The Road to Geospatial: How did it all start for you? What was your first geospatial undertaking?
“It started by accident. When I was studying at university (forestry), I switched to Linux and started to search for alternatives of Windows programs (it was before OpenOffice was available and before first version of QGIS was released). I hit GRASS GIS and in some strange masochistic way started to like the way, it works and soon I started to be part of the community. With GRASS, I understood the basics of GIS and it will always remain in my hearth as number one GIS.”
Conference experiences: Why should one come to FOSS4G and not go to another geo-event? What was your significant conference experience that helped you carve your career?
“Thinking back, I was often going to conferences to “look after new opportunities”. But I never got new opportunity at FOSS4G – nor at any other “open source” conference. So why to bother to go there, isn’t just wasting of time? Certainly it is not. Being into any software is actually very social think – there are conferences and user meetings all around the World. And being into open source software is even more social – not only because of the affinity of this community to beer – but taking part of the software development is so easy – just reporting a bug makes you feel, you are part of the community, you did something for others, that your work is valuated by people, you neversaw. When the time passes, going to FOSS4G is more about meeting old friends. You can talk directly to your developers about the issues your are concerned about. Or maybe you find out, that you can help and you never thought, you could (which makes you an “expert” all of sudden).”
What is your advice for students and young professionals at the beginning of their journey?
“At the FOSS4G Conference:
* You don’t have to have breakfast in the hostel, you are staying – there is always some snack at the conference venue
* Student or professor – we are all equal at FOSS4G – in a nice and welcoming way
* You can not be everywhere – just deal with it
* Have some sleep before the conference, because at FOSS4G, there is time to sleep
* You can get significant discount by volunteering at the conference organisation or even giving a workshop or helping by one – ask your local expert, maybe he needs your help?
In the FOSSG4 life:
* Who am I to give advice?
* You have to take care about your software, nobody else is going todo it for you.