After a life of working as a professional geek in web technology I came to a crossroads. I acknowledged the call to use my experience and knowledge not only for my own benefit, but for a larger cause, for that of society. A couple of years ago I started investigating other areas to venture into, that would be more in tune with my journey as a human being. I joined different groups of creatives and artists and had a lot of learning experiences and fun. But then I became part of a growing community of people that understand the need for personal leadership. Almost every week I got to experience and contribute to a lot of workshops and events, by and for the community. Bringing tools to the table that allow for the whole to become more than the sum of its parts. I witnessed beautiful moments with different people working so well together when given the right tools, safety and guidance. So empowering! Each step made me more aware of my strengths and weaknesses, and the reward when going beyond them.
I decided to work on my weaknesses, but also to hold onto my strengths and to use them, recognizing a global need to work together towards a sustainable future. And in this movement there is a place for smart machines and knowledge engineering that help achieve these goals. Information needs to be shared, knowledge applied, and audiences reached.
So I decided to bring together resources from the IT industry with interesting organizations and companies that make a difference in life. To allow professionals like me to connect and work with good causes and inspiring entrepreneurs and leaders. After 15 years of growth as a professional in web technology I have a good understanding what is needed and what can be done to create intelligent and robust internet services and applications. I have also taught and mentored pupils with what I know and love about technology. But these last couple of years have also made me realize my strengths as a human being, and that is to connect with others and inspire them to go beyond the usual.
I have come to a simple philosophy, which can be written as such:
“As a digital developer/creative I wan’t to do something good with my skills for my community or the world at large, and in that order (start local, go global).”
It builds on the following assumptions:
- “we” are (potential) digital developers and creatives and we love what we do
- we are spiritual beings (as opposed to machines) and have a need for purpose in life, and want to connect with others and contribute to something greater than ourselves
- we like to meet each other regularly and work together in real life
- developers are well paid for their work and can therefore work less to provide for income
- developers would thus like to commit some spare time to contribute their strengths to a greater cause
- there are companies and organisations out there that need our help and expertise
- together with them we are capable of identifying their need for digital technology and capable of defining and realizing possible solutions
- we are capable of starting up projects, organisations or companies for causes we identify ourselves if this is needed
- we can be self sustaining, by giving enough of our time and teaching others our skills and about our community tools, principles and best practices
- together, and in a transparent way me make up what these tools, principles and best practices are all about
- It is ok to create revenue from work, as long as this work serves the greater cause
- it is not ok to create services for one’s own profit, and dress it up with feel-good sauce and labels to make it look acceptable
And that is how DevSurplus came into being. Let’s hope you hear from it some time in the future :)