Stefan founded DL Consulting in 2002 and created Veridian software in 2006.
He’s led successful large newspaper digitization projects at many prestigious institutions across the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia, and closer to home in New Zealand.
The consensus around here is that we’re all very lucky to work alongside Stefan. He's generous with his knowledge and encouraging of a collaborative working environment. The stability of our team and list of long-standing customers are testament to this.
Stefan is far too humble to talk about his achievements, so we made him do this Q&A instead.
Tell us about how digital library software became ‘your thing’.
In reality it came about mostly by accident. The first real job I ever had was working for the digital library research project at the University of Waikato. Some great opportunities arose from that, and the next thing I know I’ve been working with digital library technologies for 20+ years! It’s a great industry to be involved with, and the people are nice, so I’m very grateful to be part of it.
How has Veridian software evolved since its inception in 2006?
From a user perspective, changes like the addition of user text correction and the new responsive UI design stand out. The under-the-hood evolution is significant too. For example, our first “big” Veridian installation was about a million newspaper pages back in 2006. That was the largest collection we’d ever built by a long way, and we very quickly found lots of ways in which Veridian didn’t scale as well as we’d like. We met that challenge though and Veridian can now scale up to tens of millions of pages, and is much leaner, faster, and more efficient than it originally was.
What are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of the way we’ve managed to bring together a core group of smart people here at Veridian and keep them together for such a long time. Many of the key people have been here more than 15 years, and for some it was their first job out of university. That’s quite rare these days I think, so we must be doing something right!
Which historical figures would you invite to a BBQ?
I’d love to have a beer with Jonah Lomu. He was a rugby player, so probably not well known by most of those outside New Zealand, and I’m not sure if he counts as a historical figure… and maybe Leonardo da Vinci. He’d probably have some cool ideas for Veridian, but I’m not sure if he’d have much to talk to Jonah about...
What might Veridian look like in another decade?
Not sure. I’ll ask da Vinci at the BBQ...
What is your signature dish?
My culinary skills are fairly limited unfortunately. My daughter’s a fan of my twice cooked potatoes. Not sure if boiling then frying potatoes counts as “twice cooked” but she likes them.