About me – Alexander Merz

Go to the german version...

Alexander Merz I was born and grow up in Chemnitz (Saxony), Germany. After my Abitur 1998, i served in the german Bundeswehr 1998 - 1999 as army staff soldier, located in Regensburg.

1999 I started my studies of information technology at the University of Chemnitz, but I turned to the combinated studies of "Adult Education and Further Vocational Training" and computer science.

I got my first computer in the age of 15 (an Commodore Amiga 500) and started my first steps in programming with BASIC. In the computer science lessons at school I learned Turbo Pascal. After I got my first PC and C-Builder from Borland, the foundation for serious programming experiences was settled down.

1997 my first modem arrived and I owned my first email adress. This was the initial moment, when I get in touch with the Internet and HTML. As an advanced programmer the subject of dynamic webpages was interesting for my from the first day.

As soldier in the army staff, I had a lot of time and my own laptop, so I learned to write dynamic webpages using Apache, Perl and MySQL. Due to a hint of a friend I get in contact with PHP, and understand it also really fast.

Before my study started, I had a short interlude in the quality controll department of Bayer Solar in Freiberg (Saxony). This time provides my an intensive view into an typical SME-Company. The expericences there still helps my in projects to stay in touch with the needs of a typical user, who is normaly not a programmer or a computer freak.

As my study begins I worked also for the TU Chemnitz as well as for serveral local webdesign companies and was involved on several projects creating dynamic web sites. Inescapable, I had to work on programming and customizing web shops&co. One of the more interesting projects was a tuning configurator for cars. Also during this time I had my first contact with VisualBasic and Java. For example I realized a catalogue application including a ordering module with VisualBasic.

Because of my daily usage of PHP, I discovered 2001 the new founded PEAR. Despite the growing number of really helpful PHP classes in it, a lot of them were unusable for the most people, because documentation was missing or incompleted. Based on existing materials and my own work I compiled the first german documentation for PEAR at end of 2001.

As in 2002 the basic infrastructure for the offical PEAR manual was created, the english translation of my german documenation formed the basics for the PEAR manual today. So I became, together with Martin Jansen, the publisher of the PEAR manual. During the next years I also commited several packages to PEAR too.

In 2003 I started to work together with Community4you. Until this point I had to handle Apache, MySQL and PHP. Now, while working on open-EIS, I have to deal with Java, JSP and Tomcat in combination with Oracle, PostgreSQL, MS SQLServer and Informix. A hard jump, but I mastered it.

Based on my work there, I'm involved in things like enterprise portals, knowlegde management and elearning in companies. As programmer I implemented ie. an player for SCORM courses. Due to my parallele work as author for the german PHP-Magazin, I also became responsible for maintaining the developer documentation for their new version of open-EIS.

Since 2003 I write the PEAR column for the german PHP-Magazin, since 2004 additional the PEAR-News. Together with Hakan Kücükyilmaz and Thomas M. Haas, we wrote the book "Einsteigen und Durchstarten mit PHP 5", which was published in June 2005 by the dpunkt-Verlag.

Und wie kann ich Ihnen helfen? Zögern Sie nicht zu fragen!