Erhard Zrust is an Infographic Developer at Austrian Press Agency.
WHAT LED YOU TO START WORKING IN DIGITAL/MEDIA PUBLISHING?
It was just a mixture of opportunity and coincidence. I started coding in media and advertising agencies and afterwards worked some years as a freelancer. One day I got a request from the Austrian Press Agency (APA), to work as a freelancer in their infographics division. As I have been a newspaper addict basically since my childhood, I happily took the offer.
That was in 2010, in the heydays of the post-Flash-era and at the start of the iPad-hype. We were all too busy migrating the website-products to HTML5 and freaking out on the new possibilities we had due to smart-phones and tablets.
After two years of working for APA and pushing back on my other clients’ projects, we agreed on me working there full time.
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
Well, there is rarely something like a typical workday. One day, it is more coding, another one just meetings or a quick brainstorming-sprint.
The only constant is a daily standup with our programming team in the morning, just in order to determine how our projects are evolving and what to focus on.
WHAT’S YOUR WORK SETUP LOOK LIKE? (YOUR APPS, PRODUCTIVITY TOOLS, ETC.)
Apart from the usual Mail/Office apps, we use Coda 2, Transmit, CodeKit, iTerm, and Git for the coding part and Confluence/JIRA for the administration.
WHAT DO YOU TO GET INSPIRED?
I think it is a matter of keeping my eyes and ears open. Inspiration may result from a hearing a podcast, reading an article, or just mailing around with colleagues from other companies. Sometimes, I get inspiration from just talking to some guy in a café who gives me an idea for a new project I think worth trying.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PIECE OF WRITING OR QUOTE?
“Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try.” — Yoda, The Empire strikes back
WHAT IS THE MOST INTERESTING/INNOVATIVE THING YOU HAVE SEEN ON ANOTHER OUTLET OTHER THAN YOUR OWN?
That is a difficult question. I have a lot of respect for what the others are doing out there and it would be atrocious to pick just one or two here. So, maybe to zone out a bit of the journalistic sector, one should probably take a look at what the guys at the Open Knowledge Foundation are doing. I admire the passion they have for the open data movement and their impact on our work, especially in the data-journalism field, cannot be overrated.
WHAT IS THE PROBLEM THAT YOU’RE PASSIONATELY TACKLING AT THE MOMENT?
It’s the same challenges all the time: trying to optimize our workflow in order to have more time to develop new ideas and trying to be on top of the constant change that is inherent in our field of work.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR AMBITIOUS DIGITAL PUBLISHING AND MEDIA PROFESSIONALS WHO ARE JUST STARTING OUT?
If you look at my favorite quote, you can base your efforts on it.