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The urge to understand how things work

Benjamin Božič; IT support technician at InnoRenew CoE

  •   Where were you living in childhood and where do you live now?

During my childhood, I lived in the middle of the Ljubljana Marshes in a village called Bevke. For the last five years, I have lived on the coast—the last two in Vanganel.

  •   What have you studied and what were the motives for your decision? 

As a kid, I liked technology and nature and wanted to understand how everything worked. Before I went to high school, I loved the CSI series and wanted to become a forensic. I finished high school at BIC Ljubljana – Tehnic gymnasium, where was a big emphasis was on natural sciences. The syllabus included microbiology, biotechnology and a lot of lab work. Among other things, we were brewing beer and genetically modifying bacteria. Our final project was awarded the Krkina nagrada. The whole world of genetics and microbiology really interested me, and so I enrolled in bioinformatics (bachelor’s degree). There, I got a deeper understanding of genetics and was also introduced to programming, which completely changed my career path.

  •   How would you describe your work to someone outside your field?

My work consists of supporting other employees and helping to solve their problems, fixing and setting up computers, and developing and maintaining information systems and servers where they run.

  •   What does your typical working day look like?

My typical day starts with a cup of coffee and reading through messages (who needs help and with what, what needs to be done during the day, and so on). Then most of the time, I’m programming and helping others when they need help with their problems.

  •   What makes you excited about your work?

The best part of my job is that each day is different with new challenges. I also really like that I get to know different experts working on different interesting projects.

And what is the biggest challenge at your work?

The biggest challenge for me right now is remembering all the names of my coworkers and projects, as I’m still fairly new at InnoRenew CoE.

  •   Which scientist or scientific achievement are you fascinated by and why?

Dr. Jonathan Pevsner. I don’t know much about his research work, but I think he did contribute a lot to bioinformatics with his interactive and interesting approach in his books for bioinformatics.

  •   Tell us about the work of art (books, music, movies, theatre, dance, visual arts) that has a special place in your life.

I love fantasy books. My favorite author is Brandon Sanderson (“Mistborn in The Stormlight Archive”), but my favorite work is still “The Name of the Wind” by Patrick Rothfuss.

  •   What have you read, listened to, or watched lately?

Recently, I have finished “The First Law” by Joe Abercrombie, and right now, I’m in the middle of “Elantris” by Sanderson.

  •   Which place on the Slovene coast do you like the most?

On the Slovene coast, my favorite place is Fiesa. The beach is not the best for feet as it has really sharp rocks, but I really like it because it is way more peaceful than the other beaches. It is also a really nice spot for a walk in nature and at the seaside anytime during the year.

  •   What makes you enthusiastic?

I would say that the main pushing force is an urge to understand how things work—the same goes for the human body as for technology.

  •   Characterize your life’s guidance or an important realization (or epiphany) you have experienced.

Every day be a better person as you were a day before.

  •   What does the charm of wood mean to you?

For me, the best thing about wood is the radiance that it gives and the flexibility to make anything out of it—from tools to a living space and decoration.