Kim Fitter - Freelance Developer

Travel Grant Interviews

Kim is one of our Travel Grant Receipients. We owe thanks to OSGeo for their financial support and advice which made the Travel Grant Program possible.

How did you first become involved in the geospatial community?
I first got involved in R after going to a very technical talk. I had no idea what the code meant at the time but I was inspired enough to teach myself to code. That career change  led me to exploring and using spatial packages in R.

How would you describe the reputation of open source software in your area?
Broadly speaking in Auckland it depends on the organisation. However different organisation sizes in different industries are increasingly using open source, which indicates growing awareness and trust in the software.

What geospatial tools do you rely on?
R mainly but I have also started using QGIS.

What trends or future applications are you most excited by in the geospatial industry?
Interactive and dynamic applications.

What are the most important steps you believe the community can take to improve its diversity?

This answer could probably fill a blog or two but here are some initial thoughts on steps to take:

Welcome  and support newcomers from all backgrounds into a community by inviting and including them in projects and providing feedback such as offering to review code.

Encourage others to speak or facilitate at meetups or conferences.  If you get asked or see an opportunity to speak, recommending someone else is an easy way to acknowledge them and their skills. This also diversifies the 'face' and 'voice' of a community.

If you had to eat one thing for the rest of the year, what would it be?
Avocado chocolate. I actually don't know if that is a thing but I couldn't choose and it sounds interesting.

Is there anything else you’d like to share (thoughts, projects, software)?
I'm super excited to be going to the conference in November and finding ways to get more involved in spatial projects.