About Roman Gruber  
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I'd like to dedicate this page to the most important person of my life: me.

I was born in late 1975, which was - sadly - more than 30 years ago! I developed an early interest in technology which manifested itself in various disassembled appliances and a lawnmower engine, sorted by the size of the screws. Funny enough, the lawnmower was the only piece I managed to put together again.

By the age of 12 my parents bought my first computer, a Commodore PC-1. Well, it was almost state of the art back then: 512kb of RAM, 4.77MHz CPU and no hard disk, because one of these 10MB mass storage media would have more than doubled the price of the computer! Slow as this machine may have been, it served its purpose and allowed me to start as a computer programmer: GW-Basic, part of MS-DOS 3.1 was the way to go back then. I still recommend new programmers to start without any GUI code to get a feeling about how variables, functions, loops and other constructs of programming languages work.

A few years later I decided it would be nice to get higher education and started at the TGM, a technical college. Sad and strange as it may seem, I flunked math and therefore almost any other subjects too - technological subjects rely somewhat on math, who would have thought that. I did very well in mechanical shop (file, drill, lathe,...) and Programming 101 though, so there were two options open to me: transfer to a real Programming School or start an apprenticeship in some electronics/mechanical engineering field. The decision towards an apprenticeship was made easier because no Programming School had a good reputation back than - it was still the early nineties, mind you!

For some reason, maybe the reduced pressure, I almost excelled in all subjects of the apprenticeship - including math - with not much effort at all. Practically from the start I was known as "the guy that knows about computers" by my peers and a short while later also by my superiors. The good grades allowed me to gradually change my responsibilities and get a job in the IT department of my employer where I started out as a desktop support technician for DOS and Windows workstations. It was there (we are in the mid-nineties now) that I gained knowledge about all new products Microsoft threw around at the time, especially Windows NT.

Alas all good things come to an end and my apprenticeship ended in spring 1995 which meant I had to start the mandatory military service for eight months where I first worked as occupant in the medical unit - i.e. I was sick most of the time during basic training - and later as radio operator.

After my discharge I continued to work as support technician for some time. A major change in the company policy and -structure allowed me to continue in the internal software development team, where I first made an additional important discovery: the customer doesn't know a thing about what he or she wants, just that this thing you just wrote is the polar opposite.

It was at this time that I decided to try myself as an instructor and started a little side income - with the approval of my superiors of course!

In late 2001 a rather simple project was the straw that broke the camels back: a little web application had to be written that would allow the employees to order business cards. But the ever changing company structure and lot of pathetic middle managers kept changing the specs on a daily basis which meant that I had to start over at least 7 times. This rather annoying fact and the prospect of several trainings I should conduct in the near future lead to the only possible conclusion: I quit and took my second income to the next level: my only income.

In mid 2001 I joined a group of other freelance trainers that had formed a company to represent them when it came to negotiations with training centers. Since then the NTx BackOffice Consulting Group GmbH has developed and provides more than training services.
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