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Get to know Roger Sanders from our Adelaide office in this month’s instalment of our 60 seconds with blog series.
Position: Vulcan Core Technologies Team Leader
Joined Maptek: October 2009
Why did you join Maptek?
I had a job in IT support while I was studying part-time. When I was looking for a new position Maptek jumped out at me from a programmer’s point of view because the products had an interesting mix of graphics and visualisation alongside with some reasonably complex algorithmic work. The software Maptek was developing seemed an interesting challenge and appealed to the kind of code I’d been writing and the systems I’d been working with.
What do you like most about your job?
I’d say it’s the challenges it presents – I’ve been here 10 years and they haven’t run out – it’s really satisfying to find the right solutions.
What major projects have you been working on recently?
In January I spent a week on site with a large mining company to help with their virtualised desktop environment, which involves running smaller machines off a cluster of mainframe servers rather than employees having powerful desktop machines. The system has been in place for a couple of years and had several issues. I was looking at how our software interacts with their environment to improve the stability and user experience. It was really about getting the right people together, giving one-on-one support and applying specialist knowledge of our software to identify areas in their environment that could be impacting performance.
What are the benefits of developers working directly with clients?
Maptek Technical Services is traditionally the first point of call for customer support. Many of the tech services team members are geologists and mining engineers. When dealing with computing systems or issues that can’t be handled remotely, it can be really beneficial when a developer visits the customer site. Customers get help first hand to solve their issues and we can pass on other tips at the same time. I get insights as to how our software is being used in the industry for better understanding those needs. It’s mutually beneficial and makes it easier to support other customers who may be looking to implement similar setups.
What do you think is the next big thing in mining technology?
In terms of computing environments the virtualised desktop model is growing in popularity, particularly among the larger mining companies. This allows them to dedicate their money more to the server than to individual machines and provides a greater level of flexibility, data security and consistency. There are clearly challenges but I expect this model to continue to develop. It’s funny – everything that’s old is new again in a way because this style of technical environment harks back to the early days of computing when terminals ran off a powerful mainframe. Obviously the power, speed and capacity is light years ahead now.
Any tips for Maptek users?
Maptek provides powerful software that deals with large amounts of data so it’s really important to make sure you‘ve got the right equipment and environment to maximise your performance. Following my recent site visit we’ve developed specific guidelines for customers who are looking at these environments, and updated our recommended operating specifications. You can find our system requirements here or contact Maptek Support for help.
Did you miss the last 60 seconds with post? You can check it out here: 60 seconds with Maureen Moore
May 9, 2019