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March 3, 2020


This is what I learned as an intern at bunq

As a huge fan of the app, my ultimate goal during my 6-month internship at bunq was to develop something epic.

Hi 👋🏼

Hi I'm Niels, and I'm a coding intern at the Bank of The Free.

The why 🤷🏼‍♂️

I decided to intern at bunq because of its mission to transform the banking industry and make banking the way it should be. It was motivational to work in a place with so many young and open-minded colleagues, where facts and a data-driven mindset are the key focuses in the decision making process. All of these factors appealed to me and made bunq unique from other software companies and traditional banks. As a real game-changer in the banking industry, I was excited to be able to truly impact the company in some way.

Official kickoff 🤾🏼‍♂️

During my first few weeks at bunq, I worked on a lot of small adjustments and bug fixes in order to learn the current framework and codebase. The code is written in PHP and includes a completely custom-built framework, which suits the needs of a modern bank like bunq.

Although the codebase seemed complex at the beginning, it gradually became more and more familiar the longer I worked with it. Now I can confidently say that it’s become readable, consistent and strict. And when I say strict, I mean very strict. One unnecessary space or clumsy comment later can make the difference between your code being rejected or accepted. After all, bunq is still a bank and precision is key!

A big advantage

A big advantage of having an internship at bunq is that you’re regarded as a real employee. Putting the intern label aside, my adopted code was responsible for some awesome and challenging projects that actually contributed to the product.

I was able to develop the Export Statement of a Single Transaction (a.k.a. proof of payment) feature.

The biggest challenge when creating this was the need to support over 10 different payment types, such as Mastercard, iDEAL and SEPA payments. After implementing this, it was nice to see such positive reactions on Together from users who were actually able to use the feature.

Overall experience 🌈

I’ve already learned so much in the 4 short months that I’ve been here. The startup culture was the ultimate learning experience, with the best way to describe it as being thrown in the deep while quickly needing to figure out my way to the surface. This taught me to become an independent worker and to embrace the get shit done mentality. In no time, I’ve become used to the company’s way of working and open communication style.

I’m excited to see what I’ll accomplish in the final stretch of my internship and I can truly say that working at bunq is an experience unlike any other!


Niels Tiben

Coding Intern

I got shit done, who is next?

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