10 Questions with Dennis Vroegop

dennis

Dennis is the managing director of Interknowlogy Europe and has given hundreds of talks and presentations on the HoloLens over the past year throughout Europe and the United States. He has discussed the HoloLens on Dutch television and even demoed the HoloLens for the Queen of the Netherlands. He authored the upcoming Microsoft HoloLens Developer’s Guide as well as a soon to be released Lynda.com / LinkedIn Learning HoloLens course (full disclosure: the course is co-authored by me).

 

What movie has left the most lasting impression on you?

Blade Runner. For a lot of people the bleak future has made an impression, but I always enjoyed the part where we are shown how in the future people interact with computers. “Zoom in. Go left. Further. No, back out…” Loved that stuff.

What is the earliest video game you remember playing?

Pong. Yes, the original one. The two paddles (well, rectangles) and the ball (well, square) on our old black and white TV. Man, have we evolved since then….

Who is the person who has most influenced the way you think?

Tough one. A lot of people have, but I think the one that influenced me the most is my daughter Emma. Before her, I was more a typical developer. Thinking along straight lines, being pretty one-track minded. She taught me to think out of the box, to be open to more than the things I already know.

When was the last time you changed your mind about something?

About an hour ago. I am always open to learning new stuff. You have to come with some good arguments though, but if you do I change my standpoint or my opinion. 

What’s a programming skill people assume you have but that you are terrible at?

Despite everyone knowing that I complain about dynamic  programming languages in general and JavaScript in general, people still think that’s just a pose and that I do know how to program in JavaScript. Well, I can do HelloWorld but that’s about it. I don’t even know the difference between == and ===. That stuff is hard! 

What inspires you to learn?

I get my inspiration from a lot of things. I read a lot of books, I read a lot of blogs. I watch movies and they all show me new ways of doing things. I love going to meetups and user group meetings where I get to talk with people who teach me new stuff. That is always a reason for me to dive into something new. Great speakers at conferences have that same effect.

What do you need to believe in order to get through the day?

That I make a difference. Being an entrepreneur I want to make sure that the things I do are for the benefit of others. That might not be visible in the short run but I want to know that I am making a difference in others people’s live. Those people could be the people working for me, but also the people using the software we build. 

What’s a view that you hold but can’t defend?

I think computers as we use them now are really, really inefficient and actually pretty useless. The moment they can be a part of our everyday life without thinking about them, they will be so much more useful. Yet, every time I share my view of the future with others they look at me as if I am mad. 

Another one is that nobody can predict the future. I get the same question over and over again: what does the world look like in 5 or 10 years. The answer is : we do not know. We didn’t know years ago, we do not know now. Yet people always seem to think we can extrapolate and make a prediction. Never mind the fact ALL of those predictions have been wrong. I am not sure if this anecdote is true or not, but apparently the head of the patent-office in New York has at one time stated that everything that can be invented has been invented by now. All that is left is refinement of the things we already have. He is supposed to have said this in 1890…. 

What will the future killer Mixed Reality app do?

Be useful for people who are not used to using computers, smartphones or any technology. The killer app will just be there and add value to our lives. It will help us become better people, or at least have a bit more fun. But it should be invisible and very natural to use.

What book have you recommended the most?

Well, for starters: Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy. Even if you want to understand why you run into the number 42 so often in manuals and programming guides. 

Next to that: Steve O’Connels Code Complete. Still valid and teaches a lot of basic things you need to know as a developer.

Lately, the book Advanced HoloLens Development by Dennis Vroegop… 🙂 

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