • liferay
  • bootstrap & sass
  • security & oauth
Kind & Gezin

Kind & Gezin

  • liferay
  • spring
  • angular & ionic
  • rest & web services
  • bootstrap & sass
  • security & oauth
Vernaillen.com

Vernaillen.com

  • liferay
  • bootstrap & sass
Colruyt

Colruyt

  • ejb
  • ibm websphere portal
  • ibm connections
  • rest & web services
Van Marcke

Van Marcke

  • ibm websphere portal
  • ibm connections
  • spring
  • jquery
UZ Gent

UZ Gent

  • ibm websphere portal
  • spring
  • struts
  • jquery
European Commission

European Commission

  • liferay
  • jquery
VDAB

VDAB

  • ibm websphere portal
  • spring
  • rest & web services
Eandis

Eandis

  • ibm websphere mq
  • rest & web services
  • struts
UPM

UPM

  • ejb
  • spring
  • ibm notes-domino
  • struts
Daikin

Daikin

  • ibm notes-domino
Nashuatec

Nashuatec

  • ibm notes-domino

The way I love to work

The way I love to work

it works for me
 

Agile & Scrum

Because the requirements will always evolve once the users are playing with the software.
Scrum is a proven way to control this process of iterative development.

Pair programming

The best way for knowledge sharing between senior and junior developers.

Remote

Working remotely in my own work environment allows me to focus better and be more productive

A clear role

Knowing what's expected from me will allow me deliver beyond those expectations

Blog

Latest News

Blog

 
angle-left

Blogs

Building a stronger personal brand

the story behind the new vernaillen.com website

January 2017 was a month that I will always remember. I left Belgium on January 6th for what would be a 2,5 months journey in Asia. For the first leg of my trip, I decided to spend 6 weeks in Bali because I wanted to focus on some side projects and get stuff done.

To hold me accountable to reach my goals for these side projects, I decided to join a productivity program in Ubud called The Crew, organized and coached by Colleen Schell.

During this one month of productivity I was hoping to finish a WordPress website for a client, profile myself better as a Liferay expert, define a roadmap for {dev}Nomads, a community for nomadic developers that I have started, and start executing that roadmap.

But it turned out completely different! In this month we had half day sessions 4 times a week, from Monday to Thursday.
To give you an idea of the program, these are some of the topics we worked on:

  • Define our "North Star", our personal mission
  • Analysis of our own personal value trees
  • Exercises around emotional intelligence and empathic listening
  • NLP with Helene Weiss
  • Practicing the Pomodoro technique
  • Write in a gratitude journal every day
  • Deep Dive: Focus on a Crew member's challenges
  • ...


Leila presents her project idea to the group

This was quite intensive and I didn't get to focus as much on my projects as I wanted. I felt bad about that at first, but later I realized that what I got out of it instead was amazing.

These are the most important things I got out of the program:

  • I learned how to express myself and show who I am, creating my own value tree and translate this into text for my website and a strong personal brand
  • I was able to redefine my goals and get more clarity, realizing that what works best for me is to focus on only one thing at a time
  • Discussing emotions and being open about vulnerabilities was so far out of my comfort zone, but it has helped me to open up and realize that it can be powerful to show your vulnerability. 
    It made me confident that I can be more open about being an HSP, Highly Sensitive Person.

There is also a TED talk by Brene Brown about the Power of Vulnerability, that inspired me a lot, so I highly recommend it if you're interested in the topic.

Now, what does this all has to do with my new website, you're asking?
It is the Crew program that has set the mindset in which the ideas for the new website were born. 

And during the program, another opportunity presented itself: a personal branding workshop organized by Patricia Parkinson at the Outpost coworking space. First I didn't want to do yet another workshop that would eat more of my time, cause I was feeling bad about not having much work done yet for the WordPress website for my client, but on the other hand it was a perfect opportunity to focus on my personal branding, which I actually need to do as well.

The workshop turned out to be amazing as well. We learned why personal branding is important, we did a peer survey, defined our audience persona, build a mood board and practiced our elevator pitch. This was exactly what I needed to translate what I had learned at the Crew program into an actual personal brand.

After the workshop, Patricia helped me to translate the values I had listed in my value tree into the different sections on my website.

Patricia also came up with the brilliant idea of listing the projects I have worked on in "portfolio style" using a category filter based on the technologies I used on these projects. 

So, the end result is a website that is not only showing what I do, but also who I am, how I love to work and what my values and passions are. 

Last, but not least, I want to thank Carole Favre, one of my fellow Crew members, for coming up with the term "Techie with a heart" (I love it!), as well as the other Crew members for supporting me in this journey.

 

More Blog Entries

Using Liferay 7 to build a community website

Since I wrote the previous article on this blog, about my plans after Liferay DevCon last...

Songs that make my day

Songs that make my day

because music lightens me up
 

Take a chance

to wake up in the morning

Sharpness

while building your website

Hapiness

when the work is done and the client is happy :D

Left Hand Free

to relax after work

Introduce yourself

Enough about me. How about you?

Introduce Yourself

 

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Introduce yourself

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Wendell Berry quote

The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.

Wendell Berry

"The Real Work"

by Wendell Berry