Hello! I am Jan van Veldhuizen, but you might have met me as Papa Smurf on the internet.
I began programming when I was studying mathematics in the seventies (images: 1 2). Since then, I have been fascinated by computers. It was love at first code, so to speak.
Since that time, I've always kept myself up to date and follow the recent developments in artificial intelligence with great interest.
For the past thirty years, I have worked as a programmer and software architect at Visma Onguard.
I'm a big fan of sharing and creating software with open source. One of my projects is JanBan, an add-in for Outlook.
Work and hobby seamlessly merge for me. At my place in Kortenhoef (NL), I've got my own tech playground - a server on the attic, which I enjoy tinkering with. This very website is served from there.
Family-wise, I'm a happily married man, dad, and granddad. My wife and I are enthusiastic walkers and cyclists. Our longest bike ride to date was in 2022, to Santiago de Compostela.
Hobbies and Interests
Next to my computer hobby, I love music and languages. As an organist, I regularly play in church services.
I like foreign languages, but my interest has a strong mathematical persective: I prefer grammar over literature. Whether it's about programming languages or spoken languages, I can spend hours browsing dictionaries3, grammars, or programming manuals.
This website is a bit of a linguistic mix: some pages in Dutch, my native language; a lot in English, as it is the universal code among us techies; and Esperanto, which I find to be a very successful attempt at creating a universal language.
So, why Papa Smurf? A few years back, colleagues gave me the nickname Papa Smurf, and it just stuck. Now, a Papa Smurf puppet4 guards my desk. You might have seen the little guy as my avatar on some websites too. Hence the name of this website.