One of my great joys in this industry is performing introductions. As an open source advocate I get to make a lot of introductions to all the helpful people that make up our community. As a proponent of standards I get to help people wade through the OGC site. When doing a workshop I get to introduce specific technologies, and occasional geospatial concepts.
It is all a great deal of fun.
Recently I was asked "how I learned all this stuff".
The answer is a story. In 2003 I moved to Victoria (British Columbia) to start a new job. Dave Blasby (a friend of mine with mad skillz) recommended this small company operating out of what appeared to be a roof top green house overlooking a square. I had actually worked with a couple of the characters before. Paul Ramsey (as a mad Perl Hacker, operating like an Alice in wonderland creature with hap-hazard limbs clustered around a keyboard speaking in regexs) and a quiet new guy called Graham.
The second step was due to a hobby of mine - swordsmanship. Shortly after starting this job I managed to break my thumb (over a small argument of philosophy with pole-axes).
My recovery time was spent trying to build GeoTools with one hand; and reading all the OGC specifications – even the boring ones. Not a kind introduction but it seemed to do the trick.
Today is my last day at Refractions; I am really excited about the next adventure I have lined up but I want to take a moment to thank everyone who has made the last five years such an incredibility rewarding experience.