07 May 2019
I grew up and studied law in South Africa. In 1995, having completed my studies, I went to the Netherlands because my family is from there/here, to start a world trip before going back to South Africa to work somewhere with my law degree. However, I needed work, i.e., money for the world trip, and so got a job as an editor for computer software manuals that were written in English and needed English-language editors to review and edit them. From there, I learned on the job about software programming and then wrote books in this software company and led training sessions in their software.
After that I worked in Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Vienna, and Prague as a technical writer and trainer. I was working for Coca-Cola in Vienna, on their technical documentation, as well as for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization, which is part of the United Nations in Vienna, when I heard about a job vacancy in Prague at Sun Microsystems on NetBeans. That was in 2004. I had never heard of NetBeans, or of Java, except as a competing technology for one of the companies I had worked for in the Netherlands in 1996. That's how I moved from Vienna to Prague and joined the NetBeans team, writing documentation. At the time NetBeans IDE 3.6 was being released, or had just been released. I focused increasingly on the NetBeans APIs and gave many training courses at companies around the world that base their large software systems on top of the NetBeans Platform.
With the transition of NetBeans to Apache, I became one of the people responsible in Oracle for overseeing the donation. And I am still and will remain involved with NetBeans in Apache. It's been a long and interesting journey. :-)
Over the past few years, I have used mostly Mac OS. Before that, and even still, I use Windows as well, and I was an Ubuntu fan for several years too.