Mplungjan: Helping Others Inspires Me

Posted by · May 7, 2012 4:20 pm

With a self-proclaimed hobby of helping people, it’s no wonder that Michel Plungjan (known to the Experts Exchange community as mplungjan) is one of our top experts.  Michel hails from The Hague, the capital city of South Holland in the Netherlands, where he works in information technology for the European Patent Office as the IT expert for the world’s largest patent information database, Espacenet.

While you probably know him for his JavaScript prowess on Experts Exchange, what you might not know is that Michel is also a salsa dancer, travel buff and music lover.  In fact, when he’s not at work or answering questions on Experts Exchange (Michel spends close to 50 hours a week online), he’s attending concerts or helping ensure that artists get the recognition and aid that they deserve through the organization he founded, Talent-Aid International. The organization’s website gives a list of visual arts, media arts and music artists and projects that need assistance and allows people to make a donation and support a struggling artist.  (Donate here!)

“My family and using my skills to help people are what get me out of bed in the morning,” Michel says.

Professionally speaking

Michel first stumbled upon Experts Exchange in 1998 after the site he was previously volunteering on went dark.  Since then, he’s amassed over 10 million points and holds expert certifications in 37 different topic areas. As previously mentioned, JavaScript is Michel’s forte with HTML a close second.He’s achieved Genius certifications in both of those topic areas and he holds the top spot overall on the JavaScript and Scripting Language topic areas. In addition to working as a clean-up volunteer on Experts Exchange, Michel recently became one of the first Expert Bloggers on the Experts Exchange Tech News Blog.  His inaugural post is about jsFiddle–his number one tool.

“Getting to help people and learn something in the process keeps me participating on Experts Exchange,” Michel says.

Among the large number of questions he’s answered over the past 12 years, Michel singled out two:

“From a name dropping point of view, helping the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab with an interactive image map of the moon was the most interesting problem I’ve had to solve.
From a humanitarian standpoint, helping a neurosurgeon create a training tool for people with massive brain damage by re-using an online keyboard I made for a university was the most interesting.”

Expert advice

With more than 25 years experience in the IT industry and an impressive resume, Michel has a few pieces of advice for young professionals. The best piece of advice he ever received is one he would pass along to others: Study computing.  Michel himself has read over 10,000 pages of JavaScript related material, reviewed a few books and co-written one himself.

You can see all of Michel’s activity on Experts Exchange on his profile and learn more about his JavaScript expertise via his personal site. For off-duty commentary, be sure to follow Michel on Twitter and Google +.

*If you’d like to suggest an Experts Exchange member to be featured here on the EE Company Blog, send an email to Jenn Prentice jenn (at) experts (dash) exchange (dot) com.