With a natural attraction to the sciences and computers in particular, you could say I am one of those lucky people who get to earn their living with the thing they love doing.
Fresh from university the first encounter with actual customers and being part of a team dealing with support tickets was quite a shock. The importance of a customer getting stuck by a bug or the occasional production issue is something I learned quickly. Even if the problem wasn't my fault this often made me feel bad, but the reward of fixing something, helping a customer and the satisfaction of a job well done made everything worthwhile.
Not all development is fixing bugs however, and soon I got the opportunity to work on new architecture and innovative ways to solve customers' problems. Need a way to extract certain fields from text files? Sure, there are lots of programs that read text at certain positions. Those fields are repeating and laid out over different pages? Now it's getting interesting. You'd like an easy and graphical way to configure such extraction pattern? Now that's a challenge. This was one of the first challenging use cases I tackled, and I'm still proud of the solution we came up with. Afterwards many more followed leading to a more efficient XSL-FO formatter, ways to compare a document or document flow to name just a few.
Recently my focus has shifted to research. In this role I get to learn about a lot of different subjects ranging from European directives covering digital signatures over image processing and GPU optimizations to the most recent anti-spam techniques. For someone who likes to know how things work and likes to play around with new technologies this is as good as it gets. I also get to represent Inventive Designers in the AFP consortium where we try to standardize a print format. Interacting with some really bright people and discussing both the overarching design as well as the nitty gritty details of a byte stream is a very satisfying thing to do. Not to mention that you get to see part of the world when meeting somewhere abroad.
And that's where you'll find me now: pushing the frontier to make interesting use cases possible, often by doing things no one has ever done before. It's a great job.
Nick is passionate researcher always looking for new challenges and new knowledge to tackle them with.
Nick is representative at the AFP Consortium where he makes sure your next large print job gets even better results.