Essentially, I always wanted to work with modern technology. I was excited about physics and space exploration for several years but then discovered a Commodore 64 in 1987 and was hooked onto programming from there. QuickBASIC was a decent IDE for me at the time, and so was Turbo Pascal later on. At university, I got into Java programming in 1996, then into Jini and JavaSpaces for my diploma thesis in 1999, and finally into Java web development in 2000. Open source always appealed to me, from Jini to the early days of Tomcat and everything that followed from there. It’s a privilege for me to work on open source for so many years already.
We may be a very digital generation, but in contrast to the typical geek stereotype, software engineers and architects obviously love personal interaction. Personally, I believe that occasional direct contact improves mutual understanding and therefore adds a special quality even to subsequent online interaction. After all, it’s so easy to misunderstand somebody on Twitter and co while a live conversation at a conference or even just listening to a live presentation provides a much richer picture. As for Voxxed, I’ve always been a supporter of regional conference efforts, and the VoxxedDays initiative turns out to be an enabler for great new shows this year!
Hmm, not really to me but more like to all of us: I am puzzled about the way that social media transform our society at such a wide scale. To me, it’s not so much about the time spent staring at a screen, it’s the implicit quantification of everything and the unavoidable comparisons that follow: the activity level, the number of followers, but more subtly even the number of likes for every single post. While this makes a lot of sense for community interaction and marketing purposes, it keeps irritating me when it creeps into private interaction. The impact on our way of judging and interacting with other people is very profound and possibly qualifies as ‘crazy’.