Richard Jacobs was born on March the 4th 1974 in the city of Schiedam in the Rotterdam area. He has been living in the Rotterdam area till his 13th when he moved to the northern part of The Netherlands to a city called Assen. There Richard finished his secondary education and during this period he developed his interest in electronics, astronomy and aviation. After he completed his secondary education, he moved to Delft where he became an electrical engineering student at Delft University of Technology.
Developing an Agile mindset
On top of the general education in electrical engineering, Richard specialized in Avionics. For his final graduation project, Richard fulfilled an assignment in the aerospace industry at Fokker Space, today’s Airbus Defence and Space Netherlands. After his graduation Richard became an engineer for real-time and embedded applications, for both hardware and software development at Robert Bosch Security Projects (first employed by Ordina). Here Richard was part of a small research and development group, specialized in system integration. Although the work was mostly done in a traditional way, Richard’s Agile mindset started to take shape with this group. There was a lot of communication with stakeholders, features were added in small increments, every increment was tested before release and the development team was responsible for going to production.
Becoming an Agilist
After five years of employment at Robert Bosch, Richard started to work for Sogeti Nederland B.V. There he became to be a highly motivated Agilist with a pragmatic approach who is willing to take responsibility. When meeting colleagues who were promoting Scrum, he directly felt a sense of recognition. In his assignments, alternating between Scrum Master and Product Owner, he aims for achieving the results agreed upon by delivering value and/or improving processes. This is reflected in his assignments as Agile coach and (co)trainer for the Agile Foundation, Scrum Master and Scrum Product Owner courses within the Sogeti Academy in the Netherlands. In addition, Richard is a passionate and highly recognizable member of the ‘core team Agile’ within Sogeti and, as such, acts as ambassador to organizations both internal and external Sogeti.
Multidisciplinary background: Complete view on software development
Richard has an architectural background as a Solution Architect. When performing in the Product Owner role, Richard gives direction and meaning to the architectural constraints and he tracks and guides their implementation. Here he takes a coaching role towards development teams to control the development and quality, using Agile frameworks (mostly Scrum). He communicates honestly and openly while motivating others to do the same. He builds on trust and sees the perspective of others. His communication skills are also well reflected in the role of Scrum Master or Product Owner.
Early in his career, Richard became aware of design and architecture in the context of embedded applications he worked on. The projects that Richard has participated in vary widely: from robotics for space appliances and X-ray detectors for the pharmaceutical industry to complex information systems for the national railway manager. As a result, Richard gained extensive experience in the entire software development process. As a designer and architect, sparring and advising on complex issues are part of his daily work. These knowledge and skills are of great value in his roles as a Scrum Master or Product Owner.
Apart from his work, Richard loves to spend his days in the outdoors, canoeing and walking in natural environments. He still shows interest in astronomy and aviation (and lots more). He is also active as runner, in martial arts and just started bodyweight training in addition. His interest in Japanese history, culture and philosophy combined with his interest in Traditional Chinese Medicine made him practice a basic study in Iokai Shiatsu, a school from the meridian acupressure lineage. Most important however, Richard is a loving husband and a committed father for two sons.