10 field-tested tips & tricks to get you flying high

Acing personal productivity will get you flying high.

At Seraphin, we hold regular experience sharing sessions touching about everything startups & insurance. Last week, I had the opportunity to share my take on personal productivity: here’s the recap so you too can benefit from it.


Productivity is the art of doing more in a shorter period of time. Being productive does not mean one cannot stop to enjoy the journey. At the contrary. Being productive helps you get rid of chores faster so you allocate more time for things that truly matter. …

Making the Web cool again with Blockchain and Karma

The Web isn’t what it once was: it seems we’ve gone from young, wild, and free to strict, old, and in bed by 20.30.

We’re here to say Hey!

A Manifesto for a cooler and friendlier Internet

The Internet — a place we learned to read, write, and roam free — is growing more censored by the day, full of fools declaring fake news and forcing valuable information to be covered up or taken down. We’re here to say Hey, not cool. It’s time to soften up, search for our roots, and take back control. We want a new Internet norm — positive impact and supportive interaction.

That’s why Hey was created —…

You’re quitting your corporate job? Start with this friendly intro.

Hi there! Like several friends of mine these days, you’ve eventually decided to quit your corporate job to experience the crazy ride of entrepreneurship. Congrats: taking this leap of faith is no small feat.

There’s a great new world waiting for you out there!

I took the same path a few years ago, trading my tie for a beanie as I switched from management consulting to tech ventures. Since then I’ve had the pleasure of seeing other friends make that switch — often sharing my humble learnings with them to make the experience better. So here’s finally a digest of these learnings; hope you enjoy!

Disclaimer: references listed here are…

Easing testing and maintenance with a customised redirection

At Seraphin, we make extensive use of Typeform to handle our online insurance subscription process. We have found that it greatly increased our overall form completion rate while providing an unmatched speed of deployment 🚀— all the while allowing to alleviate the coding burden from our devs, as the business can manage most of our forms directly.

Let me introduce our typical use case for Typeform at Seraphin: we have a home-built product landing page (say, the Digital Nomad Insurance page), from which the user is directed to a form when they click the call-to-action. …

A complete guide to running your first ultra-marathon

11 hours and 20 minutes is what it took me to run my very first 100 kilometres ultra-marathon. It was no smooth ride, but looking back I enjoyed every single minute of it. Especially the hard parts, because a sportsman’s mind is so crazy that it often nurtures these moments that hurt the most.

No need to grow a beard that long, fortunately!

Having come out of this alive, I want to share the journey to get there for fellow runners. I’ve heard it said that any big race is a combination of 33% training, 33% nutrition & logistics, 33% mental and 1% luck. Besides this, I would add…

If you have what it takes, buckle up for a joy ride!

Become one of the guardian angels of our tasty JS code

Seraphin is the leading digital insurance broker in Belgium. We are on a mission to make insurance a breeze for everyone, building a cutting-edge online insurance subscription and management platform.

Our tech team is looking for a Junior JavaScript Dev to join our ranks to build the next wave of user-delighting products. Originally a Ruby on Rails powerhouse, we have evolved to a microservices architecture which relies heavily on JavaScript (using serverless Node.js functions hosted on AWS). As our products have grown more complex, we also have migrated away from full-stack Rails to include more and more Vue.js single-page-apps in…

Taking a stand against Bonnie Tyler

You surely know this goldie oldie hit from Bonnie Tyler, Holding Out For A Hero? Great piece of music. Mouthfuls of eighties disco stuff, all with a Welsh accent. Unfortunately, we as developers cannot concur with Bonnie when it comes to needing a hero. Here’s why.

Bonnie badly needs a hero and a new haircut — I don’t need the former.

Let’s start by moving on from disco music to technical literature. Do you know the excellent book The Phoenix Project ? I think it’s a must-read for any IT professional. Besides the DevOps manifesto it promotes, it’s also a great piece of storytelling.

I read this book 2 years ago and have been profoundly…

Trying to live Here and Now when you have big projects

1000and more Lego bricks: lucky me, that’s what I just got from my grandma — true story! After opening the bag of bricks, I rapidly ended up on the ground, tongue sticking out, building stuff with all the creativity a 30-something child can still gather.

Why stay in place when there are so many worlds to explore out there?

As I laid there playing, an age-old question reignited within me: why is it always so that I love building stuff, but as soon as I’m done with the project I don’t want to spend time playing with the craft? Legos epitomise this perfectly. As a kid, I would spend hours crafting a house, and…

60KM in one go around Brussels. Run along or support with Ether.

Finally the time has come! Race start on Sunday the 20th of May 2018 at 10AM

Yay! Finally the starting blocks are in sight, as the Cryptorun for BeCode challenge is already coming up on next Sunday. Discover it all below, or just enjoy this splendid video made by ZERO DEUX about the challenge.

Do you know BeCode? This nonprofit does wonders for tech education in Belgium. Its mission is simple: provide free coding education for everyone, regardless of their background. Put simply, BeCode offers the opportunity for anyone to jump on the tech bandwagon, provided that they’re ready to work their a**** out on HTML, CSS and PHP.

10 months ago I fell in…

The joy of being torn between the Flow and the High

47 km down the race is where I decided to give up. Or rather where my body urged me to do so. Just 23km short of the finish line of the Scott XTrail du Grand Ballon, an ultra trail I wanted to run last Sunday to prepare my upcoming CryptoRun challenge. This was a tough call.

It was a tough call in the midst of the Vosges mountains

My sleep-deprived body couldn’t handle the sudden effort, nor was I sufficiently trained — busy as I was sacrificing track & field sessions for debugging ones. I paid the price for too many nights of coding. During the last kilometres of this little ordeal…

Thomas Vanderstraeten

Co-founder & CTO at Canyon Legal.

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