Willem Jan Faber, Early adaptor of information technology, hacker, GNU/ Open Source evangelist. I hold a community degree in Information and Communications Technology and a Bachelor degree in the field of Computer Human Interaction design. In the past I’ve also worked for large/medium Internet related companies like XS4ALL and Fox-IT.
In my current role as research software engineer I empower people from the humanities to help them thinking about digital techniques that can be applied to historical information. Being able to process and analyze large volumes of texts and images, enables humanities-researchers to develop alternative methods to investigate history. The branch of the humanities that is involved with digital research is still a young branch, methods, techniques and standard are being created as we speak, with the help of the thorough research we’re involved in.
My personal motivation for being active in this field, is the deep belief that history can be approached in many ways, there is no single simplistic view possible on history, and there never will be. Rather than narrowing down to a simple story, it is our responsibility to point out the many possible views, and approaches that can be used to draw conclusions about historical events and history in general. Levering the capabilities of humanities researchers by giving access, and developing new insights using digital techniques is crucial.
My specialty is to break down large and complex research questions into many small solvable sub-tasks, plan and create an infrastructure capable of handling these tasks. The UNIX philosophy of creating small programs that are able to handle a single task efficiently and correctly is key in creating large and scalable research platforms that are maintainable.