In the 90s I studied computer science at the university Dortmund, with philosophy as a minor.
While still a student I already gathered experience in the internet service provider business; after graduation I detoured into the software industry and a state government agency as a contractor system and network administrator. Eventually my early experiences proved valuable during the dotcom era when I worked for T-Online, at the time the largest Internet service provider in Germany. Later on and in a number of projects I also familiarized myself with the banking industry in Frankfurt/Main, Germany.
Since 2003 I am actively involved with the German Unix User Group (GUUG) in a number
of roles. In early 2011 I ran for membership in the (German equivalent of a)
management board; I was elected in March 2011.
I have also been involved with the regional IT group "IT-Stammtisch" in Darmstadt
and an IPv6 group in Karlsruhe.
About the slogan: Literally it means "To solve a problem one has to get to its bottom." but "bottom" in German also means "root cause".
Besides German and English I also speak some rudimentary French – whatever is left from two years of classes back in high school.
During my private and business travels I also picked up a few phrases of Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Farsi, Italian, Afrikaans, Setswana and Bahasa Malaysia—but sadly enough forgot about them as quickly as I picked them up in the first place.
Since my teens I've enjoyed bicycling. Even today there is no faster means to get around in Frankfurt, I still enjoy riding a track bike in the hinterland and every few years I travel another corner of the world in a way that offers me insight hidden from any "normal tourist".
After my first trips in North America and Australia, as a student I rode from Germany to Portugal and back and in 2002 I cycled through southern Africa—through South Africa, Botswana, Sambia, Malawi and Namibia.
Next time I get a chance I'd most likely head for South East Asia.
Sharks and Copper Hats
In Malawi I somewhat accidentially got into scuba diving; shortly after in Cape Town I ran into some locals who put about sixty kilograms (130 pounds) of lead on my neck and feet, threw me into a tank full of sharks (no, not the great white ones, these only live further out in the bay) and only pulled me out half an hour later.
Afterwards the sharks were fed.