GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 2 - October 2007

11 INTERVIEWWITH Nandakishore Banerjee | nandakishore How to get from Goethe to Gaming: Spend 30 years as an IT trailblazer! Current Hometown: Wolfratshausen, Bavaria, Germany Age: 72 Favorite foods: Any Indian snacks,Bavarian beer, White sausage (a very special Bavarian sausage), Spaghetti with lots of olive oil, garlic and red hot chilli sauce. Site: Y ou were born in India. How long did you live there before moving to Germany? And how did you end up in Germany? I was born in Calcutta and brought up in Delhi. In 1957, at the age of 21, I left India for Germany. I stayed in Germany and the U.K. for around five years and then went back to India, stayed there for one year and returned to Germany with a scholarship for studying German literature in Munich. I was encouraged to write a thesis on dramas written by the German poet Goethe, who was significantly influenced by the ancient Indian dramatist Kalidasa (especially his drama Shakuntala ) and the Persian poet Hafiz. You have a doctorate in German literature, yet you worked in the IT industry for over 30 years. That’s quite the variance. What did you study before your doctorate? How did you endup in the IT industry?Andwhat did you do in IT? I did a Bachelor of Science in India before moving to Germany. While writing my thesis in Munich, I started looking for some keyword-based information retrieval systems because I had to prove that my thesis was unique and not already published somewhere in the world. Of course, I didn’t find any such system in the first half of the sixties. But I found a director of a department for innovative systems in a multinational enterprise with its headquarters in Munich. He was interested in developing a natural language query system for commercial uses. And I got a job under him to develop such a system after learning to write algorithms in Assembler, COBOL and Lisp. We were quite successful and developed a query system which was definitely more sophisticated than the current Google search algorithm, but (commercially) much less successful. In those days, we did not have computers large and fast enough to do natural language searches with acceptable response time. I worked for that company for 15 years. Then I started my own software company that specialized in software quality assurance, including automated testing of software. How did you learn about the online gaming industry? My own software company got a small contract from a group of investors to test an online poker site they were developing. We found so many bugs that theydecided to cancel their project. But that gave me some insight into the complexity of a gaming program and its IT environment. Several years later, I met the person who sponsors our site, Online Casino Newsroom. He was interested in developing an online gaming site. So I started visiting some gaming conferences and exhibitions. What about the industry interests you? To be honest, the most interesting thing about this industry for me initially was the prospect of earning good money using my IT background, working mainly from home. A few more things have come up during the last 18 months. The most interesting of them is to be involved as a small part in a process with so many different types of actors coming from all parts of the world: gaming players, gaming operators, affiliate management systems, payment systems, regulation bodies, and the forum communities. This really fascinates me. When and why did you decide to become an affiliate? Although the initial plan of my sponsor was to start a gaming site, it became clear to me pretty soon, after CONTINUED ON PAGE 44 >>