– PC or MAC?
PC, preferably with Linux
– Coffee or Tea & Beer or wine?
– ArcGIS or QGIS (or other)?
– iOS or Android?
– ESRIUC or FOSS4G?
This year, neither. Some years, both.
– If I was to look on your bed table or coffee table, what are you currently reading? (Sorry of this sounded creepy!)
Two things: “Crucial Conversations” by Patterson/Grenny/McMillan/Switzler and “A Pirate Looks at Fifty” by Jimmy Buffett
– On the job front, is your company hiring or have you recently made a hire? Also, are there any challenges you face in hiring Geotech talent?
We are currently hiring geospatial software developers and have recently had an influx of good candidates so we have a lot of offers out. Our biggest challenge seems to be location. A lot of our customers need our developers on-site and it’s hard to compete with the multitude of remote/work-at-home opportunities that are out there. I hear the same from many in the federal government services area.
– I’m a College student wanting a career in “GIS” what words of wisdom can you give me? Also, I often get people asking what courses or prof. development can I suggest. Is there a short course through Coursera or code academy etc… that you would suggest for a geogeek?
First, don’t seek a career in GIS. Seek a career in another discipline and know how to apply geography and GIS to that discipline. I think the days where GIS is a means in itself are fading. Many industries are coming around to the importance of location and geography, but it will play more of a supporting role.
– I’m a bit of a skeptic regarding the economy at the moment and don’t view things as being completely rosy. How do you see the current business climate unfolding?
I think it depends on the business you’re in. As a software developer, it’s never been better. As a government contractor, it’s been rosier. I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing. Because of sequestration, government is having to make do with a lot less, but doing more with less is never a bad thing. I’m seeing a lot more activity and opportunity in the private sector and I find that pretty exciting, especially among the geo-startups that don’t have to service a large, legacy install base. There’s a lot of innovation occurring among companies like Mapbox and CartoDB right now. It’s even pushing some reactionary improvements to Esri’s product line so users are really in a good spot right now.
– Can you share a snippet of what’s exciting and/or on the horizon for you or your company?
In our core federal business base, we’re seeing a lot more attention paid to open-source up and down the stack right now. So, we expect to be pushing even more into that area with our federal customers. We’ve always had a capability with open-source but our core customers have been very locked in to traditional IT vendors. That’s starting to change and we’re excited to start using the rest of our tool set.